Barbara Drucker Smith, American Writer, Educator & Musician: Madeline’s Monthly Musical Tips Blog/Article for July 2020

Our Radio Show and blog features the life and work of Barbara Drucker Smith, American writer, educator, Certified Master Transpersonal Hypnotherapist, and musician. Included is an article on the power of classical music for education and healing. Our article of the month is  “3 Ways to Keep the Desire for Learning During the Summer of 2020” by  Madeline Frank, Ph.D.

Radio Show Feature Question for July 2020: Barbara Drucker Smith, how does Classical music play a part of your life as an American writer, educator, certified Master Transpersonal Hypnotherapist, and musician and what musical instrument do you play?


Barbara Drucker Smith is an “American writer, educator, MHt Certified Master Transpersonal Hypnotherapist, Hypnotist and musician. She is passionate about helping others to be the best they can be physically, mentally, and spiritually.” 

Early Years:

Dr. Madeline Frank: “Barbara where were you born, what were your parents’ names, and where were you raised?

Barbara Drucker Smith: “I was born on June 5, 1936 in Newport News, Virginia to Loraine Blechman Drucker and A. Louis Drucker. I was raised in Newport News, Virginia.”

Madeline: “Did your parents play musical instruments?”

Barbara: “My father played the violin as a young adult and I will tell you how my parents met.  They were waiting for a street car.  Seeing his musical case, my mother asked what instrument he played.  He told her the violin and that he just could not find an accompanist.  She told him she would be happy to accompany him on the piano and did so for the rest of her life.”

“My Mother was at the Peabody Conservatory for 7 years.  She continued to play the piano and sing in the Virginia Choral Society and Rodef Sholom Temple choir which she started. She worked hard for the Community Concert Group with Cary McMurran. My mother and father went to Tanglewood regularly.”

Madeline: “Did your siblings play musical instruments??”

Barbara: “My brother Erwin played the piano and organ and took lessons from Cary McMurran.”

Madeline: “When did you begin studying the piano and who was your teacher?”

Barbara: “I took piano from a woman Mrs. Pape who had recitals starting in the early grades.  Then from Isabelle Nachman I learned how to play improvisationally by watching her do it and trying out what I observed her doing over and over again in later years.  I stopped lessons before high school.  I started lessons again as a senior in high school with Harold Chapman because I wanted to learn Chopin’s Polonaise in A flat after seeing A Song to Remember the life of Chopin.”

 Madeline: “Barbara, please share your father’s story.”

Barbara: “My father came to America at age 17 with $50 dollars in his shoe from London at his Mother’s insistence so that he would not end up fighting her German relatives.  His cousin from Baltimore failed to meet him.  The people in charge were going to send him back to London.  He showed them his $50 and told the authorities that a Mrs. Street in Newport News would house him.  He immediately joined the Merchant Marines and was on a ship that went to Chile to and back to Hampton Roads to make ammunition.  After that he supplied ships by boat for sailors needs.  Then he went into the grocery business with Mr. Street, met my mother, married, developed pleurisy from counting veal in a freezer.  He spent years in Switzerland to be close to his London family.  My Mother and brothers joined him but I was only a twinkle in their eyes at that time. After returning the woman who sold him accident insurance trained him to sell insurance.  He teamed up with Manny Falk to open Drucker & Falk Real Estate and Insurance. My father had patience, no temper, and loved classical music.”

(“Darling Loraine”, “The story of A. Louis Drucker A Grateful Jewish Immigrant” by Barbara Drucker Smith).

Madeline: “What was your favorite subject in elementary, middle school, and high school?  

Barbara: “My favorite subject in elementary school, middle school, and in high school was English. In high school I was the year book editor.”

Madeline: “Were there any teachers that inspired you in high school?”

Barbara: “My favorite teacher in high school was Annie B. Burbank a consummate English teacher.”


Madeline: “Were there any challenges in elementary school, and high school?”  

Barbara: “I was shy going to my first grade class and Betty Sandefur came over and held my hand and said let’s be friends.  And we were for her whole life.”

“In high school I was editor of the yearbook the Anchor. I worked with the printer who later told me that I was the only student who ever worked directly with him.”

Madeline: “Did you play sports in high school?”

Barbara: “I played kick ball and half-court basketball in high school.”

Madeline: “In high school were you a member of any clubs?” 

Barbara: “I was President of the Latin Club, member of the Honor Society, 3rd in my class of well over a hundred students, editor of the 1954 yearbook and personally gave out one to each student in the student body.”

Madeline: “In high school did you tutor other students?”

Barbara: “I tutored math in my junior year.”

Madeline: “Who is your favorite musical composer?”

Barbara: “My favorite composer is Chopin.”

Madeline: “How did studying the piano help you in school?

Barbara: “Practicing the piano from 6 A.M. to 7 daily my senior year to perfect the Polonaise in A Flat Minor put me in a great mood for the day.   Playing the piano gave me an appreciation of what concentration can accomplish enabling performance in recitals.  Music practice and study has rewards in obtaining high grades and appreciating of the arts.”

After High School/ Inspiring moments:

Barbara: “The summer of 1954 after high school, I attended a session jointly led by Leonard Bernstein and Aaron Copeland at Tanglewood or Jacob’s Pillow. “


Madeline: “At the College of William and Mary what was your major, when did you graduate, and did any professors inspire you?”

Barbara: “At the College of William and Mary I majored in English, Speech and Journalism with a BA in English. I graduated in 1964.  At William and Mary my favorite professor was Granville Clark. He taught English.”

Madeline: “When did you begin singing in Choirs?”

Barbara: “I took chorus for the first time as a freshman at Skidmore College.  We sang with a symphony.  For the rest of my life I loved group singing. After college I sang with CNU in combination with William and Mary choir.  Subsequently the William and Mary choir director invited me to join their concert along with the alumni choral members for practiced songs near the end of musical concerts. I sang with the Joy Festival Chorus with the former director of the Mormon Tabernacle Choir Craig Jessup. For the past 20 years and currently, I sing with the Virginia Choral Society as did my Mother before me.”

Madeline: “At the College of William & Mary did you meet Romayne Leader Frank, my Mom?”

Barbara: “Yes, I loved being with Romayne and was so inspired by her going to law school that I took a pre-law course and decided to talk to the head of the law school.  I met with him and he said that because I had two young children that it would not be appropriate for me to apply.  Today more women than men are in law school.

Madeline: “Do your grandchildren play musical instruments?

Barbara: “Three of my grandchildren are musically inclined.  The eldest Riley plays drums.  Louis has a band Kendall Street Company.  He is lead singer and guitar player.  They travel South, Southeast, across the country, Northeast and have a full schedule.  Max plays the baritone and tenor saxophone in high school and taught himself to play Chopin and other classical pieces on the piano.”

Madeline: “Barbara, please share your work in the Newport News public schools.”  Barbara: “I taught Junior English at Ferguson High School and was part of the Lab Center for Reading faculty at Hilton Elementary.  This was a federally funded program where teachers observed us teaching remedial reading but the students were not aware of this.  The students were 1 to 2 years behind in reading.  Teachers could view books more relevant than Dick and Jane.  Before I was in the lab I taught a class using Art, Music and Dram to teach reading and it was experimental. Many years later I coached children ages 6 and 7, in remedial reading at Hilton Elementary.”

Private practice hypnotherapy: Madeline: “Please share your work in hypnotherapy.”  Barbara: “Hypnotherapy.  Initially I went to Positive Changes Hypnosis to lose weight as a client.  In 1998, I trained with Alan Chips who taught transpersonal hypnotherapy that became the National Association of Transpersonal Hypnotherapy at the Association for Research and Enlightenment.  Positive Changes Hypnosis hired me right away and the rest is history.  I have helped with the training of hypnotists new and advanced training for the past 20 years.  I have mostly worked with adults who come in with whatever changes they want to make physically, mentally, spiritually. I am a MHt  Certified Master Transpersonal Hypnotherapist , Hypnotist,

I always attend the yearly NATH conference and get certified for a myriad of areas.  This past year I was in sessions with someone who works with infertile young women who have not conceived and do not want drugs or procedures.”

Madeline: “Do you play classical music in the background during your Hypnotherapy sessions?”  

Barbara: “Yes, at Positive Changes Hypnosis we always had classical music playing.”

Writing career: Madeline:  Barbara, “Please share your poetry and the names of your books.” 

 Barbara: “My poems have been in numerous anthologies and in my book A Poet’s Domain.  In 1987 I received a golden poetry award from the World of Poetry in Las Vegas.  I led poetry groups for years at the Peninsula Fine Arts Center, workshops at libraries, advisory board for CNU writers’ conferences and was there from the start of the CNU Writers Conference.”

Barbara Drucker Smith has written the following books:

“A Brush With the Famous” is available at and will available by June at Barnes & Noble and Amazon. “Darling Loraine, the story of A. Louis Drucker A Grateful Jewish Immigrant” is available at Amazon. “Prose from the Old Century to the New” is available at    “A Poetic Journey”  is available at

Madeline: “Do you continue to sing in musical groups, play the piano, and act in plays?”

Barbara: “I sing with the Virginia Choral Society.  We combined with three other groups to do Beethoven.  I sing occasionally with Symphonicity and Old Dominion University Choir trained us to perform in Carnegie Hall. The concert was fabulous.  I played the piano every Tuesday at the Chamberlain Hotel, the Cavalier Hotel, the Wyndam Hotel in VA Beach, and Charlottes Cafe in Newport News, VA. Also, I play informally on trips in various places around the world. Locally in Virginia, I performed on the piano at the Peninsula Fine Arts Center, and the Peninsula Women’s Association.  I was in nearly all of the “Yoder Barn plays” and in one play sang a song on a chair while turning, turning.  In another play the scenery fell down next to me.  No one was injured but it was quite a surprise.  I have followed a singing guitarist with my harmonica around the Mariners Museum and taught my cousin and 100-year-old aunt to play it because it was good for her breathing health.”

Madeline: “Barbara, please share some of your Community Activities”.  

Barbara: “I worked at a crisis hotline Contact Peninsula for 25 years.  Have been a docent or navigator at the Mariners Museum for 38 years. I love doing hand blown glass sculptures.  My Creation was chosen for the State-wide juried exhibit at the Charles Taylor Art Center. I love to travel and swim.  My favorite watering hole for swimming is the Sea of Gallilee.”

Madeline: “Thank you Barbara Drucker Smith, American writer, educator, MHt Certified Master Transpersonal Hypnotherapist, Hypnotist, and musician for sharing your work and for helping others to be the best they can be physically, mentally, and spiritually.”


3 Ways to Keep the Desire for Learning During the Summer of 2020

The 2020 Pandemic has challenged you to rise to new levels of creativity and flexibility for you and your family. Many school districts have had their teachers in Zoom virtual classrooms teaching your school age children for 4 to 5 hours a day! Also, some parents have homeschooled their children to maintain a learning environment for their children.

Now that summer has arrived, how can you leverage the familiarity with technology and combine it with the resources at your fingertips to keep your child’s thirst for knowledge alive during the Summer?  Here are 3 simple strategies to create a fun adventure for your family:

  1. Involve your child (or teen) in the “virtual vacation planning” process. This is essential for them to buy into the idea and maintain interest. I’d recommend creating a short list of destinations. Then let them research and choose those that interest them.

Here are a few resources to start with for your virtual vacation:

The Ultimate Disney Virtual Tour

Disney Virtual with Rides

Australia and Great Barrier Reef

Virtual Venice

Some of these virtual tours are so marvelous “they make you feel like you are actually there”.

Where have you and your family longed to go? This is your opportunity!

2) Ask your children to write in their journal about their virtual vacation. Encourage them to record the experiences they found fascinating. Ask them 1) what they learned about each place they visited and 2) what they enjoyed most about each place? If your child is too young to write it down, ask them the two questions and write down their answers.

(Have your older children write down any questions or observations they would like to explore when they visit the destination in real life.)

3) Then have a picnic in your backyard with a few of the foods you and your children have cooked up in honor of your visit. Making special dishes your family enjoys as well as new dishes from your virtual vacation. By using new and old family favorite recipes your children will be reading and measuring out ingredients, which will help them in both math and science.

I remember fondly cooking meals with my Mom and Grandma. With my Mom, we made pecan and pumpkin pies, and blintzes.  My Grandma Mary, educated me in the fine art of creating Hungarian cuisine to make stews, roasts and sides. It all began with cooking the sauces for 3 to 4 hours with the stew meat and adding in the Hungarian spices. The stews and roasts were delicious and the pies were mouthwatering. Many years later I played concerts in Hungary at their Liszt Academy of Music and eat at fabulous restaurants with my husband while listening to Robby Lakatos, Gypsy violinist.

*At your picnic have each person reads their responses to their two questions. Ask your younger children to answer the two questions and if needed quietly remind them what they said earlier when you wrote it down for them. You want to begin your children’s creative process of learning and thinking.

*  Have reading family time every night. Involve your child or teen by asking for their input in selecting an adventure story they would enjoy reading as a family. Parents begin by reading with excitement and joy using different voices for each character. Then ask your older children to read and do this too! Afterwards discuss the story you have read together by asking your children questions to guide them through their thought process.

So, where have you and your children decided to travel on your virtual vacation?

Are their Journals ready to go?

Have your children decided what food they want to cook for their picnic after their virtual travel?

What recipes do your children want to search for on the internet?

If you need a virtual speaker contact Madeline at: [email protected]


“10 Wondrous Things That Happen To Your Body When You Listen To Classical Music” (Oct. 18, 2019) by Brooke Nelson, Dawn Yanek and Medically reviewed by Renata Chalfin, MD. from “Classical music is more than just pleasant background noise; it may actually make you healthier. Here’s how Mozart and Vivaldi could help you become smarter, healthier, and even get a good night’s rest.”


“The Secret of Teaching Science & Math Through Music” by Madeline Frank, Ph.D. is available in book form, and newly updated as an e-book on Kindle, Nook, or iBook 


Barnes and Noble(Nook)



“Musical Notes On Math” by Dr. Madeline Frank teaches your child fractions and decimals, the fun easy way, through the rhythm of music, Winner of the Parent To Parent Adding Wisdom Award is available in book form, newly updated as an e-book on Kindle, Nook, or iBook.


Barnes and Noble(Nook)


Tips on how to use “Musical Notes On Math”


 Madeline’s Midnight Melodies- Music From around the World”. This CD complements her books with a blend of dance music, gigues, tangos, ballet and favorites including “Danny Boy”, Puccini’s “O Mio Babbino Caro”, Debussy’s “Claire De Lune” and others. “Madeline’s Midnight Melodies” is music to relax by and to move by for music therapy.  “Madeline’s Midnight Melodies” CD is now available for purchase by downloading a song, downloading the album, or by CD by clicking below:

Download Your Copy Today!  Amazon | iTunes | CD Baby

Dr. Madeline Frank’s book “Leadership on a Shoestring Budget” is available through amazon. To order your copy of “Leadership On A Shoestring Budget”  as an e-book on Kindle click on the following link:


Wishing you and your family a July 4th holiday from your Non-Invasive Medicine…Music Expert, Madeline

For over 30 years, Dr. Madeline Frank has helped children and adults overcome problems through Classical music. Madeline Frank, Ph.D., DTM is an award-winning teacher, author, researcher, speaker, conductor, and concert artist. She has found a scientific link between studying and/or listening to musical instruments and academic and societal success. Madeline Frank earned her Bachelor and Master’s degree from the Juilliard School of Music. Her education has included scholarships at the Juilliard School, Indiana University, and the University of Cincinnati and she has a violin performance diploma from the North Carolina School of the Arts. (C) 2020 Madeline Frank.