Our blog and Radio show celebrates the life and work of Dr. Ilya Prigogine, Nobel Prize winner, Chemist, Professor, and musician. Included are two articles on the power of classical music for education and healing. Remember to start your Holiday season by listening to Classical and Baroque music. No one is immune from the power of music.

Our article of the month is “Tasty Customer Service Tips” by Madeline Frank, Ph.D., DTM.

Radio Show Feature Question for December 2017: How did Classical Music play a part of Dr. Ilya Prigogine’s life as a Nobel Prize winner, Chemist, professor, and musician and what musical instrument did he play?


Ilya Prigogine was born in Moscow, Russia on January 25th, 1917. His father, Roman Prigogine was a chemical engineer and his mother, Yulia Vikhman Prigogine was a pianist. His older brother Alexandre was four years older.

At a young age he began studying the piano with his mother.

Dr. Ilya Prigogine says, “According to my mother, I was able to read musical scores before I read printed words. And, today, my favorite pastime is still piano playing.”

The music he played on the piano as a child was by Bach, Mozart, Schumann, and Debussy. He “won a prestigious piano competition and dreamed of becoming a concert pianist.”


When he learned “to read books, he devoured the classics. Because of his early interest in history and philosophy he wondered why science paid so little attention to time.”

Dr. Prigogine said at the time, “The fact that in chemistry and physics, past and present could play the same role, I found a little strange, It was so much in contradiction to ordinary experience. Everyone knows that tomorrow is not the same as today. Yet chemists and physicists described a universe where present and past were identical, timeless, and reversible.”

Ilya Prigogine’s family immigrated to Germany in 1921, as they did not agree with the new Russian regime. They remained in Germany till 1929 and then moved to Belgium permanently.

He attended secondary school in Belgium and went on to study chemistry at the Free University of Brussels just like his older brother. Ilya received his Ph.D. in 1941 at the Free University of Brussels.

He began formulating his “concept of dissipative structures by 1946.“ His “ theory describes the workings of open systems, that is, systems in which there is an exchange of matter and energy with the outside environment.” For example: “A human being is an open system: An individual takes in food and oxygen from the outside for energy, and excretes waste, thereby achieving a remarkable, albeit temporary, order that is maintained, .. at the expense of the environment.”

He says, “A true closed system, on the other hand, is an ideal concept — as unattainable as a perpetual-motion machine. A terrarium or a space colony could be considered close approximations, but these, too, rely on external energy from the sun.”

Prigogine believes, “Irreversibility is a key concept. Just as certain chemicals, when mixed together, can never “unmix” into their original molecular structures, the universe and what it contains, are irreversible.”

He says, “You cannot reverse the evolution of the universe even theoretically. And you cannot predict its future, except in terms of scenarios that depend on never-ending series of  . . . crossroads in the chain of causality.”

“Prigogine’s definition of open dissipative structures encompasses human social behavior, chemical reactions, and ecosystems: things whose structures are maintained by continuous flows of energy permeating them. And energy flow, Prigogine observes, may become so complex that it causes fluctuations too great for the system to absorb, thus forcing it to reorganize. But each reorganization produces greater complexity and greater likelihood of random fluctuations. The result: more instability, more reorganization; in other words, a quickened creation of living matter into new structures. Evolution.”

Professor and Director:

*Dr. Ilya Prigogine became a professor at the Université Libre de Bruxelles in 1950.

*1959 Appointed director of the “International Solvay Institute” in Brussels, Belgium in 1959.

* 1959-2003: Dr. Prigogine also began teaching in the United States at the “University of Texas at Austin”. Later he was “appointed Regental Professor and Ashbel Smith Professor of Physics and Chemical Engineering”. (Three months a year.)

* 1967: In Austin, Dr. Prigogine “co-founded the Center for Thermodynamics and Statistical Mechanics, now the Center for Complex Quantum systems.”  Also in 1967, “he returned to Belgium as director of the Center for Statistical Mechanics and Thermodynamics”.

*1961-1966: Dr. Prigogine was associated with the “Enrico Fermi Institute at the University of Chicago.”


Prizes and Awards:

  • 1955 Awarded Francqui Prize for Exact Science
  • 1976 Rumford Medal for Irreversible Thermodynamics
  • 1977 Nobel Prize in Chemistry was awarded to Ilya Prigogine  “for his contributions to non-equilibrium thermodynamics, particularly the theory of dissipative structures.” His investigations into the origins of irreversibility in nature laid the groundwork for many important advances in nonlinear dynamics and complexity in the second half of the twentieth century.”
  • 1989 title of Viscount in the Belgian Nobility by the King of the Belgians.
  • President of the International Academy of Science in Munich until his death. Member of many scientific organizations. 53 honorary degrees
  • “1997, one of the founders of the International Commission on Distance Education (CODE), a worldwide accreditation agency”.
  • 1998 Awarded Honoris Causa Doctorate by UNAM in Mexico City.

Marriage and Children:

Ilya Prigogine’s was married to Hélène Jofé Prigogine, a Belgian poet and author and in 1945 their son Yves was born. They divorced.

In 1961, Ilya Prigogine married Maria Prokopowicz Prigogine, a Polish chemist. Their son Pascal was born in 1970.

Dr. Ilya Prigogine’s Thermodynamics & Dissipative Structures:

Thermodynamics is about heat and its transformation into other forms of energy – basically involving statistical descriptions of atomic and molecular movements. Irreversible thermodynamic processes go in only one direction, usually toward more disorder. However, during the 1960s Ilya Prigogine developed a theory about dissipative structures, which maintains that long before a state of equilibrium is reached in irreversible processes, orderly and stable systems can arise from more disordered systems. The result has been applied in a great many areas.”


“A dissipative structure is characterized by the spontaneous appearance of symmetry breaking and the formation of complex, sometimes chaotic structures where interacting particles exhibit long range correlations.” Examples that we see “in everyday life” are hurricanes, living organisms, cyclones (characterized by spiraling winds), and turbulent flow (surf).”


Dr. Prigogine’s Co- Authored Books with Isabelle Stengers:

  • 1997: “The End of Certainty: Time, Chaos, and the New Laws of Nature.”

*1984 book “Order out of Chaos

Dr. Ilya Prigogine was a Nobel Prize winner, chemist, professor, and life long musician. He was a husband and father. Ilya Prigogine died on May 28, 2003 at the age of 86 in Brussels, Belgium.


In Memoriam the University of Texas wrote the following about Dr. Ilya Prigogine: “Ilya Prigogine was a great optimist and a gifted teacher. Perhaps his optimism grew out of his science, which was the science of creation. He had the ability to transmit his excitement about ideas to students and give them confidence to carry those ideas in new directions. His lectures were fascinating. He preferred to leave out many of the tedious details in his science lectures and instead included perspectives on art, music, and philosophy, which wove the science into the broader fabric of life.”

“Prigogine was a true Renaissance Man in every sense of the word. In addition to his remarkable scientific achievements, he had a profound knowledge of history, music, philosophy and archaeology. His death closes an important chapter in the history of science. He is greatly missed by his many friends and colleagues.”



“Tasty Customer Service Tips” by Madeline Frank, Ph.D., DTM

What does amazing customer service look like? For brick and mortar or online businesses to survive they must create outstanding customer experiences.

Explaining amazing customer service is a lot like having a step-by-step recipe for your favorite food. You have to know how to do it!

All businesses must create outstanding customer service whether they are online or brick and mortar.

For several years, I have been buying groceries at Farm Fresh Grocery Store in Poquoson, VA. Their cooked food department has amazing customer service and their customers keep coming back and line up to buy their freshly cooked products daily.

What makes this store so special?

The Manager and assistant cooks know me by name and I know each of them by name. We have a “relationship”. Customers enjoy buying from people they like and trust. Friendly helpful sales service makes your customer feel special!

We ask about each other’s families and they are willing and happy to spent a few seconds talking to you. The employees are not only knowledgeable about the layout of the store they are eager to help you find something. They are also quick to engage you in conversation if you look like you have had a hard day at work. They are eager to offer a caring ear and other times point out a bright spot that you hadn’t recognized.

They care.

Happy customers tell their friends and neighbors about their experience. Word -of -mouth sales, has been and will continue to be the top generator of business in any business. Creating a fantastic customer experience primes the pump for telling their friends and neighbors about their experience.

The chef is quick to tell me “I just made up some fresh roasted chicken, Madeline, you owe it to yourself to try some.”

When you make your selection they will wrap it up or if they have run out of it, will tell you it will take 10-15 minutes for them to cook up your selection and to please continue shopping and they will have it prepared for you when you return.

Three Success Secrets for Amazing Customer service:

1) Hire for attitude. Your salespersons must have a positive attitude and smile at their customers. They are friendly and have a caring attitude, know their customers names, and truly care how their customers are. Your salespersons are personable and they enjoy their job.

2) Your salesperson “listens” to what you customers want and need to know about your products and then tells your customer the benefits of each product and the cost.

3) Your salesperson is passionate and knowledgeable about what they are selling and knows everything about the products they sell. They enjoy helping their customers solve their problems and become friends and as expert, Jeffrey Gitomer says become a “trusted adviser” to them.

By following these three secrets for amazing customer service you will keep a steady line of customers wanting to do business at your store. © 2017 Madeline Frank

Contact Madeline Frank for your next speaking engagement at [email protected]



“Music To Heal Your Mind, Body, and Soul.” (Oct. 30, 2017) by Anindita Paul from the India Times.com.

“How music can serve as a powerful tool for healing, learning and development.”



“Experts Call On Music To Play Bigger Role In Wellness Care”. (Oct. 31, 2017) by Mitch Goldenberg from the Edmonton Examiner.

“For the 11th time since 2010 and first time in Alberta’s capital, health care professionals will discuss ways music can treat isolation, loneliness, mental health, mobility issues and even be a prescription for Parkinson’s disease.”

Dr. Corene Hurt-Thaut a specialist in neurologic music therapy said, “We have a responsibility to really understand music as a powerful tool and how it can have the greatest impact on the clients we serve. Music can actually be a powerful tool in changing the brain.”


“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!

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 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) 2017 Madeline Frank.