In newspapers across the United States , the United Kingdom, Canada, Italy and Egypt the healing power of music is being used to help students learn in school and at home and help adults to move better and relax. Volunteer musicians are playing concerts at the bedside of patients, a Norfolk Virginia Public School plays classical music in the halls and in the classes all day long improving school work and behavior, singing in schools to promote learning, and the dancing of the Tango, for the last 7 months, is improving the balance of Parkinson’s patients in St. Louis. These articles are listed below with more musical tips to improve your New Year:

  • “Classical Music Plays at Norfolk School” (Jan. 11, 2007) by Lindsay Roberts at WVEC.Com) “Classical music plays through the halls at Northside Middle School in Norfolk and officials there say it’s helped change the students’ moods for the better.” See the clip below: Principal says we are playing music 24 /7
  • “The Tango Effect” (Jan. 24,2007) by Randall Roberts from the St. Louis News- “Two local researchers believe they have found a new treatment for Parkinson’s disease”. For the last 7 months, two researchers have been using the fluid movements of the Tango with individuals with Parkinson’s. ” In the basement of a medical building on Forest Park Avenue, eight couples move in step to the music of Argentine composer Osvaldo Pugliese. As they glide across the floor, instructor Madeleine Hackney guides them. “Communicate with your movements, not with your voice,” she says. “Use your hands and your feet. Become like a four-footed creature.” The dancers smile and attempt to obey .” The complete article is below:
  • “Guests in the Gallery” (Jan. 23,2007) “The creator of the popular Baby Einstein videos received special recognition. Julie Aigner-Clark started the Baby Einstein Company in her home. She borrowed some equipment, and began filming children’s videos in her basement. She uses colorful images and classical music to make educational videos for youngsters. Baby Einstein has grown into a $200 million business.” “Julie represents the great enterprising spirit of America,” said President Bush.
  • “A Life of Music” (Jan. 2,2007) by Holly Wagner from the Quincy Herald-Whig. Rieckhoff, 80, has been teaching for 65 years. “Music has been my life, a joy, since I was a third-grader,” Rieckhoff said. “I’ve found this to be very, very gratifying over the years … working with boys and girls and teaching them the love of music.” …”When he took over the band at Pleasant Hill High School in 1960, the organization had been inactive for five years. It did so well that it was invited to tour Europe with the People to People in 1969. ” “We had 101 in the high school band out of a high school of 130,” Rieckhoff said. “We didn’t have one student quit in the 10 years I was down there.” …I teach the students to learn,” he said. “I try to motivate them to do their best… so that when they’re 80 they’ll still know the joy of music.” The complete article is below:
  • “The Sound of Music” (Jan. 21,2007) from Saga Health News serving people aged 50 and over. “Whereas we use words to communicate facts, we use music to communicate and evoke emotions,’ says psychologist Dr Mike Lowis of University College Northampton. He has conducted research into the way that music can stimulate what he calls ‘peak experiences’ – moments of intense clarity and almost mystical euphoria. He attributes this to music’s unique ability to unite the left (logical) and right (emotional) sides of our brains.” ….. “Do it to music.. Have a good sing-along” “Singing is one of life’s great joys, whether or not you can stay in tune. ‘Try to sing whenever and wherever you can – in the bath, the shower, around the house. It’ll help relax you and lift your mood,’ says Dr Raymond Macdonald.” The complete article is below:
  • “Ten New Ideas for 2007” (Jan. 7,2007) by Saskia Constantinou from Cyprus- “Stress is a major factor in our lives, no matter where we are on the globe. But is there any way in which we can reduce some of the stress that affects us? Classical music has been proven to reduce anxiety and physical tension, lower blood pressure and calm the mind. Doctors too, are now realising that by using classical music as part of their therapy, they can heal their patients more quickly.” She suggests calming down with the classics in the car and at home. In the car ,to avoid “outbursts of road put on the FM radio. ” CALM DOWN WITH CLASSICS, Put on a CD, and give yourself time just to listen to the music and contemplate quietly. The music from the baroque era is particularly good for balancing oneself – try Bach’s Solo Sonatas for cello or violin. For those without time to go to a retreat, what about a spa-bath in the comfort of your home with aromatherapy oils, candles, big fluffy towels and classical music?” The complete article is below: 
  • “Hospice Savannah is Seeking Volunteers to Play Music ; Visit Patients in Their Homes” (Dec. 28,2006) from the Savannah Morning News-Savannah, Georgia.
  • “New Life for 100-Year –Old Prodigy” (Jan. 5,2007) by Alexandre Gauthier “Music keeps Lamothe-Breton busy and that has had a rejuvenating effect on her. Such an active longevity surely has a recipe.” She says, “I play music each day and I have small projects, but no long-term plans.” For many years she accompanied singers and at 80 studied the violin. The complete article is below:
  • “A Blue Print for Our Health -Care System” (Jan. 17, 2007) by Peter Worthington from “My surgeon was Dr. R.A. Affifi, an elegant, refined man, born in Egypt whose reputation around here is a master of needlework, who prefers classical music while he operates.… I was given a local anesthetic. While conscious throughout the procedure, I really wasn’t aware of what was going on. I could feel probing …but no cutting or pain and wasn’t aware of the classical music. I was …surprised when it was over.” Classical music removes the pain without us being aware of it!
  • “Why is Singing Good for Learning?” (Jan. 19,2007) from the BBC News/UK/Magazine “Over the years singing has almost disappeared from the classroom but a $10m national campaign has bee launched to get pupils in primary schools singing- and their teachers.” The rhythm of music teaches fractions , decimals, and connects to the “heartbeats in science.” The complete article is below:
  • “Vatican Composer Working On Dante’s ‘Devine Comedy'” (Jan. 3,2007) from TeluguPortal.Net. Composer, Father Marco Frisina has used the music of “heavy metal, punk and jazz” for his music in hell and is using “classical music” for the heavenly part of the show for Dante’s ‘ Divine Comedy’.
  • “For Parkinson’s Patients, Recreation Means Relief” (Jan. 16,2007) by Vicky Waltz from the Boston University’s Alumni e-Newsletter. Using music helps patients exercise better.
  • “Rose Bowl Floats Become an Opportunity to Discuss Music in Education” Jan. 1,2007) from “Music is more than the sum of its parts. It soothes, it accelerates learning, and facilitates self –esteem, focus as well as coordination.” (p.2)
  • “Rockland Scholar –Athlete: Energetic Brady is Major Player” (Jan. 12,2007) by Kristin Leigh Noonan from The Journal News: High School Sports. “Not only does Brady take many advance placement courses, but she is also part of the science and history honor societies, and is president of the National Honor Society.” …Busy as Brady is she “has time for a membership in the Ceili band. In her junior year, Brady was a fiddler in a traditional Irish music band and attended the world championship in Ireland.” Brady says, “I am proud of my Irish heritage and to be part of that experience was amazing, also having my family from out there come and see me play. I did have to give up the band, but I do still play the violin in the orchestra.”

On Jan. 16, 2007 at 8 pm Eastern time, our first Teleseminar was launched from our new Ask Campaign with a series of questions and answers on the power of music for education and healing. After each question was answered, live music was played on my viola with a specifically selected piece of classical music to illustrate the answer. One of our readers questions stood out above the rest and I am including it below with the answer:

Mrs. L’s question: “Ever since I was a teenager, I’ve suffered from migraine headaches. I’ve refused to let them slow me down and simply regard them as an annoyance. However, when I see an aura of flashing lights, my vision fades, and the pain starts, I try to relax, take a pain killer and wait for the headache to pass and my sight to be restored. But you know, I’ve never thought of listening to “healing” music while I was in the throws of one of those headaches. So, I was wondering what type of music you would recommend that I listen to that would help soothe and “heal” a migraine headache.”

Dr. Frank’s answer:

Choose the slowest calmest music of Mozart or Bach. Each person has a pulse / heart rate, which if excited will increase the pulse-heart rate. If a person is scared or angered, the heart beat-pulse elevates. If soothing music is played the heart rate goes back to normal. In a study done by researcher Vladimir Konecni of the University of California in San Diego, actors were hired “to antagonize other people taking part in a series of phony experiments” (Allman, 1990, p. 57). The researcher found that these angered individuals “chose the slowest and quietest music from a selection of tapes while they sat in a waiting room (p. 57). From this the researcher realized that people unconsciously will pick music that can change their behavior and mood Alfred A. Tomatis is a French medical doctor specializing in ear, nose and throat disorders. “While treating hearing impaired factory workers by day and opera singers suffering from spots before their eyes at night (scotomas), Tomatis noticed a similarity of symptoms between the two patient populations” (Weeks, 1991, p.42). From his investigation he “formulated the law describing the feedback loop between the larynx and the ear: The larynx emits only the range that the ear controls” (p. 42). He was recognized for this discovery by the Academy of Science of Paris in 1957. They named his theory the Tomatis Effect. He invented. a device known as the electronic ear which filters out the low sounds and retrains the ear. “The primary function of the ear is to provide the cells of the body with electrical stimulation or cortical charge” ( p. 46). The music Tomatis uses is Mozart because of its universal appeal. For over 45 years he has been successful in treating “ear, nose, and throat disorders, hearing and voice loss, stuttering, ringing in the ears, inflammation of the middle ear; neurological disorders: spots before the eyes, drooling, eye-muscle imbalances; psychiatric disorders: depression, attention deficit disorder, hyperactivity; learning disorders; dyslexia, inability to concentrate; and a variety of balance/coordination disorders related to problems with the inner ear”(p.43). Tomatis retrains the ear muscles through his electronic ear which uses filtered high frequency sounds. In the 1970s, Lozanov from Bulgaria created his method of education. He played baroque music (the adagio sections), 60 beats per minute, while studying to induce an alpha state which increased the learning process ( Campbell, 1991, p. 222). Saskia Constantinou from suggests, “the music from the baroque era is particularly good for balancing oneself – try Bach’s Solo Sonatas for cello or violin.” During the Teleseminar, on Jan. 16,2007, Bach’s “Arioso from Cantata No. 156” was played after this question was answered..

  • This February – if you had one chance to ask me, any question about the power of music for education and healing…what would your specific question be? Contact me today with your question:

I want to help as many people as possible to enhance their lives through music.

This month’s Classroom Update On Using Classical Music in the Public School Classrooms and while doing homework after school:

  • Northside Middle School in Norfolk, Virginia using classical music in halls and class rooms with very good success. ” Classical Music Plays at Norfolk School”
  • Mrs. J has 3 children, ages 15, 11, and 7 who have been listening to Mozart and other classical music while doing their homework after school for 8 months, since March 05. She has seen them become more focused and relaxed , finishing homework quicker, with more accuracy which has led to higher grades.Mrs. JC had her fourth grade reading class , 22 in the class, listening to classical music, Mozart, 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. 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 five year.

Performing at Hospitals, Rehab Hospitals, and Retirement Homes

  • Madeline Frank, violist has shared her music with patients at Riverside Hospital, Mary Immaculate Hospital, Rehab Hospitals and the Virginia Veterans Hospital.

If anyone has a good experience to share on his or her experience with classical music please write me and I will include it in the March 2007 newsletter. Tidewater Virginia Residents, Please mark your calendars for Next Month’s Scholarship Concert at the College of William and Mary: International Violist Madeline Frank to Perform for the Hillel Fundraiser for the College of William & Mary on March 24,2007, Saturday, at 8 pm in the Wren Building Great Hall in Williamsburg , Virginia. Madeline Frank will be joined by pianist Lynda Gilpin, Hillel Director Geoffrey Brown, and Hillel William & Mary College students in a performance they call “Music from around the world with a twist”. There is also a sing along for the audience of beloved favorites. Past favorites such as “The Orange Blossom Special”, “The Devil Went Down To Georgia”, selections from “Fiddler On the Roof” , “Tzena”, “Rozhinkes Mit Mandin”, “La Cumparsita”, “Autumn Leaves” with classical works by Brahms, Debussy, Chopin, and others. Wishing you and your family a happy Valentines Day from your Non-Invasive Medicine…Music Expert, Madeline