Our Radio Show and blog celebrates the life of Dr. Ronald Price, professor, researcher, and musician. The new school year is fast approaching. Our last school year as teachers, we became more creative, imaginative, and diligent about teaching our virtual classes during this Pandemic. Also, some parents were homeschooling their children to maintain a learning environment.
As we prepare to approach this new school year, some school districts are continuing with on line classes. Other school districts are arranging for half the students to come on certain days and the other half on alternate days for their classes. Students and teachers will be wearing face masks. With social distancing your mannerisms and your voice should be open, positive, and encouraging. Smile with your eyes! This is a new opportunity for growth for all of us!
Included is an article on how studying musical instruments improves scholastic achievement. Our article of the month is “Planting Seeds of Greatness with the Power of Words” by Madeline Frank, Ph.D.
Radio Show Feature Question for August 2020: How did Classical music play a part of Dr. Ronald Price’s life as a professor, researcher, and musician and what musical instruments did he play?
Dr. Ronald Price “studied the French horn at Northern Illinois University (NIU)” and later earned “his master’s and doctoral degrees in music and special education”. He was Professor of Music at Ohio State University and at Northern Illinois University in DeKalb.
Ronald in his mid-twenties was a promising French Horn player and teacher “when he was struck with the onset of a degenerative Parkinsonian condition” (Campbell, 1992, p.79). He had to stop playing his instrument as he no longer had control of his motor functions. “Doctors confirmed at this time the presence of cerebral palsy.” (p.79).
One day, Price was playing with a harp and discovered “that pulling on the strings for several hours, his symptoms began to disappear.” (p.79)
Ronald Price said, “he could sit down while playing it. He could strum it with the hand that held only limp fingers and pluck it with the fingers of the hand that still worked well. He could rest it on his right shoulder. That’s when, he says, a miracle happened. After plucking at the harp for several hours, his symptoms began to disappear. His motor skills came back even sharper. For brief periods his nervous system would return to normal.”
Price decided to study the harp and become a professional harpist earning a Ph.D. in special education. He played for three to four hours a day, lead a full active life and was relatively free of symptoms. However, his symptoms return if “he did not play the harp for three or more days (p.80).”
Research: Dr. Price said, “I had a theory that there was a musical way to get through to children who were autistic, arsonists, abandoned, suicidal, and hostile young boys. I thought the harp, because it was less mechanical than the piano, would work for them. We had boys who lit fires, attacked teachers with knives; we had students who did poorly in school, and I believed it was because of their inner turmoil.”
Harps were “provided by the Lyon-Healy Harp Co. of Chicago”.
Dr. Price began teaching these children to play the harp.
He says, “The harp’s sound is very fascinating. Listening to a beginning clarinetist or violinist can upset your sanity. But a beginning harpist can create a beautiful sound very quickly.”
“Within months, Price’s study gained national attention. His student harpists were asked to play before a national convention of the American Psychological Association.”
Dr. Price: “They played so well that when they finished, the audience sat in silent awe for a few moments, then exploded in applause and came up on the stage. One boy cried for the first time in his life and said, `I did well.’
Dr. Price: “These were kids who were never cooperative, were unteachable, were anti-social. Yet, after learning and playing the harp their grades started zooming, they made friends, they cooperated in the classroom. They became outstanding youngsters.”
In 1981, Northern Illinois University “offered Price the chairmanship of the music department at the university’s Lab Schools. The university had two lab schools: one for average or gifted children and one for children with physical, hearing, visual or learning disabilities and behavioral disorders.”
Dr. Price “with Liz Cifani “founded Healing Harps, a group of about 100 musicians-all of whom had severe disabilities before taking up the instrument. All are now free of their disabilities as long as they play the harp, even a few minutes each day. And their stories are as remarkable as Price’s.”
Healing Harp Members Stories:
“Angie M. was 23 when she joined the ensemble in 1988. Born prematurely, her left arm and leg were badly affected by cerebral palsy. Childhood surgery and physical therapy helped increase the function of her left leg, but she was never able to extend her left arm away from her body, to turn her left hand over, or to use the fingers of her left hand. After nine months with Healing Harps, however, Angie was able to move her left arm away from her body. She could turn her left hand. And her fingers, which had simply dangled from her left hand since birth, began to move. After less than a year, Angie had developed good mobility of her left arm and independent dexterity of her fingers that produced a strong, well-centered sound from the harp. Her improvement was beyond all hopes of her doctors. They now use the term “miracle” when they see her.”
“The executive who had two brain surgeries to remove tumors. They were successful, but a third brain tumor appeared and was declared inoperable. This multilingual international executive became unemployable. She studied the harp with Price and in less than a year her tumor disappeared. Today she still plays the harp and is a library director in Pennsylvania.”
Richard Keefer, 80-year-old, retired professor of foreign languages at NIU says, “When I was growing up, Ernest Hemingway lived a half-block away (in Oak Park). His younger sister played the harp, and I would just love to listen to that music on summer nights.” Keefer says, “playing the harp helped him back on his feet and active again after hip surgery. “I practice every night now,” he says. “It’s just thrilling to get in there and participate.”
“Healing Harps now based in New Mexico, brought harpists into hospitals, clinics, hospices, and churches. Ron Price conducted several medical and research studies including a study with Sue Huhta that showed an improvement of reading skills by fourth and fifth grade students when they learned to play the harp. Ron and his wife, Carol, developed a certification program for Professional Service Musicians that was specific to the harp.”
Playing the Harp on Monster Days: “Ron and Carol Price were famous for organizing “Monster Days” where harpists of all levels, many of whom suffered from neurological ailments, would gather to play together. The power of music was obvious to all who attended. Ron suffered from many health ailments himself, and so doing good helped him see beyond his own self-pity.”
Just Folk Quartet: “Ron performed on the harp for years with the quartet Just Folk. Joined by his wife, Carol, on the hammered dulcimer, his daughter, Jennifer, on violin, and Wally Koch on the bass, they explored the healing power of music, often performing in places where people are challenged by illness and pain. Their recording, Spirit Within, continues to be used by many for pain management and stress reduction.” https://harpcolumn.com/blog/dr-ron-d-price-1940-2013/
“Healing Harps members performed at the Minneapolis Children’s Hospital. Recalls Price: “We played in a neo-natal unit and the monitors-which had been very actively beeping-became calm. And one that works. We have people who society said would never go to college getting baccalaureate and college degrees, maintaining jobs, leading independent lives. We feel this is extremely important work. If you come to us with M.S., if we can, we’ll give you an instrument, we’ll teach you. But we want you to focus on two things: music and people. We don’t guarantee anything.”
Dr. Ronald Price was a spiritual man, who devoted his life to teaching and helping others. He was a professor, researcher, husband, father, and friend who encouraged and inspired others to heal and learn by playing the harp. © 2020 Madeline Frank
Planting Seeds of Greatness with the Power of Words by Madeline Frank, Ph.D.
Babies begin life with a blank page of endless opportunities. We should all be selective about the words we write in the book of a child’s life. Will we write words of encouragement, love, and compassion; or will we plaster the pages with hate, limitation, and resentment?
Have you ever heard someone announce loudly my child is a terrible two-year-old?
Zig Ziglar, motivational speaker and author says, “instead of saying the “terrible twos” say they are the terrific twos, the tremendous threes, the fantastic fours, the fabulous fives, the super sixes, the sensational sevens. And guess where his or her self-image is because we believe that? That’s right, he or she will have a healthy self-image because that input has been enforced and reinforced.”
Words have power! Always start by saying something positive to yourself and others.
How can you do this?
- Take a second to Stop and Think before you speak.
- Say something positive and motivating.
- Tell them you care about them, believe in them, and love them.
Choose your words wisely.
If the President of the company you work for came over and complimented you with a smile on his or her face said, “If you keep working like this you’ll be President of the Company one day!”
Would you be encouraged and inspired to work harder for your boss, the President of your company?
Of course, you would!
Positive words of recognition, inspiration, and encouragement make better employees!
Jim Sundberg played for the Texas Rangers and later for the world champion Kansas City Royals as a catcher. As a child in Fresno, California his father would watch him play baseball and said to him, “One of these days, you’re going to grow up and be a Major League ballplayer.”
Jim said, “My Dad planted in my mind what I would be in the future.” He planted words of belief , hope, and care!
His father planted the seed in his mind when he was a child!
Jim Sundberg and Bill Glass, all American football player and NFL star were leading a prison ministry in one of the prisons. During a break, Jim said to Bill, “You know, I’m so glad I didn’t grow up and disappoint my dad.” Nearby a prisoner was standing close to them and said, “Well, you know what? I really didn’t grow up and disappoint my dad. I’m exactly where he said I was going to be.”
When Jim Sundberg was a child his father planted the seed in his mind that he would be a great ball player!
The prisoner’s father when he was a child planted in his mind what he would become.
Your words have power. Choose them carefully!
How can you choose your words wisely?
- Take a second and stop and think carefully before you speak!
- Say something positive and motivating.
- Tell them you care about them and love them.
Plant good seeds of hope and positive encouraging words!
Thomas Edison at 7 was a poor student in school and the teacher called him “addled”. (Scrambled) His mother was a trained teacher and decided to remove him from the school to teach him at home. Mrs. Edison changed the picture of how Thomas saw himself!
Thomas Edison many years later said, “My mother was the making of me. She was so true, so sure of me, and I felt I had someone to live for, someone I must not disappoint.”
Plant positive words (seeds) of success in your children, in your students, in your family members, and your employees and they will work harder and happier for you!
A positive word of encouragement can help change anyone’s destiny.””
Choose your words “wisely”.
My favorite saying is “every student is a gem in the raw.” Start with that thought and work with your students. Believe that each of your students, on the first day of school, wants to learn your course and desires to learn.
As a teacher my greatest joy is to see a student realize their potential and work towards their goal. One day, I received a call from a mother of a high school student. She said, “My husband’s employer recommended you as a violin teacher for my son. I would prefer a man to teach him, but will give you a try. My son is lazy and stupid.”
I replied, “Please do not talk that way about your son in front of him or to others.”
I agreed to teach her son, if she would say “only encouraging words” to him.
At our first violin lesson a young man with multi colored hair, an earring, and strange looking clothes walked into the room. His head was down and he looked unhappy.
We began to work on scales, his solo piece, and the orchestra audition materials for the state orchestra auditions. He was a remarkably talented young violinist and I told him so during our first lesson and all the lessons that followed. My honest sincere words to him inspired and motivated him to do his best work.
At his next violin lesson, a completely different young man eagerly walked up to my classroom. He had his head up, he wore a smile, and was neatly dressed. Because I was investing in him and his potential, he began to take pride in himself and his work. Each week I saw a transformation in him.
It was our fifth week of lessons, our final lesson before the state orchestra auditions. I told him how beautiful his playing was and what a good job he would do on the audition. Preparation makes all the difference! “The honest sincere words that I spoke to him made him blossom like a flower.”
A few days after the audition he called and said with great pride and a smile in his voice , “I am the Concertmaster of the orchestra. I won first place out of over 40 people trying out.”
I congratulated him and told him how proud of him I was and that I knew he would win because of his” hard work and determination”. His Mother called and said, “Even though you are a woman, you did a good job with him!”
This young man’s picture of himself had changed. Because of the positive inspiring words of encouragement, I gave him each week, and his hard work he began to believe in his abilities! He graduated high school at the top of his class and went on to college.
The picture of how you see yourself is so important!
Words have power.
Many years ago, I received a call from a mother with a 6-year-old boy who was failing out of first grade. She said he is “lazy and stupid”. I immediately asked her to not say that to him ever again. She should say “positive encouraging things” to him!
She brought him over with the violin she had rented and I smiled at him and showed him how to hold the violin and bow, how to read the musical notes on the score, and where to put his fingers on the violin to play his first piece of music. Each step of the way I told him what a good job he was doing. I told him what a smart intelligent young man he was.
I asked his Mom what usually happens after school. She said, “he plays video games and watches TV.”
I said, “Have him practice his violin for twenty minutes after school and then to have him do his homework for school with Mozart Symphonies played softly in the background.
After his work is complete he can for 20 minutes play a video game or watch TV.
Each week he gained confidence in himself as he practiced his violin each day, took violin lessons, and improved in doing his school work. He began bringing in his spelling words for his tests to his violin lesson to go over the most difficult one or two words on his list. We would incorporate them into his violin lesson. Each week I would tell him how well he was playing and his smile lit up the room. After three months his Mom said he is becoming a wonderful student! After a year he was the most positive, motivated, handsome and happy young fellow looking forward to second grade.
What 3 things can you do to say positive words to others?
1) Take a second to Stop and Think before you speak.
2) Say something positive and motivating.
3) Tell them you care about them and love them.
The picture of how you see yourself is so important!
Words have power. Think before you say something to another person. Make sure the words you speak to others make them feel appreciated and valued.
Always say something positive and uplifting to others.
Words of praise last a life time and so do negative words.
Which words would motivate you to work harder?
Positive encouraging words!
Step back before you speak and choose your words carefully!
Choose words that are Positive and motivating! Show respect and love!
If you need a virtual speaker contact Madeline at: firstname.lastname@example.org
Preparing for Your First Day of School:
Drs. Harry & Rosemary Wong’s “First Day Of School Scripts”:
“Middle School Script”:
“High School Script”:
Dr. Harry Wong says, “The very first day, the very first minute, the very first second of school, teachers should begin to structure and organize their classrooms, to establish procedures and routines.”
Dr. Rosemary Wong was asked to “give an example of what you mean by procedures?” She responded, “if you could close your eyes and say to yourself, “This is something I’d like to have happen in my classroom,”…. then you need to come up with a procedure for it. ..You need to teach the procedure, and there are three basic steps to doing that. The first is to explain it. The second step is rehearsing it, physically going through the procedure and making corrections as needed. And the third is reinforcing it, which you can do by acknowledging that the procedure is being carried out correctly.” Remember to teach all “three steps”.
The Wong’s said, “Classroom procedures should cover every second of the school day including what students are to do as they enter the classroom, how they are to be dismissed, and how they are to label and turn in their homework.”
Drs. Harry and Rosemary Wong said they “start by greeting your students at the classroom door each day. Choose one of the “three H’s” every morning: a handshake, high-five or hug.” Have “bell work” or short assignments posted on the board prior to the start of each day. Bell work, even if it’s something simple as silent reading gets students into work mode right away. Posting a daily agenda every day in the same place every day, eliminating questions.”
What procedure do the Wong’s use to quiet their classes?
In their book the technique is called ‘Give Me Five’. “1) Eyes on Speaker, 2) Quiet, 3) Be still, 4) Hands free, 5) Listen. In five seconds, the class is quiet.”
Dr. Frank’s, “10 Creative Ways to Inspire Students & Curb Teachers Burn Out!”
- 1) Effective teachers and administrators agree to have“an assignment on the board” for students to start on the second they walk into the new classroom.
“A well-planned lesson eliminates 90% of discipline problems.”–
“Before your first day of school have your “First Day of School Script” ready with the “Procedures” you will use for your class and implement them by rehearsing your class until all the students know your procedures and understand them.
*For example: What is your procedure for students having a cell phone in class? -In your “Procedures” include Mrs. Hamilton’s definition of “Character”. “Character is knowing the right thing to do, doing the right thing even when no one is watching, and taking the consequences for what you do. The first step to develop character from the First Day of School is to teach that definition, and challenge students to build walls of character around themselves in the weeks ahead.”
- Remember to decide your procedures and teach them to your class on the first day of school.Harry K. Wong and Dr. Rosemary Wong’s book “The First Days of School: How to be an Effective Teacher” is a must read for all teachers’.
Have your smile in place, your student’s seat assignments ready during social distancing , and your first assignment on the board for the students to get started immediately after sitting down and have your classical music , Mozart Symphony or string music by Baroque composer J. S. Bach (slow movement with strings) on in the background of your classroom.
School starts the first minute the students enter for the new school year. Be prepared! Start preparing and rehearsing this summer. Remember students need to feel safe and secure! They need procedures.
2) Before the first day of school decide how you are to dress for success in bright colors to get your students attention. Remember first impressions are the most important.
3) Do you remember the middle school and high school Chemistry and Math teachers playing Classical Mozart Symphonies in the background of their classes and how much better behaved and smarter the students became? Well you can do this too! Put on your Classical music and help your students get smarter, work faster, and calmer.
4) Don’t just lecture tell a story. Make the material visual. Be creative by becoming a teaching artist! Example: Dr. Madeline Frank’s “Musical Notes On Math”, teaching fractions and decimals to children in K-5 through the rhythm of music, Winner of the Parent-to-Parent Adding Wisdom Award newly updated kindle edition https://www.madelinefrankviola.com/musical-notes-on-math
5) Make your course come alive. Make it fun to learn. Remember that Alicia Keys and Dr. Condoleezza Rice both studied the piano learning Classical music and skipping grades in high school. They were both at the top of their high school classes all through school because they played Classical music every day. Playing Classical music made them smarter! Dr. Albert Einstein was able to win his Noble Peace Prize and make his scientific discoveries by playing Classical music on his violin or piano every day. Dr. Judith Resnik astronaut and electrical engineer made perfect scores on her SAT’s through playing her Classical piano music every day for one hour. Louis Armstrong learned Classical music on his cornet at age 13 and his life was changed forever! Your students can be smarter too by playing Classical music every day!
6) Involve your students in your course by posing a problem and helping them solve it! Make them into detectives. (Sherlock Holmes and his side kick Dr. Watson) Help your students work cooperatively. (In a musical String Quartet, members work together cooperatively with set goals and without violence.) Put on your Classical music to help your students concentrate better. Mark Reimer & Mrs. Adlyn Reimer said to “Set the tone from the beginning—your class/rehearsal style is fun, informative, and fast moving, and everyone there is important to you.”
7) Help your students gain self-esteem and self-worth by showing them kindness & patience.
8) Romayne Leader Frank, Mother, friend, Family Advocate, teacher, & Lawyer, always said, “Every child has one gift.” Find that gift and accentuate it!
9) Dr. Frank’s favorite saying is “every student is a gem in the raw.” Start with that thought and work with your students. Believe that each of your students, on the first day of school, wants to learn your course and desires to learn.
10) Does anyone here like to work? No, then make it fun to learn. Put on your Classical music or Baroque music string music! © 2020 Madeline Frank
Remember on your First Day To:
Have your Classical music/ Mozart Symphonies on your CD or iPod before your students enter your class to improve their concentration, for them to stay focused, relaxed, work faster, and remember more. On your first day of school have your “First Day of School Script” ready and rehearsed. “Have your “bell work” or short assignments posted on the board prior to the start of each day and post a daily agenda every day in the same place.” Be prepared! Have a smile on your face and put your best foot forward!
Students: Classical music has the power to organize the brain while listening to it as background music while you are doing your homework, to help you relax after a hard day of work or while doing exercises. Begin listening or playing your musical instrument for 30 minutes at a time. It helps because of its highly developed mathematics, complex rhythm, and therefore exercises the brain as physical exercise exercises the body.
Mrs. I, a fourth-grade teacher, lists below how she used Dr. Frank’s creative tips from “The Teacher’s 11 Secrets to Success” and “10 Secrets to Stop Students Boredom, Inspire Them & Make Them Smarter” during her August-December public school classes.”
1) Mrs. I began preparing for her new students, a month before the semester began, by studying their files, to more effectively deal with their problems.
2) On the very first day of school, students were informed about procedures and practiced them.
3) Mrs. I dressed appropriately and at times dressed to reflect the theme of the lesson or story.
4) Mrs. I prepared daily so that time was spent on learning activities and not preparation during school time.
5) She encourages her students to do well and gives examples that students can relate to of why it is important to do well and stay in school.
6) Students know that Mrs. I take’s an interest in them and tries to see the good in each student and looks for positive things to say about her students.
7) Classical music is played. This helps students quiet down, stay calm, and focus more on their work with fewer distractions. They really enjoy the Classical music and ask for it.
8) Students are spoken to in private, concerning behavioral issues and are not embarrassed in front of other students.
9) Cooperative learning groups and differentiation are used in the classroom. Students get to be a part of completing tasks successfully as a group in a fun but challenging atmosphere.
10) Articulation, inflection, and timing are encouraged when reading and when learning key phrases and clues.
Mrs. I says, “That by using Dr. Frank’s tips, a classroom environment is created where students want to come to school. They enjoy learning, and every child finds a measure of success.”
“Music Students Score Better in Math, Science, English Than Nonmusical Peers” (June 24, 2019) by Martin Guhn, PhD, Scott D. Emerson, MSc, and Peter Gouzouasis, PhD, The University of British Columbia. Journal of Educational Psychology
“Of the more than 112,000 student records studied, approximately 13% of the students had participated in at least one music course in grade 10, 11 or 12. Qualifying music courses included concert band, conservatory piano, orchestra, jazz band, concert choir and vocal jazz.”
Peter Gouzouasis,Ph.D., Martin Guhn, PhD and Scott Emerson, MSc. , “Students who participated in music, who had higher achievement in music, and who were highly engaged in music had higher exam scores across all subjects, while these associations were more pronounced for those who took instrumental music rather than vocal music.”
“On average, the children who learned to play a musical instrument for many years, and were now playing in high school band and orchestra, were the equivalent of about one academic year ahead of their peers with regard to their English, mathematics and science skills, as measured by their exam grades.”
Gouzouasis , “Learning to play a musical instrument and playing in an ensemble is very demanding. A student has to learn to read music notation, develop eye-hand-mind coordination, develop keen listening skills, develop team skills for playing in an ensemble and develop discipline to practice. All those learning experiences play a role in enhancing children’s cognitive capacities and their self-efficacy. We think that the effects we see are partly a result of the fact that children engaging in school music over many years mostly receive quality music instruction and need to master the high expectations of performing at a high school band or orchestra level. In fact, it is that high levels of music engagement for which we saw the strongest effects.”
“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)
Wishing you and your family a happy August 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.