Dr. Thomas Südhof, Nobel Prize winner, Medical Doctor, Researcher & Musician: Madeline’s Monthly Musical Tips Blog/Article for February 2020

Our blog and Radio Show celebrates the life and work of Dr. Thomas Südhof, Noble Prize winner, Medical Doctor, Researcher, Professor, and Musician. The article of the month is “Make A Fantastic First Impression” by Madeline Frank, Ph.D.  Included are two articles on the power of classical music for healing.

Radio Show Feature Question for February 2020: How does Classical Music play a part of Dr. Thomas Südhof’s life as a Nobel Prize winner, Medical Doctor, researcher, professor, and musician and what musical instrument does he play?


Thomas C. Südhof Early years and studying the bassoon:

Thomas C. Südhof was born in Göttingen, Germany on Dec. 22, 1955. He was the second of four children and his parents were physicians. He was “fascinated by classical music” and for a short time studied the violin. He says, “I decided to learn to play bassoon, which I pursued with a vengeance motivated by a wonderful teacher (Herbert Tauscher) who was the solo-bassoonist at the local opera house, and who probably taught me more about life than most of my other teachers. I credit my musical education with my dual appreciation for discipline and hard work on the one hand, and for creativity on the other. I think trying to be marginally successful in learning how to be a musician taught me how to be a scientist: there is no creativity if one does not master the subject and pay exquisite attention to the details, but there is also no creativity if one cannot transcend the details and the common interpretation of such details, and use one’s mastery of the subject like an instrument to develop new ideas.” He also “played in the State Youth Orchestra and traveled with the group throughout Europe.”

Thomas says, “My father was a successful doctor who managed an entire hospital district and wrote countless books on general internal medicine; he worked very hard, and was continuously frustrated by what he felt were the inadequacies of the medical care system and the academic world. My father died of a heart attack, brought about by inattention to his health.”

During high school Thomas “became addicted to regular exercise.”

Thomas C. Südhof graduated in 1975 from the “Hannover Waldorf School.”

Medical Doctor and Doctoral Degrees: In 1982, Thomas Südhof earned his M.D. and doctoral degrees from the University of Göttingen.

Doctoral Thesis and Post-Doctoral Fellow: Dr. Thomas C. Südhof “performed his doctoral thesis work at the Max-Planck-Institute in Göttingen with Prof. Victor P. Whittaker.”

1983-1986: “Dr. Südhof trained as a postdoctoral fellow with Drs. Mike Brown and Joe Goldstein at University of Texas Southwestern in Dallas, TX.”

Dr. Südhof since 1986 “has been an Investigator of the Howard Hughes Medical Institute.”

Assistant Professor at UT Southwestern (Dallas) from 1986- 2008:

In 1986, Dr. Südhof became an assistant professor at UT Southwestern and began his own laboratory switching “from cholesterol metabolism to neuroscience, and to pursue a molecular characterization of synaptic transmission. His work initially focused on the mechanism of neurotransmitter release which is the first step in synaptic transmission, and whose molecular basis was completely unknown in 1986. Later Dr. Südhof’s work turned to the analysis of synapse formation and specification, processes that mediate the initial assembly of synapses, regulate their maintenance and elimination, and determine their properties.”

Dr. Südhof while at UT Southwestern in Dallas “was the founding chair of the Department of Neuroscience.”

Moving to Stanford University in 2008: Dr. Südhof “became the Avram Goldstein Professor in the School of Medicine at Stanford University.”


2013 Noble Prize: There are “billions of neurons in your brain and peripheral nervous system. Dr. Thomas Südhof of Stanford University, has been at the center of unlocking the secrets of neurotransmission. His work over the last 30 years has elucidated much of what we know about the molecular mechanisms of neurotransmission in synaptic signaling. For this body of work, Südhof shared in the 2013 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine and the 2013 Albert Lasker Basic Medical Research Award.”


Family: Dr. Thomas Südhof: “I feel indebted beyond words to my family, my wife Lu Chen and my children Saskia, Alexander, Leanna, Sören, Roland, and Moritz, without whom I would be barren and rudderless, and who have been more considerate of me than I deserve, and finally to my ex-wife Annette Südhof who greatly supported me in earlier stages of my life, and to my brothers Markus and Donat Südhof and my sister Gudrun Südhof-Müller whom I appreciate more the older I get.”

When Dr.Südhof was asked, “Who was your most influential teacher, and why?”

Dr. Südhof: “My bassoon teacher, Herbert Tauscher, who taught me that the only way to do something right is to practice and listen and practice and listen, hours, and hours, and hours.”


Dr. Thomas Südhof is a Nobel Prize winner, Medical Doctor, researcher, professor, husband, father, and musician. He continues his research to look for more discoveries to help mankind.

Make A Fantastic First Impression by Madeline Frank, Ph.D.

When is the last time you consciously set out to make a fantastic first impression? We often think of first impressions as something we deploy for job interviews and first dates, however, your road to excellence and success (no matter how you define success) is paved with the conscious efforts of making a series of great impressions.

Recently, I was invited to speak to one of the largest and top performing real estate companies in Virginia. The audience was a mixture of seasoned pros and eager new representatives.

One exercise I frequently do with most audiences is I ask them to imagine they are about to perform at Carnegie Hall in New York City. They are some of the top musicians in the world, and are about to perform a symphony to a sold-out audience.

What do you think would happen if they took the stage wearing workout clothes instead of formal wear? Would that affect the audience’s perception of them?

For tonight’s performance, we are summoning the legendary Frank Sinatra. I have had the honor of personally playing with Frank Sinatra, and one element that the entire orchestra agreed upon was that he intentionally set out to make a staggeringly awesome first impression.

Frank Sinatra walked out on stage with a big smile on his face, standing tall and fit, wearing a black tuxedo that fit him to perfection. He made eye contact with his audience, making them feel as if he were singing to them in his living room and they were honored guests. The audience were mesmerized by Sinatra.

One success example that everyone could use in their world today is to simply smile and dress in clothes that fit you. Also, stand or sit tall, don’t slouch.

Tap into your Internal “Wow”

I asked my audience to imagine that they had just sold a half million-dollar property. (and earned a nice commission since they are Realtors).

Every one of them stood with their shoulders back, they made direct eye contact, and they spoke with clear enthusiasm.

The way you carry yourself creates a picture in people’s mind. Your prospects don’t know if you have sold everything you’ve touched in the past 72 hours or if you feel like you couldn’t close a ziplock bag at this moment… other than the way you present yourself.

Takeaway from this example: Practice carrying yourself in a confident manner.

Becoming a conscious complimentor. 

One of the best illustrations of the power of compliments came from Dr. George W. Crane’s psychology class at Northwestern University. Dr. Crane believed in the application of his teachings, not just in the memorization of his lessons.

He created the Compliment Club. Every day his students were to pay an honest compliment to each of three different persons… for 30 consecutive days. He also had the students journal the experiences.

Dr. Crane required the students write a theme paper about their experiences. He wanted them to note the changes they noted in the people around them, as well as how this experience altered their own outlook.

The students realized that by consciously complimenting others, they were motivated, encouraged, and inspired as well. Dr. Crane believed that appreciative words are the most powerful force for good on earth.

Everyone in life needs positive encouragement to help them grow, inspire and motivate them to succeed.

Take away: compliment 3 people every day for the next week and notice how your life improves.

You will also notice that the more you compliment, the better you will connect with others.

Everyone loves to talk about themselves. Asking the right questions of the people you encounter on a daily basis will deepen your relationship with them and will also help uncover a few “undercover customers”.

No matter what your job, maintain a positive attitude, think taller, dress well, compliment someone every day, and journal what happens each day!

Training yourself to give honest compliments to others is a fabulous door opener for your success. By talking to people, you otherwise would not talk to, you will be expanding your circle and building new and stronger relationships. © 2020 Madeline Frank

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


“Mozart Combined with Medication Alleviates pain and Seizures, Research Say” (April 7, 2019) by Cara MacDonald, KSL.com. Salt Lake City: University of Utah

“There is emerging evidence that music interventions can alleviate pain when administered either alone or in combination with other therapies. I was particularly excited to see reduced swelling in the inflammatory pain model.” Cameron S. Metcalf, Ph.D.”




 “The influence of music on the surgical task performance: A systematic review” (January 2020) by Michael T. Kemp, Hasan B. Alam from the International Journal of Surgery. “Classic music when played with a low to medium volume can improve the surgical task performance by increasing both accuracy and speed.”



“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 Valentine’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) 2020 Madeline Frank.