March is National Music in our Schools month so put on some of your favorite Classical music to start the month off right. Remember no one is immune to the power of music!

Parents remember to have classical music on your family’s iPod.

In the U.S. we have a major problem of teacher retention and students dropping out of school. Also teachers do not have the respect of their students the way they use to!

Two school systems, one in Winston-Salem, North Carolina and the other in Tucson, Arizona, are keeping their teachers and students in school by helping classroom teachers impart curriculum and teach basic skills through arts integration of learning through classical music. Teachers Andrea Peterson, Marcia Daft, Dr. Georgi Lozanov, the Pensacola Opera Company and a few other teachers in the U.S. are integrating music in to their course work to make learning fun, memorable and inspiring to students.

Learning by Example
Click here and listen to our guest on Madeline’s Musical One Minute Radio Show for March 2008.

Many of the world’s scientists, medical doctors, computer scientists 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.

Educators, Harry and Rosemary Wong’s book “How To Be An Effective Teacher the First Days of School” is a must read for all teachers. Their March 2003 article on “Effective Teaching” says it best “A first day of school script” sets the tone for the entire year. “Effective teachers have a plan for every day of the year and especially one for the first day of school to start everything correctly. There is nothing that will take students into orbit faster than to suspect that a teacher is not organized. Model disorganization and the students will replicate this behavior and the classroom is soon in chaos.” Their web site is

The question of the month:

Can listening to music hurt you?

Well that depends!

On Friday, Jan 18, 2008, CBS’ The Early Show reported the first documented evidence of a young woman, Stacy Gayle, 25, from Alberta, Canada having had as many “as 10 grand mal seizures a day” triggered by listening to rap music. She began having the seizures when she was 21. The seizures became so bad she had to quit her job at a bank in Canada. She finally realized that the rap music she was listening to on her iPod was triggering the seizures 18 months ago.

By contrast, in hospitals across the United States, classical music is being played for patients to relieve stress and worry, helping them to heal faster. In a hospital in Raleigh, North Carolina, harpist Anita Burroughs-Price plays soothing classical music for Kelly during her long chemotherapy session. Kelly said “when we finished the chemo, she had played harp for me and I didn’t remember one bit of the session because the music was so gorgeous and overpowering and soothing. I focused on the music.”

Since 1994 the Bolton Music Residency Project in Winston-Salem, N.C. has successfully worked with at risk students to improve learning and test scores by having a classical music quintet of local musicians coordinate music instruction with classroom curriculum. In 2000, the Tucson Unified School District modeled their program after the Bolton Music Residency Project to teach their public school students curriculum through classical music. The program runs 32 weeks a year for 17,000 students and has been going strong for seven years and is called “Opening Minds through the Arts”. Thirty six Tucson Unified School District schools are in this program. The program and its directors and teachers have won many awards.

In 2007 the Nation’s teacher of the year was Andrea Peterson who teaches choir and music classes at Monte Cristo Elementary School. She uses her classical music training to compose music and lyrics to teach students Shakespeare, ecology and other subjects. Superintendent Joel Thaut says, “Music isn’t a subsidiary subject in Granite Falls, its part of everything we do.” In Norfolk, Virginia at Northside Middle School the principal and teachers are using classical music throughout the school day in classrooms and hallways to promote learning.

Parents make sure your child’s iPod has classical music on it.

Classical music has the power to help the brain concentrate better because of its complex rhythm. Dr. Oliver Sacks, noted neurologist, pianist and author of “Musicophilia” and “Awakening” says “Music has the power to organize”. Dr. Mike Lowis of Saga Health News says “In order to activate both sides of the brain, music needs to be complex so pop music and anything with a heavy beat doesn’t work.” He goes on to say, “just half an hour of soothing music is said to be equivalent to 10 mg of a tranquillizer such as valium but without the side effects.” The mathematical component of music, the rhythm, exercises the brain as sports exercises the body.

At the Bretonside bus station in England classical music is played 24 hours a day to prevent crime. In Cignozzi’s Vineyard in Siena, Italy classical music is played all day long and grapes are maturing in 10 to 14 days instead of the standard 20 days. Because of the faster growth, the alcohol content is stronger with a decrease in moulds, parasites and bacteria. At night the music of Tchaikovsky keep deer away from Cignozzi’s Vineyard.

“Program Aims To Keep Teachers In The Classroom” (Feb 26, 2008) by Tina Terry from NBC In Georgia 45 percent of their teachers “quit in the first five years”. A new free program called the Teacher Academy is being offered as a two year course by The Professional Association of Georgia Educators to help “strengthen teaching skills , and provide networking opportunities” for new teachers. To see the article and the video click the link below:

“Stay Awhile, Hopewell Chief Tells Teachers: Superintendent Sees Retention as the Top Priority for Schools” (Feb. 1, 2008) by Juan Antonio Lizama from the Jewel L. Jones, Coordinator of personnel in Hopewell says, “Of the 72 teachers hired three years ago…29 remain. That is consistent with what studies show, that 20% of public school teachers leave their positions within the first three years….Studies show that 9 percent of public teachers don’t even complete their first year.” Teachers have said the following: support system needs improvement, staff development should be offered, safety is a concern, “more lighting in the school “and “students violent behavior”. School Superintendent Winston O. Odem “recently proposed in his school budget a 7.6 percent increase for teachers. The starting salary for a new teacher currently is $36,870.” For the article click the link below:

“Helping Dropouts Hang in There” (Jan 28, 2008) by Cathy Grimes from the Daily in Newport News, VA. Cynthia Cooper, district director for alternative and dropout recover services, says “20,000 adults in Newport News do not have a high school diploma or credentials. Newport News Public Schools recently launched an aggressive program to recapture dropouts (P.A1 &A10).” Students drop out for the following reasons: to work, failing at school work and getting behind, sickness, taking care of sick family members, and are having babies or raising children

“200-Plus Teachers Sought: MPS Hiring is Part of $16 Million Initiative” (Feb 3, 2008) by Alan J. Borsuk from the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, Red Orbit News. The Milwaukee Public Schools are using a $16 Million Initiative to hire new staff in arts, math, and reading, to reduce class size, and purchase computer software.

“Tango Improves Balance, Mobility in Patients with Parkinson’s Disease”(Jan. 31, 2008) by Beth Miller from the Washington University in St. Louis School of Medicine. “Patients with Parkinson’s disease who took part in regular tango classes for 20 sessions showed significant improvement in balance and mobility when compared to patients who conventional exercise, a new study by researchers at Washington University School of Medicine.” For the full article click the link below:

“Senior’s with Dementia Find Solace at Center” (Feb 2, 2008) by Adam Pearson from News Review. Info Roseburg, Douglas County, Oregon. Elderly residents with dementia have been improving their health through classical music a healthy diet and a friendly dog named Faith. For the complete article click the link below:

“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.”

“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. She trained to “interpret national and state content standards, and to identify concepts and experiences that would be faithful to the arts and meaningful to classroom learning. This training was most frequently offered by performing arts institutes working… to keep artists in the school.” She also works as an educational consultant “leading teacher training seminars and professional –development institutes.” As a teaching artist teaching geometry, she led “a creative movement experience in which students used their bodies to learn. They connected line and shape in geometry to body line and body shape in dance.” In teaching a mathematics class where the students were learning about multiplication, skip counting or repeating patterns, she passed out drums and taught “them to create rhythm patterns that represented those mathematical ideas.”

Ms. Daft uses dance to teach science. “When students use their bodies to connect elements of dance (such as weight, time, force, energy and transformation) to concepts in science, we are truly reaching the kinesthetic learner. Imagine dancing the water cycle-moving through the stages of liquid flow, evaporation, condensation, and rainfall-as a way of learning in the classroom.” Results: “Teachers were immediately impressed by students’ motivation and learning during these teacher-artist sessions. Students who typically showed no interest in daily classroom activities joyfully volunteered to be part of the class. Troubled students who had failed year after year and had been all but written off shocked us with the imaginativeness and sophistication of their thinking.” The teaching artist can make a difference in today’s classroom.

“Quantum Learning Empowers Students Through Accelerated Learning (Feb. 21, 2008) from Education News, Trans World 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, Bach. Corelli, Tartini, Vivaldi, Handel, and Pachelbel’s to stimulate and maintain optimal learning. Baroque’s 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.” In his early work he used music to learn a foreign language “students learned from one hundred to one thousand new vocabulary words a day with 98 percent retention or better… At the root of Lozanov’s work is the idea that suggestions can and do affect the outcome of learning. Some of the ways to reinforce learning are creating a positive environment, using music, active and passive concert readings, posters and artifacts, increasing active individual participation, and having a well trained teacher in the use of these methods.” Today, Accelerated Learning applies Lozanov’s work “to all subjects.” To read the full article click the link below:

“Column: Music Education Keeps a Steady Beat” (Feb 3, 2008) by Jon Loy, District 518, Worthington Daily Globe, Worthington, MN. In Worthington K-12 students have a strong music education program where “students are involved in performances and non-performance based music education course offerings at any of the district’s three main school buildings.”

Our topic is “Learning by Example” Click here and listen to our guest on Madeline’s Musical One Minute Radio Show for March 2008

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 April 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 April if you have a question about the power of music for education and healing … what would your specific question be? Click the link below and look on the left side to where it says ask Madeline a

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:

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 refer to The Secret of Teaching Science & Math Through Music by Madeline Frank, Ph.D. click the link below:

Evidence and articles to support the benefits of classical music are listed below:

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. 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. 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 yeas of her teaching career.
  • 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.” Superintendent Joel Thaut, says, “Music isn’t a subsidiary subject in Granite Falls. It’s part of everything we do.”
  • “In This Class, Math Comes With Music” (Oct 23, 2007) by Michael Alison Chandler from the Washington Post Company. Eric Chandler is playing his guitar to teach the Standards of Learning to his second grade class at Mountain View Elementary School in Purcellville, VA. Chandler says, “A song, if it’s catchy enough, gets stuck in your head.” “He re- writes the words to a song with a particular lesson in mind so “that kids might hum one day when sitting for a test” the correct answer. “Chandler, 33, embraced musical pedagogy after learning about a teaching method called Quantum Learning, which encourages using music to keep students engaged and focused.” A Michigan based web site, has for the past three years been offering music for core subjects special education, foreign languages, and class room management. Around 200 artists have contributed. There are other web sites specializing in science or math songs.
  • “How the Arts Make Kids Smarter” (July 7, 2007) by Mary Belle McCorkle and Shirley Kiser from the Tucson Citizen, Tucson, Arizona. Gene Jones, a retired businessman ………
  • “Music Lessons Pay Off in Higher Earnings: Poll” (Nov 14, 2007) from the Reuters Life, poll from Harris Interactive. “The poll by Harris Interactive, an independent research company, showed that 88 % of people with a post-graduate education were involved in music while in school and 83% of people earned $150,000 or more had a music education.”
  • “How Can Music Reach the Silenced Brain” (Jan 1, 2001) by Concetta M. Tomaino from the Dana Foundation. Concetta M. Tomaino as a music therapist has seen what music can do for her patients. Twenty years ago she played at the piano the popular song “Let Me Call You Sweetheart” and after a few minutes “silent patients turned their gaze to” her and she heard singing from the patients with “limited cognitive skills”. She uses the rhythm of music for her patients recovering from a stroke to walk and move by. One patient said “he wasn’t thinking about walking, he was thinking about dancing.”
  • “The Famous Neuroscientist Listens in On the Marvelous and Mysterious Ways that Music Inhabits, Enlivens, and Sometimes Even Hijacks the Brain” (Jan 2008) by Susan Kruglinski from Discover Magazine: The Year In Science. In his book “Musicophilia”, Dr. Sacks relates to Susan Kruglinski how he used music- the Volga Boatmen song , after he injured his leg 33 years ago, to push himself down the mountain with his elbows. He was five or six thousand feet high on a mountain by himself, before cell phones, and he used music going through his mind to save his life. Once again after his leg was set he used the Mendelssohn Violin Concerto to trigger “the ability to walk again.”
  • “Bro Menn’s Musician-Volunteers Play for Patients” (December 3, 2007) by Paul Swiech from Pantagraph .com In October BroMenn Regional Medical Center began offering its patients a program called Music for the Heart. Three student volunteer musicians “play for willing patients and their family members in some patient rooms and lounges.” Bob Brandt, 84, was “undergoing dialysis in a hospital bed at BroMenn Regional Medical Center” while he was listening to music. He “smiled from time to time” and his wife , Barbara Brandt said “that was lovely. I think this is a marvelous idea. A patient in the hospital has little to look forward to. Music is a wonderful addition.” The other people in Brant’s hospital room enjoyed the music very much and applauded.
  • “Music Has Power to Improve Health” (Dec. 3, 2007) by Laura Urbani from the Tribune-Review, Sarah Bitner, a music therapist at Excela Health Hospitals says, “Everybody loves music. For some people it’s calming. For others it’s energizing.” There are three music therapists on staff at the Excela Health Hospitals. Music therapy is “offered in conjunction with regular medical intervention. Music therapy may be used to help decrease pain and sickness during chemotherapy treatments, to reduce anxiety before surgical procedures, or to relieve depression during long hospital stays.”
  • “Music Is the Key to Healing” (Dec 21, 2007) by Kurt Loft of the Tampa Tribune. After receiving her new heart at Tampa General Hospital, Robyn L’Heureux recovery was aided by the music played by live musician . Ms. L’Heureux says music “just takes you totally out of the hospital to another world.” She says, “One night, I had a five piece orchestra in my room.” The director of the Integrated Medical Program at Tampa General, Sheela Chokski says, “It promotes the process of getting away from an environment of tension. And it has no side effects.”

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.

Wishing you and your family a happy St. Patrick’s Day and a happy Easter from your Non-Invasive Medicine…Music Expert, Madeline