We are beginning a new school year which is a new opportunity to begin using classical music in the classrooms during class and in the hallways and on school buses to and from school. Classical music played in the background helps students learn to relax, allowing them to concentrate and do a better job on their work. The new school year is also a wonderful opportunity to start learning a musical instrument to learn discipline, cooperation, teamwork, motivation, concentration and self-esteem. Studying a musical instrument develops millions of new connections, synapses, between nerve cells in the brain. Many of the world’s scientists, doctors, teachers, authors and mathematicians are also musicians. July’s newsletter was a testimonial to the many Valedictorians, Salutatorians and grads of 2008 who are scholars and musicians.
Charles Apgar (June 28, 1865-August 17, 1950) “Wireless Wizard” scientist, built a telescope, wrote scientific papers on Astronomy, was a lifelong pianist, inventor of “ampliphone circuit which amplified even the smallest noises so as to make them easier to record. He also invented the paper cone loudspeaker” used in radios today (Apgar, C ,Wikipedia, 2008, p.1). In 1915 Charles Apgar developed owned and operated in his basement “one of the most powerful radio receiving sets in the country.” In 1915 he translated and recorded coded messages sent from the German radio station in Sayville, Long Island “relaying vital sailing dates of U.S. Convoys to the German high command” and each morning he sent the messages to the American Secret Service. “Thanks to the work of Virginia Apgar’s father, U-boats stopped sinking Allied ships, and the German wireless operator was sent to Federal Prison at Atlanta ” ( Apel, 2003, pp.11-13). At the age of 75, during WW11, Charles sent the “call to arms” to 55,000 radio operators in the U.S. describing the “German Spies fifth column activities a thousand times more perilous than in 1915 ” (Apgar, L, 1977, p. 6) . Charles Apgar was the father of Virginia Apgar, M.D. To read more on Charles Apgar , hero of WW1 & WW11 click on the following:
Apgar, Lee. May 9,1977. “Wireless Wizard” http://www.trft.org/TRFTPix/spies9eR2006.pdf
Click here and listen to Madeline’s Musical One Minute Radio Show for August 2008. What hobbies did Charles Apgar share with his daughter Virginia Apgar?
Virginia Apgar, (B.Westfield, N.J. 1909- D. August 7, 1974 in New York City) Medical doctor in Surgery to Anesthesiology, pioneer in Obstetrics and anesthesiology, developed her Apgar Score to assess newborn visibility, lifelong musician playing the violin and cello, and also a violin maker, crafting instruments ,violins, viola, and cello. Virginia Apgar’s Score for new borns looks at Appearance (skin color), Pulse (heart rate), Grimace (reflex irritability), Activity (muscle tone), and Respiration (breathing). Apgar’s name is the Pneumonic. As a physician she assisted in over 15,000 births. She played in The Teaneck Symphony of N.Y., The Amateur Music Chamber Players, and the Catgut Acoustical Society. When she traveled to other cities she carried her viola or cello with her to play chamber music with other amateur musicians.
To read more on this brilliant physician, medical researcher, and medical education pioneer click on the following links:
“Using Music in the Classroom” ( 2001) by Dorothy Lockhart Lawrence, editor of PPOV from the Advanced Brain Technologies, Ogden, Utah. “Welsh science teacher Anne Savan couldn’t believe the difference it made in her chemistry lab. When the government insisted that all children complete the standard National Curriculum, Savan became concerned. For some reason her new group of pupils in the mid 1990’s was the most challenging ever. Her class of boys had special educational needs plus emotional and behavioral difficulties. One of her students had such poor coordination he made 19 attempts at a lab experiment requiring the student to put a peanut on a spoon, then heat it in the flame of a Bunsen burner. He never achieved it and his behavior resulting from his frustration was uncontrollable. Chance observation of a television program gave Savan the idea that music of a certain frequency might help students with poor coordination. She began to play classical music, .. orchestral Mozart as she tried Mozart’s piano concerto’s but that was not effective “during daily science lessons over a period of five months. The response to the music was dramatic as the pupils became calm and cooperative within minutes of entering the room.” Savan says, “No one spoke, quarreled, asked to borrow anything, wanted to go to the toilet for the whole lesson. I have not had such a relaxed lesson .. ever.” The next five months of classes with Mozart Symphonies “produced the same results, calm, cooperative students who were able to complete each lesson.” … “Savan believes the music may have relaxed her pupils enough to improve their physical coordination and lower their frustration levels enough to allow them to perform manual tasks effectively and efficiently.” To read more click on the following link:
“Teen of the Week: Autistic Teen’s Piano Recital Marks Milestone” (May 16, 2008) by Wendi Winters, For The Capital, Annapolis, Maryland Hometownannapolis.com. Fifteen year old Evan, who has autism played his first public recital.”He stays focused. He uses the piano to bring joy to himself and others, ” says Carolyn Sonnen.”He did very well. He played his pieces in front of an audience, a first for him. “ Classical “Music is helping him grow. He ‘s getting a lot of external feedback that a lot of autistic kids don’t get.” “Being on stage is a really big thing. It’s a breakthrough because his confidence is building. He is getting feedback that the audience members enjoy and value what he is doing.” Evan “is a straight A student. Since the beginning of this year he has attended Peabody Conservatory in Baltimore for one hour each Monday evening for piano lessons. Classical pianist Brian Ganz says “Evan is a dear soul and it’s been a privilege for me to know him and his wonderful family. Evan is a talented pianist and musician, too.” Susan Bellamy his social worker says, “In the time he’s been here at Hannah More, he’s had tremendous growth in language skills and expressing himself.” “He often will intervene on behalf of another student who is crying or upset and advocate for them. A good student, he likes to learn and come to school and please others. He has a sense of humor and can joke.”
“Teacher Of The Year” ( May 28. 2008) from The Hartford Courant of West Hartford. “Superintendent David P. Sklarz has credited Andrew Mayo, 40 ,with promoting instrumental music among low income and minority children, and said the retention rate of students who continue to play their instrument in middle school is excellent because of his efforts.” Mayo has taught for eight years in Wolcott and teaches 150 fourth and fifth graders inter-elementary band.
Madeline’s question of the month:
Can playing Classical music help you throughout your life?
Dr. Frances Rascher says, playing music “develops the neuropathways and you’re exercising them and making them stronger” (Brandwin, 1994, p. 16). By taking music lessons new neural bridges are built “strengthening the links between the brain neurons” (Elias, 1994, p. 1). Dr.Frances Rauscher says music instruction can improve a child’s special intelligence for long periods of time perhaps permanently” (p. 1). The next article on Dr. Sandra Weiner is example of how studying of Classical music can last throughout your life.
“Money Ruling a Remarkable Woman’s Legacy” ( June 28, 2008) by Helen O’Neill from Newsweek.com and the Associated Press in Washington, D.C. Sandra Weiner, Physician, micro surgeon, leading expert on “women’s reproductive health” at 30, was a lifelong musician, a violinist. While on vacation she suffered a “cardiac arrest and suffered a serious brain injury”. Her mother, a nurse read all the medical journals. For several years she was comatose and her parents played classical music for her “talking to her caressed her – anything to get a response”. The doctors held out no hope and said if she did come out of the coma she would have the mind of a two year old. Her parents took her home to New Haven, Conn. never giving up , read to her, fed her, bathed her, re-taught her to count, sit up, swallow and eventually a friend from Israel ,where she had worked, called and Sandra spoke in fluent Hebrew over the phone . She was blind, walking “with an unsteady gait. But her speech and mind were clear. And her memory was better than ever.” She convinced her former mentor, Dr. Decherney, obstetrician and gynecologist to let her join other residents “on patient rounds.” He says, “I had to tell her not to answer all the questions.” With his help she was given the opportunity to run “a clinic for women with disabilities” in Washington. Doctors did not want to see patients in wheelchairs who wanted to have a baby. Dr. Weiner also knew and understood the difficulties of disabled women to have regular mammograms and gynecological check- ups. “She designed and patented a special examination table for disabled women- lower and more maneuverable than the standard one.” When cutbacks occurred in 1997 the hospital was closed and she wrote “a book on medical care for women with disabilities, becoming a faculty member of Georgetown and Maryland University medical centers, speaking at the United Nations, lecturing around the world.” On Oct. 8, 2001 there was an accident, Dr. Weiner lit “a memorial candle for her late father, when the flame caught her nightgown.” Her neighbor broke down the door to her apartment “and pulled her from the fire.” She suffered third degree burns covering over 70% of her body. She died 13 days later. Her fiancé Mr. Lovitsky, a lawyer , decided he had to do something in her memory. In other countries “accommodations are made for the blind- different size notes or tactile features such as raised markings.” Before Dr. Weiner would travel to give a lecture Lovitsky would put $1 in one envelope and tens and twenties in different envelopes.”He remembered her frustration at having to trust strangers for the right change.” Lovitsky in May 2002 “sued the Treasury Department on behalf of the American Council of the blind, arguing that its failure to design a currency that is accessible to blind people is a form of discrimination. In November 2006, the court ruled in favor of the Council.”
To read more on this remarkable woman click on the following links:
“Miss. Classrooms Work to Integrate the Arts” ( June 29, 2008) by ELEANOR BARKHORN from the Clarion Ledger in Greenville. Marcia Daft , a teaching artist, has been using her classical music to teach teachers and students, for the last two years, at Melissa Manning Elementary ,to teach geometry through ” singing songs instead of memorizing facts”. Learning through the arts has students retaining more information and enjoying the process.
“Larkspur Oboist Pursues Her Dream of Spreading Music” (May 11, 2008) by Beth Ashley from the Marin Independent Journal, martnij.com in San Rafael, California. Jane Kramer, 52, “studied music as a child and fell in love with the oboe at 10, playing it through high school.” After high school she attended Vassar where she received a psychology degree, “a master’s degree at the London School of Economics and a doctorate in health policy at the University of California at Berkeley.” During her studies she put aside her music and then worked for 15 years as “an adolescent health policy researcher at the University of California at San Francisco, where her husband is a doctor. …When she won a scholarship by an anonymous Vassar donor, to spend a year following a passion and maybe take a risk.” Her goals were “to study oboe intensively and to start a school of music in the San Rafael area.” Twice a week she works with fourth and fifth graders to play Classical music on recorders. Ms. Kramer says, “So many kids are musicians inside but don’t realize it. ….Music can be a lifelong passion.”
To read more click on the following link:
“Taking The Show –And The Cancer Care- On The Road: Doctor- Musicians Play, Study In London”(July 17, 2008) from The Boston Globe. The Longwood Symphony Orchestra has been in existence for 25 years and is made up of mostly of medical professionals. “Like the group’s stateside concerts, the tour raised money for a health-care cause. About $5,000 was collected to benefit Marie Curie Cancer Care, a charity that funds cancer research and provides free care for cancer patients in their homes.”
“Going Under the Knife? Ask for A Concerto First” (July 19, 2008) by Susan Tomes from the guardian.co.uk. An eye surgeon in Hawaii played live Classical music for one group of patients before operating on them decreasing stress, heart rate, and other signs of anxiety.. The non-musical group of patients “showed an increase in heart rate and other signs of anxiety when they were in the theatre.” To read more click on the following:
“Mozart, MD-Music for the Mind and Body” (June 16, 2008) by Jennifer Green, MS .‘A study in Critical Care Medicine evaluated the mechanisms of music-induced relaxation in critically ill patients. The researchers measured blood pressure and heart rate, brain electrical activity, serum levels of stress hormones and cytokines, requirements for sedative drugs, and level of sedation before and after an hour of listening to piano sonatas through headphones. Researchers found that patients who listened to the sonatas required less medication to achieve a comparable level of sedation, compared to those who didn’t. One of the remarkable things about the study is that the researchers also found that serum levels of growth hormone went up after listening to music, while those of epinephrine and interleukin-6 went down. The levels of all three should decrease with lowered stress.” The music “has to be Mozart.”
“If You Have A Talent, You Have To Share It’: Her Piano Lessons Go Far Beyond Notes: Doctor Packs Off-Hours Mentoring Music Lovers” (May 26, 2008) by Gail Smith-Arrants from the CharlotteObserver.com. Dr. Honnie Spencer, 41, grew up in Antigua in the Caribbean where she began the piano at age 5. She learned to share by the examples of her “ mother, Emerald, who often took in children who needed a home, and her father, Keithley Spencer, a mechanic, who would give money to the needy and her piano teacher, Elizabeth Keoghan, who taught “ children in the neighborhood even if families couldn’t pay.” Dr. Spencer says, “If you have a talent, you have to share it,”. On weekdays she is the “medical director for the Logan and McGill clinics operated by Cabarrus Community Health Centers.” For the last 7 years, on Friday evenings and all day on Saturday she” teaches piano and music theory at Grace Lutheran Church in Concord’s Logan neighborhood”. She is also a full time single mom to her 15 year old son Norm. She received her bachelor’s degrees in biology and classical piano performance from Moravian College in Bethlehem, Pa graduating cum laude. She received her medical degree from Case Western Reserve School of Medicine. She studied piano at the Cleveland Institute of Music and earned a certification in classical piano performance “from the Trinity College of Music in London.” She began “her school because she saw kids, mostly from African American and Latino families, who needed mentors as much as they needed Mozart. With a foundation in music, she thought, they could do anything.”
“Baltimore Symphony’s Orchkids: Planting Seeds for Success” (May 26, 2008) by Jayce Matthews from the Baltimore Times On Line. A new program by Conductor Marin Alsop of the Baltimore Symphony to bring classical music to underserved youth. She says, “Since coming to Baltimore, one of my priorities has been to create a school program that combines music and mentorship to have a positive impact on Baltimore City youth.” In September the program will start at Harriet Tubman Elementary School in its first grade class pilot program. To read more click on the following link:
“Proof Positive Boys’ Choir Makes Its Point” (May 12, 2008) from the Tallahassee.com in Tallahassee, Florida. Classical music is making a difference in these children’s lives! “Choir membership, which is open to boys 8 to 18, requires more than just the willingness to sing. Members also attend study hall three times weekly, and must attend reading classes and sessions on interpersonal skills and character development. Last year, according to the choir’s Web site, none of its 108 members dropped out; 84 percent showed academic improvement of at least one letter grade; 96 percent improved their school attendance record; and only 2 percent were “involved in the juvenile justice system.”
“The Torment of Tinnitus” (May 19, 2008) by Catherine O’Brian from the Times On Line, United Kingdom. Be aware that loud sounds prolonged can damage hearing. “Some sound advice: A survey in 2006 showed that more than a third of all 16 to 34-year-olds admitted listening to their MP3 player for more than an hour a day and 14 per cent listened for more than 28 hours as week. The Deafness Research UK/Spec savers survey also showed that 54 per cent of people did not realize that listening to loud music on an MP3 player in a nightclub or at a concert could damage their hearing. …Apple has produced an update that allows people to set the maximum volume on their iPods. It also comes with a code, so parents can stop their children from undoing it.
“The World Health Organization recommends the 60/60 rule: that you listen to your personal music player for no longer than 60 minutes at a time and at no more than 60 per cent of its volume. “ To read more of this important article click on the following link:
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 and therefore exercises the brain as physical exercise exercises the body. 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 go to The Secret of Teaching Science & Math Through Music by Madeline Frank, Ph.D. Click on the link below:
“Musical Notes On Math” 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:
Tips on how to use “Musical Notes On Math” click on the following link:https://www.madelinefrankviola.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/08/pg47.pdf
If anyone has an experience they would like to share on the benefits of classical music please send it and it will be include it in the September 2008 newsletter.
Mr. O in NYC sent in the following: “Don’t forget Dentists! Mine offers a headset with his choice. I bring my own CDs a certain M Frank prominent among them.” Nov/Dec 2007)
Mrs. C in VA. says her dentist has a choice of radio stations to listen to and she always picks the local classical music station. It makes the visit to the dentist’s office less painful. (Jan 2008)
This August if you have a question about the power of music for education and healing … what would your specific question be?
Click on the link below and look on the left side to where it says ask Madeline a question: www.madelinefrankviola.com
To help your children learn fractions and decimals through the game of music look at Madeline’s, Musical Notes On Math, a Parent-to-Parent Award Winner. Click on the link below:
Evidence & Articles supporting the benefits of classical music in your daily life, in the Public School Classrooms, and while doing homework after school:
“Mozart, MD- Music for Mind and Body” ( June 17, 2008) from a study done from “Critical Care Medicine” evaluating “the mechanisms of music-induced relaxation in critically ill patients. The researchers measured blood pressure and heart rate, brain electrical activity, serum levels of stress hormones and cytokines, requirements for sedative drugs, and level of sedation before and after an hour of listening to piano sonatas through headphones.” Results: Researchers” found that serum levels of growth hormone went up after listening to Mozart, while those of epinephrine and interleukin-6 went down. The levels of all three should decrease with lower stress.”
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 3 children, ages 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”