Dr. Burton Fine, Chemist and Musician: Madeline’s Monthly Musical Tips Blog/Article for May 2018

Our Radio Show and blog celebrates the extraordinary life and work of Dr. Burton Fine, Chemist, musician, teacher, husband, and father. Many of the world’s scientists, medical doctors,chemists, mathematicians, writers, and teachers have studied and played musical instruments since they were children. These eminent individuals have integrated music into their thinking process. Included are two articles on how studying musical instruments improves scholastic achievement. Our article of the month is “The Greatness of America” by Madeline Frank, Ph.D., DTM.

Radio Show Feature Question for May 2018: How does classical music play a part of Dr. Burton Fine’s life as a chemist and musician and what musical instruments does he play?



Burton Fine began studying the violin at a young age and was an excellent student in school. In his early teens he studied violin with Ivan Galamian for 5 years in Philadelphia. Four of those years, Burton was a student at Curtis Institute of Music.

At eighteen Burton Fine graduated Curtis Institute of Music and accepted a scholarship majoring in physical chemistry at the University of Pennsylvania “because his parents were against a musical career.” He earned his Ph. D. at the age of 24 in 1955 from the Illinois Institute of Technol­ogy and began working for NASA in Cleveland. He worked there for 9 years “as a research chemist.”

Dr. Fine said, “I worked on problems of aircraft and space propul­sion. Just before I left NASA I was in flame sampling.”

Dr. Fine while working for NASA in Cleveland, he performed in a string quartet on Sunday Services at the Unitarian Church where Robert Shaw was the musical director. His quartet played works by Byrd, Haydn, Beethoven, Bach, Bartok and Piston.


Dr. Fine saw an advertisement in the International Musician for an opening in the Boston Symphony for a second violin position. After writing the personnel manager, Rosario Mazzeo, he received “a telegram back .. saying the auditions was that Wednesday”.

Burton Fine said, “I didn’t even tell June, (his wife), when I sent that first letter to the orchestra. I told her about it when I got the telegram, though. She was pleased with the idea. Some Cleveland Orchestra men had told me to go ahead, and it was then or never. We both felt the same way about it.”

Dr. Fine said, “He took Tuesday off and practiced, went to Boston on Wednesday and got the Job. He was notified of this in February 1963 and reported to work the following Sep­tember.”

In the Boston Symphony, Burton Fine played last desk of the second violin section.

When it was announced by the principal violist of the Boston Symphony that he was leaving to “join the Philadel­phia Orchestra”, Burton Fine auditioned for principal viola of the Boston Symphony and won the job. He was Principal violist of the Boston Symphony for 30 years and taught at the Tanglewood Music Center and New England Conservatory. Dr. Burton Fine is a chemist, musician, teacher, husband, and father.


Dr. Burton Fine Interview: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M2qpG42Qww4


“The Greatness of America” by Madeline Frank, Ph.D., DTM

Why did you or your family come to America? If someone was trying to kill you and your family in your country, would you leave?

Geri Stevens had a passion for jury duty. She was the head of jury selections in the judiciary department for the city of San Diego. Every Monday she would address a new group of potential jurors, reminding them of the special place they had in our justice system and would review their responsibilities.

The majority of people who receive a jury summons immediately begin to think of what they can do to get out of it.

Have you ever sat in a room with other potential jurors?

It is not a happy place to be!

Geri finally convinced John Maxwell to attend one of her jury orientation sessions, and he was beyond surprised by the experience.

Maxwell recalls Geri standing before her unreceptive audience with an air of excitement and said,

“This will be one of the most wonderful weeks of your lives.”

That got everybody’s attention.

She proceeded to express her passion “about the greatness of America and the right of each citizen to have a fair trial. She explained to the jurors how their decisions would make a difference and that they were examples of why America is a nation coveted and admired by others. At the close of her 45-minute inspiring talk, the potential jurors gave her a standing ovation!”

Geri Stevens’ passion for America transferred to the prospective jurors. They were transformed from an uninterested group of citizens, serving their civic duty to an inspired group of Californians who looked “forward to being selected to serve on a jury.”

My family emigrated to America and became American citizens. They embraced a dream of hope for a better life and opportunities for their families.

My mother’s parents Mary Chernick Leader and Earl D. Leader’s parents were from Russia and Hungary. My Grandmother Mary Chernick’s parents escaped to America from Lithuania, Russia with her two older brothers Michael and Harry. They traveled by ship to escape the violent massacres in Russia of Jewish families condoned by Czar Alexander 111.

My Grandfather, Earl D. Leader, his original name Emil Ungerleider, talked about how his father, Mendel Ungerleider’s parents, 13 siblings, spouses, cousins and other family members died in Hitler’s concentration camps while he, his sister, their spouses, children, and their parents were in America safe and sound.

Emma Lazarus was an American poet who wrote her poem “The New Colossus”, “in 1883 to raise money” for the construction of the pedestal of the Statue of Liberty. In 1903 her poem was engraved on a bronze plaque and mounted inside the pedestal’s inner wall on the Statue of Liberty.

“Give me your tired, your poor,

your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,

the wretched refuse of your teeming shore.

Send these, the homeless, tempest-tost to me,

I lift my lamp beside the golden door!”

The framers of our Constitution were wise enough to realize that our unalienable rights did not come from government or man; they came from God. They were also wise enough to create the Constitution and Bill of Rights to be exclusionary (explaining what Government cannot do, rather than all the things it could do).

The very freedoms that most of us take for granted like the pursuit of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness, freedom of religion, freedom of speech, freedom of the press, freedom of assembly, and freedom to petition the government to right wrongs are what make this country great. It is also why this great nation of ours is a magnet for people from all over the world who answer the battle-cry of their souls to be free by seeking citizenship.

Where my family is from (Russia and Hungary), there were no rights, no choices, no opportunities, no free speech, no right to a fair trial. You did what the government officials told them to do. There was no freedom of expression. There was no choice in anything. When you argued to protect yourself, they would throw you in prison and kill you.

President Ronald Reagan said, “Freedom is never more than one generation away from extinction… It must be fought for, protected, and handed on for them to do the same. ”

Let your voices be heard as American citizens. Share your stories of the greatness of America just like Gerri Stevens and my grandparents did and elect political candidates who will protect and defend our constitutional and unalienable rights so that generations that come after us can enjoy the American way of life! © 2018 Madeline Frank

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


“Taking Music Lessons Positively Impacts Children’s Academic Performance” (March 27, 2018) by Sadhana Bharanidharan from the medicaldaily.com.

Dr. Artur Jaschke, lead author and researcher at the Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam, said, “Despite indications that music has beneficial effects on cognition, music is disappearing from general education curricula. This inspired us to initiate a long-term study on the possible effects of music education on cognitive skills that may underlie academic achievement.”

“As part of the study, 147 children across six Dutch schools were studied over a period of two and a half years. The children were divided into groups based on whether they received a music education, a visual arts education or no inclusion of arts in their education curriculum. The groups that received music and art education were given both theoretical and practical lessons.”

“After two and a half years, the children were assessed on their academic performance and other cognitive skills such as problem-solving, inhibition, memory power, and verbal IQ. Findings showed that the children who received music lessons experienced significant cognitive improvements compared to the other groups of children in the study.”

Dr. Jaschke said, “Children who received music lessons showed improved language-based reasoning and the ability to plan, organize and complete tasks, as well as improved academic achievement. He explained that the skills developed during music lessons can improve the overall academic performance by enhancing children’s cognitive abilities even in unrelated subjects.”


“The Los Angeles Doctors Symphony Orchestra Supports An Unexpected Connection’’ (Feb. 21, 2018) by Brian Marks.  Dr. Shulman, conductor and surgeon says, “I think there must be something in our brain or in our nature in which those two fields merge. I think there’s a tradition of making music, and somehow the creative expression of making music is congruent with being a physician — schedule notwithstanding. Playing music can also be therapeutic and relaxing, a temporary respite from the demands of medicine.”

Jennifer Chen, an OB/GYN and cellist in her season says, “It’s actually a nice little reprieve from work — it takes my mind off things. It’s very low stress to come here, everyone is friendly, and it’s not like a competition. I love it.”

The orchestra was founded in 1953 “originally exclusive to doctors, nurses, dentists, veterinarians and other health care 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 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!

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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 Mother’s Day 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) 2018 Madeline Frank.