We want to wish all of our readers a Happy and Healthy New Year! Remember to start your New Year right by listening to Classical music which has the power to make you smarter, help you work faster with more accuracy, improves health and healing, grows healthier plants in fewer days, increases sales in stores, and can prevent crime. If school cafeterias and school buses played Classical Music, the students would be calmer and more focused without violent tendencies. Many of the world’s scientists, medical doctors, teachers, authors and mathematicians have studied and played musical instruments since they were children. These eminent individuals have integrated music into their thinking process. Music is a powerful tool for motivating, inspiring, educating and soothing pain. This January article will share with you the stories of how music is helping Congresswoman Gabby Giffords to speak once again, Forest Crocker recover from his stroke and how medical doctors are playing in an orchestra to raise money for Cancer patients. Our Radio Show interview is with Dr. Samuel Wong, world renowned conductor and medical doctor who shares his passions for healing through music and medicine.
If anyone has an experience they would like to share with our readers on the benefits of classical music please send it and we will include it in the February 2012 newsletter.
January’s articles of the month: Begin this year by remembering to count your blessings and giving thanks to those that have helped you by reading the following two articles:
“Count Your Blessings”
“Is Simple Courtesy Dead?”
For other articles by Dr. Madeline Frank click on the following link:
Dr. Madeline Frank’s new book “Leadership on a Shoestring Budget” is now
available through amazon.com. Click on the following Amazon.com link to order your copy
of “Leadership On A Shoestring Budget”
Madeline’s Musical One Minute Radio Show for January 2012
“Dr. Samuel Wong how does Classical music play a part of your life as a medical doctor and conductor and what musical instruments do you play?
Question of the Month: Who is Dr. Samuel Wong?
Dr. Samuel Wong is a world renowned Conductor of the finest orchestras in the world including New York Philharmonic, Royal Philharmonic of London, Japan Philharmonic of Tokyo, Hong Kong Philharmonic and all the Canadian orchestras. A medical doctor specializing in ophthalmology, he is as an eye surgeon, a husband and father of two children, and the founder of “Global Music Healing Institute”. Dr. Wong’s passion for medicine and music has permeated his life.
Samuel Wong was born in Hong Kong April 1962 to John and Emily Wong. When he was 9 years old his family moved to Canada and became Canadian citizens. His parents played piano and sang during their early childhood. Samuel’s family loved music and he began playing the piano at 4 years of age and sang with a children’s choir and studied voice.
He played the piano and sang throughout elementary school, middle school, and high school from 9 to 18 years of age and always had parallel interests with a particular fascination of the relationship of mathematics and music (Pythagoras and scales).
Teachers who inspired Samuel Wong in high school:
His English teacher inspired and taught him to love Shakespeare. His math teacher introduced him to philosophy and Kundera and Kafka and his History teacher was a wonderful humanitarian.
Samuel Wong attended high school at Stephen Leacock in Toronto where he was the top student in his biology, chemistry, mathematics and physics classes. In the evenings, after his high school classes were over for the day, he attended the Royal Conservatory taking night classes and summer classes.
Samuel Wong graduated high school at the top of his class and graduated from the Royal Conservatory with a degree in piano performance in 1980. He then attended Harvard College studying applied mathematics, graduating magna cum laude in 1984.
Dr. Wong said “he chose Harvard Medical School because he loved science and wanted to use his gifts to heal. Throughout his studies, Dr. Wong remained actively involved in conducting youth orchestras and conservatory orchestras.”
Dr. Wong graduated medical school in 1988 and decided on ophthalmology as his specialty because he enjoyed the physics of sight and the ingenuity of binocular vision. Dr. Wong says, “When you look into the eye, you see a living nerve, you see an artery directly, and appreciate the effects of treatment firsthand. Nowhere else in the body can you do that. After an internship in internal medicine, his ophthalmology training began at New York’s Manhattan Eye, Ear and Throat Hospital. At the same time, he was director of the New York Youth Symphony. It was during one of the youth symphony’s performances at Carnegie Hall that Zubin Mehta, then music director of the New York Philharmonic, heard him conduct Stravinsky’s ‘Rite of Spring. He offered him the Philharmonic’s assistant conductor position on December 10, 1990.”
This was the beginning of Dr. Wong’s international conducting career.
Reviews on Dr. Wong conducting:
The Washington Post commented on his clarity, confidence and passion. From the Honolulu Advertiser: The Honolulu Symphony has risen to grand heights under the direction of popular maestro Wong. The Irish Times: In its Dublin debut under Wong, the Hong Kong Philharmonic made a strong impression. Wong conveyed the music’s exotic atmosphere with pointed character and brightly clashing colors.”
Dr. Wong met Dr. Truman, a pediatrician, on an airplane from Toronto where they were both visiting their mother’s. Dr. Truman was impressed with Dr. Wong’s communication with his daughter. Dr. Truman said, “The conversation was so mature and appropriate, clearly reflecting a high level of insight, sensitivity, and intelligence. I started talking to him and realized we had a lot in common. We both went to Harvard, are Canadian, and love music. Dr. Truman and Dr. Wong exchanged e-mails, letters, and met for lunch to discuss the possibility of Dr. Wong returning to medicine. On July 2005, Dr. Samuel Wong returned for a special fellowship in eye surgery to rejoin his former profession and to spend more time with his children in New York.
Dr. Wong is passionate about “Music and Healing” and wrote an article called “Musical Healing” for the Harvard Medical Alumni Bulletin. Dr. Wong goes to hospitals and Veterans Hospitals sharing his gifts of music with patients to help them heal. Dr. Wong says, “In a dark corner of veterans’ hospital lies a man, 67 years old, exiled from this world. He barely moves, eats little, does not speak, recognizes no one. His face, a stubbly mess, shows neither pleasure nor displeasure—just a constant indifference ever since a stroke devastated him ten years ago. An artery in his left brain had ruptured, spilling a river of blood in his head, drowning out reason and memories, clogging his once brilliant mind. His family left him long ago.”
Dr. Wong says, “His eyes stare at the fluorescent light above, an artificial brightness that never varies. Face to face with him, I start singing an old Anglican hymn, “Come down O love divine.” His face stirs with recognition, his eyes begin searching, his breath quickens, his right hand twitches. I sing another verse, and another. I now see his face wince, question, beg, protest. His breathing has become irregular, his face human. His mouth tenses in an effort to speak; warm tears soak his eyes. Every week I would sing to this man, and every week I would witness a remarkable awakening. He never spoke, but would join in the singing of hymns with his feeble, eggshell voice. It was as if after years of hibernation, he was starting to thaw, to move, to live again. Through this window of music, a ray of light seemed to shine from the outside world directly onto his soul.”
Music is a powerful force for healing. At the Beth Abraham Hospital in Bronx, N.Y “where Dr. Oliver Sacks, neurologist, founded the Institute for Music and Neurologic Function”, Dr. Samuel Wong leads several music sessions with patients having dementia, aphasic, multiple sclerosis and other neurological conditions. Dr. Wong says,” The Rules of the house: every- one must play or sing, no matter what instrument is wielded or what position is assumed. No infirmity is too great for this chamber music.” Harvard Medical Alumni Bulletin:Music and Medicine/ Musical Healing :A physician-turned-orchestra conductor prescribes song. Samuel Wong (1988)
Dr. Wong starts “with some simple harmonies and a slow rocking rhythm on a Yamaha keyboard”, he invites “Molly, a 76-year-old aphasic from Dublin, to improvise a little ditty. “Oh Danny boy, how I miss you, my Danny boy.” Molly “sings her voice strong and eloquent. Just a moment ago she could not speak the simplest words. Next Rosita, briefly lucid and coherent from her dementia, sings in Spanish, “How much pain and suffering we must forget, my love, after all these years.”
Harvard Medical Alumni Bulletin:Music and Medicine/ Musical Healing :A physician-turned-orchestra conductor prescribes song. Samuel Wong (1988)
In the hospital, on a different floor, Mrs. Miller, a retired schoolteacher awakens in the recovery room, after having “her gallbladder removed, listening to her favorite Mozart piano concerto.” She says, “I play K. 466 whenever I feel anxious or distraught. The music dissolves my pain and worries. I came into the world listening to Eine kleine Nachtmusik, and I will go to my Maker with the Lacrymosa of Mozart’s Requiem.” Mrs. Miller says, “Music in the right setting transports her to a different plane of consciousness.” Harvard Medical Alumni Bulletin:Music and Medicine/ Musical Healing :A physician-turned-orchestra conductor prescribes song. Samuel Wong (1988)
December 10, 2011 will be Dr. Wong’s 20th anniversary of his debut with the New York Philharmonic. Dr. Wong continues his passion for helping his patients regain their sight and conducting concerts around the world to bring beauty into the lives of others. He also began “The Global Music Healing Institute” which stimulates research increasing public awareness, and increases and enhances the knowledge of the medical benefits of music for hospitals, nursing homes, universities, hospices, medical schools, assisted living facilities and homeless shelters. (GlobalMusicHealing.org).
Dr. Wong says, “With music, some patients can feel whole again, regain the self, and recall a world inhabited by loved ones, a world filled with passion and curiosity, a world ordered by knowledge and profound meaning.” Harvard Medical Alumni Bulletin:Music and Medicine/ Musical Healing: A physician-turned-orchestra conductor prescribes song. Samuel Wong(1988)
“Gabby Giffords’: Finding Words Through Music” (Nov. 14, 2011) by Katie Moisse, Bob Woodruff, James Hill, and Lana Zak from ABC Nightline. Meaghan Morrow, Congresswoman Gabby “Giffords’ music therapist and a certified brain injury specialist at TIRR Memorial Hermann Rehabilitation Hospital in Houston” says, “Music is that other road to get back to language. In the 10 months since a bullet to the brain left her in critical condition, Congresswoman Gabby Giffords has relearned how to talk — a feat partly credited to music therapy. Giffords suffered from aphasia — the inability to speak because of damage to the language pathways in her brain’s left hemisphere. But by layering words on top of melody and rhythm, she trained her brain to use a less-traveled pathway to the same destination. “
“Music Makes His Health Get Better” (Nov. 18, 2011) by Hannah Johnson from the – Stillwater Gazette. “One year ago today Forest Crocker was in the intensive care unit at Lakeview Hospital after having an unexpected stroke. After a year of rehabilitation Crocker will perform again in the Metropolitan Symphony Orchestra at Trinity Lutheran Church Sunday. Crocker, a Stillwater resident, wasn’t aware he had any severe health problems until last year’s first dress rehearsal. “I noticed something was funny with walking down steps,” Crocker said. “I should have gone to the hospital but I didn’t recognize what it was.” He “spent eight days in the ICU and later went to Regions Hospital for rehabilitation. It was February by the time Crocker could return to work full-time. His entire right side of his body was affected by the stroke. He could hardly move his fingers and had trouble walking.” Forest Crocker during his rehabilitation “saw Valerie Schuld, a therapist at Courage Center who encouraged him to use music as a tool for his therapy program. Schuld told Crocker that music capitalizes on your muscle memory.” Crocker said, “She really impressed on me that she couldn’t devise a better therapy program than music.” Once again, “Crocker will be performing in Sunday’s concert.” He says, “It’s not just about getting back together and having fun with people. It’s being able to play the music. To be able to rejoin this kind of group is just privilege.”
“Your Health: Can Dancing Help To Tackle Parkinson’s?” (Dec. 7, 2011) by Neil Norman from theExpress.co.uk “Dance For Parkinson’s scheme, initiated by English National Ballet (ENB) in conjunction with the dance department of South-west London’s Roehampton University, has been running for just over a year.”
John Harris, 70, “a member of the class has suffered from Parkinson’s disease for 23 years”. He said, “I fall over about once a week. The problem is that Parkinson’s makes you feel as though your feet are nailed to the floor. He felt the benefits after two or three weeks” in the dance class.” Mr. Harris says, “I feel good as soon as I come out of the class both physically and psychologically. I have a renewed feeling of confidence.” Twice, “he has forgotten to take his walking stick.” He says, “The first time someone brought it out to me. The second time I went back in and retrieved it myself.”
“North East Doctors All Set to Hit the Right Notes” (Nov. 21, 2011) by Helen Rae from theChronicleLife.co.uk. “The European Doctors’ Orchestra concert has been organized by North Tyneside medic Dr Dave Tomson, Dr Jonathan Caudle, who practices in Newcastle, and Dr. Karen Riddle, who is based in Sunderland. The concert will see healthcare workers from across Europe unite to perform at The Sage in Gateshead for the very first time.” They “hope to raise more than £7,000 to help the charity support young cancer patients and their families across the North .”
Evidence & Articles supporting the benefits of classical music in your daily life, in the Public School Classrooms, and while doing homework after school:
Mrs. S teaches 7th grade Math at Davis Middle School in Hampton, VA.: “Students perform better on tests and quizzes while listening to Mozart Symphonies in the background.”
Mrs. C’s high school math class in Colorado: “The students asked for music in class. I told them I would play only Mozart. At first they objected but soon decided they liked the music, because it made them feel better and able to focus more on their lessons. Consequently, not only did the grades get better, so did the discipline. Then the students began requesting Mozart.”
Mrs. G had her fifth grade students listening to classical music, played softly, while the children did creative writing assignments and when they did problem solving in math. It created a calm atmosphere conducive to problem solving and creative thinking as well as an appreciation of music that they might not have experienced. The results were so good that she incorporated this into her teaching for the last five years of her teaching career.
Mrs. JC had her fourth grade reading class of 22 students, listening to Mozart and other classical music during class for the entire school year .The children have consistently made 100’s on tests and work. These are just average students not exceptional.
Mrs. J has 4 children, ages 19, 16, 12 and 8 who have been listening to Mozart and other classical music while doing their homework after school since March 05. She has seen them become more focused and relaxed, finishing homework quicker, with more accuracy which has led to higher grades.
Northside Middle School in Norfolk, Virginia is using classical music in halls and class rooms with very good success. “Classical Music Plays at Norfolk School”
For more scientific evidence, medical evidence, test results, and true stories of the world’s scientists, medical doctors, and mathematicians who have studied and played musical instruments since they were children read “The Secret of Teaching Science & Math Through Music” by Madeline Frank, Ph.D. Click on the link:
“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. For more information click on the following link:
For Tips on how to use “Musical Notes On Math” click on the following link: