Brighter Children Through Music: Madeline’s Monthly Article & Musical Tips Blog for Dec. 2019

Our Radio Show and blog asks, “How does studying a musical instrument improve academic and societal success for students?

Our article of the month is the “Importance of Mentors” by Madeline Frank, Ph.D. Also included are two articles on healing the brain with music.  The third article is on the “Longwood Orchestra. An orchestra comprised of medical professionals who are also fine musicians.

Radio Show Feature Question for December 2019: “How does studying a musical instrument improve academic and societal success for students?”“


“How does studying a musical instrument improve academic and societal success for students?”

Many years ago, at a Virginia Tech conference on “Music in Human Adaptation” scientists and researchers gathered to share their work by giving lectures on their specialty. The title of my second contribution was “Music Stimulates the Brain” which was based on the research from my book “The Secret of Teaching Science and Math Through Music” and “Musical Notes On Math; teaching students in grades K-5 fractions and decimals through the rhythm of music. My Mom, Romayne Leader Frank suggested the title and book names.


Many of the world’s scientists, medical doctors, mathematicians, engineers, teachers, and others have studied and played musical instruments since they were children. These eminent individuals have integrated music into their thinking process. Studying a musical instrument develops millions of new connections, synapses, between nerve cells in the brain.

It has been found that children who study a musical instrument learn discipline, cooperation, teamwork, motivation, concentration, and self-esteem. Recent medical research has determined that when you play a musical instrument, all four lobes of the brain and the cerebellum are being stimulated. By playing a musical instrument, brain cells are strengthened and form new connections. The brain is a Darwinian organ that changes with the stimulation it receives.

Regenerating Brain Function Through Studying a Musical Instrument:

An example of how musical study creates and improves neurological connections may be the example of the regeneration of brain function in those individuals who have had portions of their brain removed (hemispherectomy) as a procedure to alleviate seizures caused by Rasmussen’s Encephalitis and Epilepsy. A child of eight continued to do well after this operation. He took piano lessons and continued to do well in mathematics.

Despite the effects of the operation, which removed that portion of the brain responsible for mathematics, poetry, and music his brain cells are making better connections. In two months, he was able to make progress in language use which would normally have taken nine months. The study of music was restoring necessary brain function.

“Music Stimulates the Brain”:

A New York City public school district in a minority housing project, decided to undertake a three-year music program to find out if third graders could learn to read and write while studying a musical instrument. The program hired a music teacher, bought instruments and music. Each week the students had two, forty-five-minute instrumental classes on woodwind, brass, or percussion. At the end of the year all the children were reading at grade level and attending school every day. The program flourished.

A similar study was done in a Virginia Public School working with at risk children, produced positive results with sixth graders studying string and band instruments. The students came to school to participate in the musical instrument classes and improved on Literacy Passport Test.

In Albuquerque, New Mexico public schools, two groups of 5th graders, one group studying instrumental music and the other group not, performed on the standardized reading, language, and math tests; Comprehensive Tests of Basic Skills (CTBS). The students who studied in the band scored 10-12% higher and in orchestra scored 16 to 20 % higher than the students not taking instrumental classes. These results were based on two or more years in band and orchestra. The longer the students took instrumental music the higher their academic scores.

Sharon Bryant wrote “How Children Benefit from Music Education in Schools”.  (2014/2015) Her findings were as follows:

  • “Children who study music tend to have larger vocabularies and more advanced reading skills than their peers who do not participate in music lessons (Arete Music Academy. “Statistical benefits of music in education.” Arete Music Academy. Accessed July 17, 2014).”
  • “Regardless of socioeconomic status or school district, students (3rd graders) who participate in high-quality music programs score higher on reading and spelling tests (Hille, Katrin, et al. “Associations between music education, intelligence, and spelling ability in elementary school.” Adv Cogn Psychol 7, 2011: 1–6. Web. Accessed February 24, 2015).”
  • “Schools that have music programs have an attendance rate of 93.3% compared to 84.9% in schools without music programs (The National Association for Music Education. “Music Makes the Grade.” The National Association for Music Education. Accessed February 24, 2015).”


What do these scientists, medical doctors, mathematicians, engineers, physicists, chemists, biologists, researcher, inventors, and teachers have in common?

Hedy Lamarr, actress, mathematician, inventor; Judith A. Resnik, Astronaut , electrical engineer; Dr. Edward Jenner, Physician, created small pox vaccine; Dr. William Withering, Medical doctor, discovered digitalis; Dr. May Edward Chinn, Medical Doctor, cancer researcher; Dr. Margaret Fountain Pinkston, Chemist ,Biochemist, Professor; Dr. Theodor Billroth, Physician, father of gastrointestinal surgery, professor; Dr. Lisa M. Wong, Medical Doctor, professor; Dr. Mark Almond, Medical Doctor, pulmonologist and general internal medicine physician,; Dr. Burton Fine, Chemist; Dr. Ilya Prigogine, Noble Prize winner, Chemist, Professor; Dr. Marguerite Vogt, Medical Doctor, Polio Virus Researcher, Virologist, Molecular Biologist;  Dr. Emmy Noether, Mathematician, Professor,; Dr. Edward B. Lewis, American Noble Prize winner, Geneticist; Dr. Eric Wieschaus, American Noble Prize winner, Biologist, Professor; Dr. Christiane Nüsslein-Volhard’s , biologist, geneticist, Nobel Prize winner, professor; Norman Pickering, engineer, inventor, researcher, and musician; Dr. Gerald Edelman, Noble Prize winner, Physician, Neuroscientist, Professor; Dr. William Andberg, Veterinarian, Athlete; Dr. Oliver Sacks, Physician, Neurologist, Professor; Dr. Albert Einstein, Physicist, Noble Prize winner, Professor; Dr. Albert Schweitzer, Medical Doctor, theologian.

All of these scientists, medical doctors, mathematicians, engineers, physicists, chemists, biologists, researcher, inventors, and teachers have studied a musical instrument since they were children and continue to play to help them make their discoveries, teach their classes, and do their work.

They have helped the world cure diseases, invent new products to protect others, and have provided a better life for mankind. These are just a few of the 135 Radio Shows we have produced since December 2007 at Madeline’s One Minute Musical Radio Show.

The first thing that is cut in the public schools are the band and instrumental music programs. These programs are vital and make the difference in children doing well in their academic subjects and attending school.


Importance of Mentors by Madeline Frank, Ph.D.

Throughout your life you will have remarkable mentors and teachers. How do you appreciate and thank them? Your mentors and teachers show you how to do the work and inspire and motivate you to a higher level of achievement. They model how you should do the work and how to lead!

While I was a student at the Juilliard School, I played Principal viola at the 92nd Y Orchestra which gave me a stipend to help me pay my rent. One of the section members was an amazing and inspiring amateur violist named Herman Silver, age 75. He was passionate about playing chamber music on the weekends at his home with the best musicians in New York City. Herman would loan me the music to study for two weeks and would tell me the date of our concert. I would go to the Lincoln Center Public Library, borrow the recordings to study, and practice the music.

Herman enjoyed sharing his passion for chamber music with the next generation and had marvelous professionals join us. Herman was a marvelous and inspiring mentor. He introduced me to Toscha Samaroff, a concert violinist, who did studio work and recordings in New York City. He was a remarkable violinist, who had studied with Leopold Auer. When I met him he was 75 years old. Toscha played the very challenging first violin parts to Felix Mendelssohn Octet & Louis Spohr’s Octet. Toscha was a remarkably strong leader who played with a beautiful tone and gorgeous phrasing. Herman Silver said, “Toscha Samaroff sounds just like Jascha Heifetz!”; a high compliment indeed. In these chamber works I played the first viola parts and Herman played second. It was one of the best experiences in my life playing with Toscha Samaroff. He was a magnificent musician. He led and encouraged others to play at their highest level of playing.

When Toscha came to visit his daughter, Lee, in Virginia Beach several years later, we arranged to play Handel Halvorsen’s Passacaglia for violin and viola and other works. It was a beautiful chamber music experience I will long remember!

Another marvelous violinist who played with Herman Silver’s Saturday night concert series was Stanley Hoffman. He studied violin with Arthur Grumiaux and studied at the Juilliard School with Mischa Mischakoff, Oscar Shumsky, and Raphael Bronstein. When I met Stanley, he was 47 years old. Herman Silver said, “Stanley plays Paganini ‘s Caprices brilliantly.”

He was a member of the New York Philharmonic, and later the Jerusalem Radio Orchestra.

We played Tchaikovsky’s Souvenir de Florence String Sextet in D minor with Stanley playing the difficult and beautiful first violin part. Stanley was a marvelous leader with his lovely phrasing and beautiful sound. When you played with Stanley you played at your highest level of playing too!

Over the 7 or 8 years we played together, we also played Brahms String Quintets, Mozart String Quintets, Beethoven String Quintets, and Dvorak String Quintets. It was an amazing experience.

Many years later I taught and played these same works with my students in concert. It’s all about passing the mentorship gifts on to the next generation!

What are the three things you can do to mentor and teach others, to pass on the gifts your mentors gave to you?

1) Pass on their mentorship gifts to others! Dr. John Maxwell, number 1 leadership guru, and one of my mentors says, “Make people development your top priority and see everyone you mentor as a 10.”

2) Model the way for others to follow by listening, observing, connecting, adding value to them, respecting them, empowering others, and instructing them.

Lift others up. Help the person you are mentoring by encouraging, motivating, and inspiring them to a higher level of excellence. Take them under your wing just like Herman Silver, Toscha Samaroff, and Stanley Hoffman did for me.

3) Mentors have a positive attitude and lead the way for the mentee to follow them!

Remarkable mentors and teachers make the difference! They help you to become the success you are today! Pass on their gifts to you, by mentoring the next generation to leave a lasting legacy from them.

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


“The Doctor Will Serenade You Now: Surgery Prescribes Tunes As Tonics”

(Nov. 2, 2019) by Donna Ferguson from the Observer Mental Health.

“We all know that music, whether you’re performing it or listening to it, has a transformative quality. It can help you to feel better and to reframe how you see your situation,” Heal says. “Art songs are a particularly rich vein to tap. Whether it was Mozart, Brahms or Mahler, the composers and the poets whose works they set to music were flesh and blood, who felt the things we go through now.”

“Heal became interested in the idea of prescribing songs after performing an opera taster tour of care homes and witnessing the impact her music had on patients with dementia. “You can see very clearly with a dementia sufferer when they get it and when they don’t, and at what point they are awakened and suddenly find joy.”


“‘Sound and Science’ Unites Music with science Research from Vienna to Vancouver”: (Nov. 6, 2019) UBC Faculty of Medicine.

“Sounds and Science: Vienna Meets Vancouver” will be held on Nov. 30, 2019 on UBC campus. The event is  in cooperation with the Medical University of Vienna. The University of British Columbia will host the first Canadian concert bringing leading musical talents of Vienna together with dramatic narratives from science and medicine.”

“Basic research tends to always stay within its own box, yet research is telling the most beautiful stories,” says Dr. Josef Penninger , director of UBC’s Life Sciences Institute, a professor of medical genetics and a Canada 150 Chair. “With this concert, we are bringing science out of the ivory tower, using the music of great composers such as Mozart, Schubert or Strauss to transport stories of discovery and insight into the major diseases that affected the composers themselves, and continue to have a significant impact on our society.”

“But ‘Sounds and Science’ is not primarily about suffering and disease,” says Dr. Hecking, a former member of the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra who will be playing double bass during the concert. “It is a fun way of bringing music and science together. Combining music and thought, we hope that we will reach the attendees of the ‘Sounds and Science’ concert in Vancouver on an emotional, perhaps even personal level.”


“The Longwood Orchestra Talks Through the Intersection of Music and Medicine” (Nov. 11, 2019) by Chibuike K. Uwaskwe from The Harvard Crimson.

“The Longwood Symphony Orchestra is an orchestra comprised of medical professionals.”


  “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 happy Chanukah and a Merry Christmas 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) 2019 Madeline Frank.