Our Radio Show and blog celebrates the extraordinary life and work of Dr. Lisa M. Wong, medical doctor, musician, teacher, author, wife, mother, and “passionate arts education advocate”. 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 four articles on how learning to play a musical instrument can improve your academic skills in school, how listening to classical music and playing classical music can lower your blood pressure and improve your health.

Our article of the month is “Leadership Lessons from General H. Norman Schwarzkopf” by Madeline Frank, Ph.D.

Radio Show Feature Question for July 2018: How does classical music play a part of Dr. Lisa M. Wong’s life as a medical doctor, musician, teacher, author and “arts education advocate” and what musical instruments does she play?



Lisa M. Wong’s Formative Years: 

Lisa M. Wong was raised in Honolulu, Hawaii and began studying the piano at the age of four, the violin at the age of eight, and the guitar at the age of ten. She was an excellent student at the “Punahou School,an independent school centered on education, the arts and community service”.

University, Medical School, Residency, Medical Practice, & Teaching:

In 1979, Lisa Wong graduated Harvard University with a degree in East Asian Studies and then went on to NYU School of Medicine to earn her Medical Degree in 1983. In 1986, she completed her “pediatric residency at Massachusetts General Hospital” and “joined Milton Pediatrics Associates”. At Harvard Medical School she is an Assistant Clinical Professor of Pediatrics.  Dr. Wong has worked as a pediatrician for 32 years.


Dr. Lisa Wong Marriage & Children:

“Dr. Wong is married to violinist Lynn Chang.” They have two adult children.


Dr. Lisa Wong is “dedicated to the Healing Arts of Music and Medicine”:

From 1991-2012, Dr. Wong was the president of the Longwood Symphony Orchestra, a Boston-based orchestra composed of mostly “medical musicians dedicated to Healing the Community through Musicand is a member of its violin section”.

Dr. Wong’s Inspiration:

Dr. Wong’s inspiration comes fromDr. Albert Schweitzer, a humanitarian, theologian, musician, and physician who won the Nobel Peace Prize in 1952.

Dr. Albert Schweitzer said, “The purpose of human life is to serve, and to show compassion and the will to help others.”

The Longwood Symphony Orchestra, “combines music, medicine and service and performs every concert to raise awareness and funds for medical nonprofits in the community.” Their musicians travel “out of the concert hall to patients in hospitals, hospices and other healing spaces throughout greater Boston.”



New Arts and Humanities Initiative at Harvard Medical School:

Dr. Wong “with her colleagues Dr. David Jones and Dr. Susan Pories, co-chairs the newly created Arts and Humanities Initiative at Harvard Medical School. This initiative is made up of HMS physician faculty, residents and students interested in incorporating the arts into the classroom, laboratory and at the bedside through art making, art observation, narrative writing, music and more.”



Dr. Wong Works With Young Audiences of Massachusetts:

As a Board member for over 15 years at Young Audiences of Massachusetts Dr. Wong she “helped start Bring Back the Music (now renamed “Making Music Matters”), a program that revitalized in-class instrumental music instruction in the four Boston public elementary schools.” From 2009- 2015 she was “appointed to the Board of the Massachusetts Cultural Council  by Governor Deval Patrick.”  Currently Dr. Wong “serves on the Boards of the Conservatory Lab Charter School , New England Foundation for the Arts, and the chamber ensemble, A Far Cry.”


Dr. Wong Arts Education Advocate:

Dr. Wong works “closely with the New England Conservatory of Music’s Preparatory School and traveled with NEC’s Youth Philharmonic Orchestra to Brazil, Cuba, Guatemala, Panama, and Venezuela as a pediatric chaperone.”  She “continues to be actively involved in El System USA  and has had the privilege of observing El Sistema in Venezuela several times over the past ten years.”

Dr. Lisa Wong’s Awards:

In 2010, Dr. Wong was awarded the “Pinnacle Award from the Mattapan Community Health Center”. She was awarded the “Champion for the Arts Award from the Arts and Business Council of Greater Boston” in 2013. Dr. Wong “received an Honorary Doctorate in Education from Wheelock College  and gave the Graduate Commencement Address” in May 2016.



Dr. Lisa Wong’s Book:

In April 2012 Dr. Wong published her “Scales to Scalpels: Doctors Who Practice the Healing Arts of Music and Medicine” , co-written with  Robert Viagas.



UTUBE Video: Lisa M. Wong, MD: Music for Healing: Pediatrician, Musician, Patient, Community:



Dr. Lisa M. Wong is a medical doctor, musician, teacher, author, Arts Education Advocate, wife and mother. Like Dr. Albert Schweitzer, Dr. Liza Wong is dedicated to serving others by healing her patients through medicine and music.


More on Dr. Albert Schweitzer:

Albert Schweitzer at five years of age began to learn the piano. He “was born into an Alsatian family which for generations had been devoted to religion, music, and education. His father and maternal grandfather were ministers; both his grandfathers were talented organists; many of his relatives were persons of scholarly attainments.” (Nobel Prize.org,1952, p.1) He followed in their footsteps. At the age of 30, he decided to go to medical school as he wanted to heal the sick in Africa as a medical missionary. He already had doctorates in philosophy and theology. He was a virtuoso organist, a scholar on Bach, theologian, and medical doctor, who set up practice in Africa., authored books and gave concert tours, lectures, and church sermons all over the world (Joy, 1951, p. 197).



Madeline’s One Minute Musical Radio Show for “January 2008” Feature Question: Why did Dr. Albert Schweitzer travel to Africa?   



Leadership Lessons From General H Norman Schwarzkopf by Madeline Frank, Ph.D.

Who were General Norman Schwarzkopf’s most important teachers and role models? What leadership qualities did General Norman Schwarzkopf exemplify, identify, and teach for success?

Norman Schwarzkopf, Jr. as a childdreamed of a military career. His father, H. Norman Schwarzkopf, Sr., had attended West Point, “served in WWI” and later in WWII rising to the rank of brigadier general in the U.S. Army. At the end of WWII, General Schwarzkopf, Sr. was posted in Iran and remained to help “organize and train the national police force”. (achievement.org H Norman Schwarzkopf)

Developing Discipline and Character:

In 1946, Brigadier General Schwarzkopf, Sr.’s family joined him in Iran. Norman, Jr. was 12 years old and attended school in Iran, and later in Switzerland, Germany, and Italy. He became an outstanding student becoming fluent in French and German.

Developing Competence: Attending West Point:

Returning to the United States, like his father, Norman, Jr. attended the United States Military Academy at West Point. At West Point, along with his studies, he “played on the football team, wrestled, sang and conducted the chapel choir”. (achievement.org H Norman Schwarzkopf)

A Teacher’s Lesson Lasts A Lifetime:

While at West Point, Norman Schwarzkopf, Jr’s football team was taught by Assistant Coach Vince Lombardi his ’49’ “Lombardi Sweep”. This play would later become a staple in the Green Bay Packers dominance in the NFL under Lombardi’s leadership.

Lombardi Sweep: His ’49’:

Years later the eager, young Schwarzkopf was now General Schwarzkopf. He was 6’3″, and 240 pounds with a gruff and direct communication style, and he had a fearsome temper.

This temper and a hate for losing helped him lead his troops to victory during Operation Desert Storm in 1991. “He spoke French and German to coalition partners, showed awareness of Arab sensitivities and served as Gen. Colin Powell’s operative man on the ground.” (Gen. Norman Schwarzkopf-ABC News)

General Norman Schwarzkopf, Jr would remember and use his own version of the “49 Lombardi Sweep” during Operation Desert Storm in 1991. This football play from his younger years helped play a crucial part in the United States Coalition victory of Desert Storm.

Ron Kramer, a former Green Bay Packer, All-American football player under Coach Vince Lombardi “was watching the news about Operation Desert Storm when he noticed General Norman Schwarzkopf detailing an assault by his forces into Iraq, using arrows and diagrams to illustrate the maneuvers.”

Kramer had played tight end for Green Bay from 1957 to 1964, squinted at his television screen. “He remembered that play. He had seen those arrows before!” Kramer recalls shouting at the television screen.

“I wrote a letter to General Schwarzkopf. I sent ’49’ to him and told him he had plagiarized Vince. He was at Army when Vince was there.”

General Schwarzkopf wrote back to Ron Kramer that “he had played football at West Point” and shared “his memories of the famous coach.” Related: Lombardi Sweep

Taking Action:

Schwarzkopf’s first assignment was “as executive officer of the 2nd Airborne Battle Group of the 187th Airborne Infantry Regiment at Fort Campbell, Kentucky”. Then he went to work “with the 101st Airborne, and with the 6th Infantry in West Germany.” In 1960 and 1961, “he was aide-de-camp to the Berlin Command.” It was a critical period “in the history of that divided city.” (achievement.org H Norman Schwarzkopf)

Earning Engineering Master’s:

Returning to the United States, Norman Schwarzkopf, Jr. earned his master’s at the University of Southern California in mechanical engineering.

Teaching Engineering at West Point:

Schwarzkopf returned to West Point in 1965 to teach engineering. Many of Norman’s classmates had gone to “Vietnam as advisors to the South Vietnamese army.” In 1965, Norman Schwarzkopf, Jr. applied to join them.

Captain Schwarzkopf, Jr. worked as an advisor to the South Vietnamese Airborne Division and was promoted to major.

Returned to Teaching at West Point:

Schwarzkopf after completing “his tour of duty in Vietnam” returned to teaching at West Point.

Lieutenant Colonel & Marriage:

Major Schwarzkopf was promoted to lieutenant colonel in 1968 and married Brenda Holsinger. They later had three children.

At Leavenworth, Kansas, Schwarzkopf continued his training at “the Command and General Staff College”.

Colonel Schwarzkopf “as U.S. casualties in Vietnam mounted, became convinced it was his duty to apply his training and experience there, where they might save the most lives.” (achievement.org H Norman Schwarzkopf)

Returning to Vietnam in 1969:

Colonel Schwarzkopf returned as a battalion commander to Vietnam.

Doing the right thing ethically: Courage under fire: Vietnam:

During the Vietnam War on May 28, 1970, when General Schwarzkopf was a Lieutenant Colonel, he “ordered his helicopter down to rescue his troops who had wandered into a minefield.

Some were airlifted out, but he stayed behind with his troops. A soldier tripped a mine, shattering his leg and wounding the colonel, who crawled atop the thrashing victim to stop him from setting off more mines. Three other troopers were killed by an exploding mine, but the colonel led the survivors to safety.

Lieutenant Colonel Schwarzkopf was willing to risk his life for his men.” (Robert McFadden’s New York Times article)

Barbara Walters was interviewing General Norman Schwarzkopf and asked him to define leadership.

General Schwarzkopf said, “It’s competence, more importantly, it’s character. It’s taking action. It’s doing the right (ethical)thing.”

In the business world these are the same four qualities needed for success.

Barbara Walters asked General Schwarzkopf “What do you want on your tombstone?”

General Schwarzkopf said, “I want it to say, ‘He loved his family and he loved his troops-and they loved him.”

If you were asked, “What do you want on your tombstone? What would you say?

Zig Ziglar, motivational expert, says, “Compassion, love, and sympathy are very definitely part of the success formula. Having the ability to walk in the shoes of another is of paramount importance. When you truly know how the other person feels, you can communicate with him or her more easily and lead more effectively.” General Schwarzkopf knew this!

General H. Norman Schwarzkopf said, “There’s nothing wrong with being afraid. And true courage is not not being afraid. True courage is being afraid, and going ahead and doing your job anyhow, that’s what courage is.”

What are the five leadership qualities General Schwarzkopf identified, exemplified, and taught for success?

1) Competence,

2) Character,

3) Taking Action,

4) Doing the right thing at all times (ethically) and having

5) Courage.

By developing these five leadership qualities of General Norman Schwarzkopf you too will become an exemplary leader!


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


 “Recreational Music Program Strikes A Positive Chord At Behavioral Hospital”(April 15, 2018) by Ken Khedler from Longview News-Journal. The staff said, “Incorporating music into treatment for people with depression, bipolar disorder, schizophrenia and other forms of mental illness and addictions helps to calm them and brings smile to their faces, staff at Magnolia Behavioral Hospital of East Texas in Longview said. Some of the patients at the 76-bed hospital sing along,” play “the guitar and write about the experience in their diaries.”



“Kids Who Learn An Instrument Have Improved Cognitive Skills” (March 30, 2018) by Chrissy Sexton from Earth.comnews.

Dutch scientists in a new study have “revealed that learning how to play an instrument enhances cognitive abilities in children and improves academic performance. Planning and inhibition, vocabulary, and memory were all found to be boosted by structured music lessons.”

Dr. Jaschke, lead author VU University of Amsterdam 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. This suggests that the cognitive skills developed during music lessons can influence children’s cognitive abilities in completely unrelated subjects, leading to overall improved academic performance. Even though not everybody is a professional musician in the beginning, practicing an instrument and the discipline it takes can increase brain function.”


“Music: A perfect Tranquilizer! (April 17, 2018) from the Business Standard.

At “UNESP Marília they began studying the effects of music on the heart in conditions of stress. One of their findings was that classical music tends to lower heart rate.” The principal investigator said, “We’ve observed classical music activating the parasympathetic nervous system and reducing sympathetic activity.”  Valenti said, “We found that the effect of anti-hypertension medication on heart rate was enhanced by listening to music.”



“Listen to Mozart when taking high blood pressure pills: Classical music enhances the effects of the medication for an hour, study finds”(April 17, 2018) by Alexandra Thompson Health Reporter for Dailymail.com.

“Listening to classical music for one hour significantly slow people’s heart rates.

Research suggests such melodies activate the parasympathetic nervous system”

slowing “people’s heart rates”, lowering blood pressure and stabilizing adrenaline.

“Classical music “activates the vagus nerve, in the nervous system.” In the UK one in four adults is affected by high blood pressure.




“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 4thof July 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.