Studying music is making a difference in the lives of top graduates across the country. June was graduation month for high schools, colleges and universities throughout the United States. Our amazing 2008 high school seniors are scholars and musicians. Classical music is making them smarter on a daily basis. Music is a powerful tool for motivating, inspiring, educating and soothing pain. Remember no one is immune to the power of music! Parents remember to have classical music on your family’s iPod.
Jeff Haebig, Ph.D. WellnessQuest.com is the Classical music model of bodily kinesthetic learning, using exercise to show the science of how the body/brain learns best suggested by research. See how this master mover puts hip to lip using Tchaikovsky’s 1812 Overture as a backdrop to his catchy lyrics and movements promoting Classical music in learning.
for Madeline’s Musical One Minute Radio/YouTube Show for July 2008
Tchaikovsky’s 1812 Overture with Lyrics and Movement by Jeff Haebig, Ph.D and Madeline Frank, Ph.D. on viola using Classical music in kinesthetic learning through exercise to show the science of how the body/brain learns best suggested by research.
High School Graduates of 2008 who are Scholars and Musicians: In Sistersville, West Virginia 50% of the Valedictorians are scholars and musicians. To read more about these fabulous students who are scholars and musicians click on the following link:
At Westborough High School in Westborough, MA., Abigail Schachter was chosen to be the Salutatorian. She is a scholar, martial art expert, and a musician. She plays flute in the Youth Symphony at New England Conservatory and in the Massachusetts Youth Wind Ensemble. For more click on the link:
“Derry Area High School Student of the Year Nominees” (June 13, 2008) by Gina Delfavero from the Blairsville Dispatch in Pittsburgh, PA. Katelyn Blotzer is a scholar and a musician. She won the Seton Hill Women in Science Award Scholarship, the Student of the Quarter Award for Mathematics, English, and French. She was a member of the Wind Ensemble, the Pit Orchestra, the Marching Band and Jazz Band. She will attend St. Vincent College to study accounting in the fall. “She shares a love of numbers with her sister, whom she hopes to open an accounting firm with after” graduation.
Tyler Horwat is a scholar and musician..He was a member of the Pit Orchestra, Marching Band, Jazz Band, and drumming captain. At Penn State at University Park he will major in electrical engineering, For more click on the following link:
“Fantastic Day for Seniors as Thousands Awarded in Scholarships” (May 16, 2008) by Lori Berglund — Daily Freeman-Journal Editor: from the Daily Freeman-Journal, in Iowa, Webster City High School Class of 2008. “In all, the WCHS Class of 2008 has so far earned more than $228,000 in scholarships. Leading the class is Jessica Nilles, a gifted pianist and academic stand-out. Nilles received two scholarships at Thursday’s assembly, but has collected even more. Wartburg College has awarded her two separate scholarships that provide $21,000 per year for four years. She has also received the Iowa First Lady’s Scholarship of $3,000 over two years.” To read more on these talented students click on the following link:
“Standout Grad: Kristen Merry, A Talented Musician, is Drawn to a Career in Health Care” (June 1, 2008) by Carrie Pederson from the Daily News On Line. She started classical guitar lessons at 5 years of age. “After twelve years of playing music, the R.A. Long High School senior has accomplished much more. She’s a classical guitarist and her school’s drum major. Her talents in music, along with perfect grades, have earned her a scholarship to Pacific Lutheran University in Tacoma.” She shares her gift of music at “ Hospice, the Salvation Army and retirement homes”. To read more about this wonderfully talented scholar and musician click on the following link:
“Culture Corner: Awards Given to HIS Outstanding Musicians” (May 21, 2008) by Julie Schnieders from the Des Moines Register.com . Six outstanding senior’s, and three sophomores were awarded the following top prizes: Kathryn Hopper, senior, received the “John Philip Sousa Award”; Michael Beck, senior, was awarded the “Louis Armstrong Jazz Award”, Marcus Wolf, senior, was awarded the “IHS Band Director’s Choice Award” ;Emily Wonder, senior, was awarded “The Nicolo Paganini Award” ; Jessica Volk, senior, was awarded “The National School Choral Award” ; Alexandra Bushby, senior, was awarded “The Vocal Department Award”; Peter Williams, sophomore, was awarded “The William Primrose Award” ; Laura Gillenwater, sophomore, was awarded “The Gary Carr Award”. To read more on these talented students click on the following link:
“2008 Commencement Season” ( May 27, 2008) by Mark Hofmann from the Daily Courier , PittsburghLive.com. At Connelisville Area High School, 380 seniors, will graduate and their Valedictorian is Kinley Sepkovic. She is a scholar, pianist and vocalist. “She plans to attend the University of Pittsburg to major in pharmaceutical studies.” At Geibel’s Catholic High School, the Valedictorian is Julia Vodonish, scholar and classical pianist. She will major in biological sciences to pursue medical research at the University of Chicago. To read more on these talented scholars and musicians click on the following link:
“Emily Hornbaker Honored for Academics and Musical Talent” ( May 28, 2008) by Kate Shunney from The Morgan Messenger, Berkeley Springs Newspaper, Berkley Spring. West Virginia. Valedictorian Emily Hornbaker is a scholar and a musician. She began to play the piano at six years of age and in the sixth grade began to play the clarinet. As a senior she was a Drum major for the high school band. She says “When I was little, band was just a part of the family. Her grandfather, Herbert Young, had a 50-year career in music, including 35 years as band director for Hancock High School.” Young required all seven of his children “to take piano lessons and choose an instrument from his collection of nearly 30 instruments.” Hornbaker excelled at both Advanced Placement classes and general classes earning a 4.25 grade point average in high school. Principal George Ward said , She’s one of these quiet leaders, someone who’d rather that someone else have the limelight,” he said.“If one of her classmates needs help, advice or guidance, she’s the very first one to be there.” To read more click on the following link:
Madeline’s question of the month: “Can listening to or playing Classical Music Make students smarter?”
Top High School Graduates around the United States are both scholars and musicians. These graduates began playing their musical instruments when they were very young and continued throughout their high school careers. Northside Middle School in Norfolk, Virginia is using classical music in halls and class rooms with very good success. Their students are calmer, better behaved and are doing good work in class. In her chemistry class, science teacher Anne Savan decided to try Classical Music using Mozart’s Symphonies in the background to calm her overly frustrated students. The results were amazing. “The response to the music was dramatic as the pupils became calm and cooperative within minutes of entering the room.” She 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.” “Using Music in the Classroom” ( 2001) by Dorothy Lockhart Lawrence, editor of PPOV from the Advanced Brain Technologies, Ogden, Utah.
Gottfried Schlaug, neurologist found in his 1995 study “that professional musicians who started playing before the age of 7 have an unusually thick corpus callosum, the bundle of axons that serves as an information superhighway between the left and right sides of the brain.” Now at Harvard Medical School in Boston he and his colleagues Ellen Winner and Marie Forgeard at Boston College, “studied 31 children. The researchers collected detailed magnetic resonance images of the children’s brains at age 6 and again at 9. Of the group, six children faithfully practiced at least 2.5 hours a week in the time between scans. In these budding musicians, a region of the corpus callosum that connects movement – planning regions on the two sides of the brain grew about 24% relative to the overall size of the brain.” The children who practiced one to two hours a week or who stopped practicing entirely on their violin or piano “showed no such growth.” Schlaug is continuing his research “with the same children to investigate whether their training had other benefits, such as improved memory or reasoning skills.”
Music Builds Bridges in the Brain” ( April 16, 2008) by Greg Miller from the Science Now Daily News.
By contrast in Oak Park High School in Detroit, Michigan the school is under prison like conditions. Students are trapped by “metal gates in the hallways” ….“ if they miss a five minute class change, a 25 minute lunch period in a packed cafeteria with long lines.” They students do not have a library, a computer lab, classrooms are overcrowded, the school does not have enough text books, and the teachers are non-certified. “Prison Conditions in Oak Park High School” (April 28. 2008) by Diane Bukowski from The Michigan Citizen.
Madeline’s editorial question for July 2008: Should Listening to Rap Music Come with a Warning Label like Movies or Cigarettes?
On May 13, 2008 Grammy- nominated Rapper, Remy Ma, whose real name is Remy Smith, “was sentenced to eight years in prison for shooting a women outside a Manhattan nightclub.” Makeda Barnes Jones, nearly died when Remy shot her in a dispute over money. “State Supreme Court Justice Rena Uviller said she recognized that Smith had had a difficult childhood but noted that the victim had nearly died and will never be the same physically.” Uviller called the rapper “a young woman whose anger is out of control.” “Remy Ma Gets 8 Years in Jail for Shooting” (May 13, 2008) by Jose Martinez of the Daily News, NYC.
This behavior follows with our discussion, last month, of The Early Show report on Friday, Jan 18, 2008 on Stacy Gayle, 25, from Alberta, Canada having had as many “as 10 grand mal seizures a day” triggered by listening to rap music. She finally realized that the rap music she was listening to on her iPod was triggering the seizures in May 2007.
By contrast, in London at the Institute of Neurology, doctors reported that a 46 year old man with severe epilepsy for most of his life had tried every thing to stop his “seven generalized seizures a month.” … In the last three months, he decided to change his lifestyle by listening “to Mozart for 45 minutes a day” and he has been free of seizures.
Dr. Francis Rauscher trained as a concert cellist at the Juilliard School. After touring the U.S., Europe, and Canada, “she spent two years as a performer for a music therapist” (Snyder, 1995, p.21). She continued her education by earning a doctorate in research psychology at Columbia University. Psychologist, Frances Rausher at the University of California at Irvine (Center of Neurobiology of Learning and Memory) and Gordon Shaw physicist have been testing three year old children who study piano and voice to see if music has an impact on their intelligence. They did a before and after picture using standard IQ tests over a 3 month interval for a year. The tests showed 80 % gains in spatial reasoning which is useful for studying higher mathematics. 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). Frances Rauscher says music instruction can improve a child’s special intelligence for long periods of time perhaps permanently” (p. 1).
In 1990 Gordon Shaw and Xiaodan Leng of University of California, Irvine, and Eric Wright of the Irvine Conservatory of Music discovered the “neural network theory of music perception” (1994, p. C2). Today it is called the “Mozart Effect”. One hundred and fifteen college students were involved in these studies. One group listened to 10 minutes of a Mozart sonata and afterwards they were tested to find they had increased on the IQ tests of abstract spatial reasoning by 9 points. The other test group were students who listened to techno pop or Philip Glass compositions, or sat silently, they did not enhance their scores.
“SOC’s Regina Jones Named Top Principal” (May 30, 2008) by Kent Fischer from the Dallas Morning News. She has been a Dallas educator for 31 years. She received “her Bachelor of Music Education Degree from Texas A&M Commerce University in 1977 and taught in Dallas ISD for 17 years.” In 19993 she received her Master of Educational Degree from Texas A&M Commerce University. Her teachers wrote the following about her, “Our principal took the risk of assuming the leadership of a low-performing school,” …. “She believed in her heart that she could restore our confidence, self-esteem and reputation, and is determined to do what is best for the school. Under her leadership the school’s math scores have improved 10% overall. Also, this year our school was listed in The Texas Monthly as one of the ‘100 Best Public Schools in Texas’ and received the ‘Gold Performance Acknowledgment for Recommended High School Program.’ Our principal has taken a school that felt hopeless and transformed it into a positive, nurturing environment by setting a positive tone and dispelling negativity.” To read more click on the following link:
For more 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:
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 August 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 July 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:
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:
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”
“Granite Falls Educator Is Nation’s Teacher of the Year” (April 26, 2007) by Lynn Thompson from the Seattle Times Newspaper. The nation’s teacher of the year is Granite Falls music teacher, Andrea Peterson. Andrea Peterson, 33, teaches choir and music classes at Monte Cristo Elementary School. She plays “almost every instrument in the orchestra, sings, composes music, and writes lyrics for her students on subjects as diverse as ocean ecology and Shakespeare.”
“Opera Enlightens Local Elementary School” (Feb 15, 2008) by Steffaney Clark from the Gulf Breeze News. The students at Navarre Primary School in Pensacola, Florida created an entire opera, words, music, and sets, with the help of the Pensacola Opera Company and their music teacher, Ann Leffard and their art teacher. “The opera takes the entire year to complete” and this is the school’s second year working with the Pensacola Opera Company. Jamie Pahukoa, a second grade teacher said the opera “focused on reading, writing and basic skills. It shows that there are more creative ways for kids to learn than just handing out worksheets. We learn together and it boosts their self esteem and gives them a sense of pride for what we accomplish during the course of a year.”
“Opening Minds Through the Arts” (OMA) On March 8, 2008, Saturday at 3pm, the Opening Minds Through the Arts will have a fund raising Showcase at Rincon/University High School Auditorium and Cafeteria. OMA program “integrating the musical “arts into teaching reading, writing, math and science.” The program began 8 years ago in three elementary schools in Tucson, Arizona and is now in 44 Tucson Unified School District elementary and middle schools serving 19,000 students. The program has 700 teachers and 53 Teaching Artists. To read more click on the following link:
“A Medical Maestro: Can Mozart Treat Heart Disease” (March 18, 2008) by Roger Dobson from the Independent.co.uk. In London at the Institute of Neurology, doctors reported that a 46 year old man with severe epilepsy for most of his life had tried every thing to stop his “seven generalized seizures a month.” including 7 epileptic drugs and brain surgery to control his seizures without success . In the last three months, he decided to change his lifestyle by listening “to Mozart for 45 minutes a day” and he has been free of seizures. To read more click on the following link:
“Quantum Learning Empowers Students Through Accelerated Learning” (Feb. 21, 2008) from Education News, Trans World News.com. For over 26 years Quantum Learning school programs and Super Camp academic summer camps have been Accelerating Learning through Dr. Georgi Lozanov’s work developed in the mid- 70’s. Dr. Lozanov, from Bulgaria, a professor of psychiatry and psychotherapy used “baroque music, …steady 60-80 beats per minute, melodic chord structures and instrumentation assists your body to access an alert yet relaxed state whereby stimulating receptivity and perception allowing you to perform better and remember more.”
“Artists as Education Consultants” (Feb 13, 2008) by Marcia Daft from Education Week.(pp.32-33) For the past fifteen years, Ms. Daft, a pianist, has worked as a “teaching artist” collaborating with classroom teachers to teach geometry, math, science, history and language arts.
Performing at Hospitals, Rehab Hospitals, and Retirement Homes
Madeline Frank, violist has shared her music with patients at local Hospitals and Rehab Hospitals in Virginia.