The nations teacher of the year is Granite Falls music teacher, Andrea Peterson. On April 26,2007, she was honored at the White House in the Rose Garden by President Bush who also spoke about the teachers at Virginia Tech for their heroism , their devotion and dedication to their students. Liviu Librescu, taught mathematics and engineering and was a holocaust survivor. He “kept his students behind him blocking the doorway with his body and asked the students to flee”. He was a hero. Kevin Granata, biomechanical engineering teacher, came out of his office to try and help others . Virginia Tech students remembered French teacher Jocelyne Couture-Nowak, known as “Madame” to her students, having a love of teaching French. She inspired her students to learn French. G.V. Loganathan , engineering professor, was devoted to his students. He “cared for students as if they were his own children.” Jamie Bishop was a dedicated teacher who taught German. Our hearts are with the families at Virginia Tech. The nation’s teacher of the year, Andrea Peterson, 33, teaches choir and music classes at Monte Cristo Elementary School. She plays “almost every instrument in the orchestra, sings, composes music, writes lyrics for her students on subjects as diverse as ocean ecology, the exploration of Lewis and Clark, the U.S. Constitution and Shakespeare.” She uses music to teach many different subjects to students. Superintendent Joel Thaut, says, “Music isn’t a subsidiary subject in Granite Falls. It’s part of everything we do.”

“Granite Falls Educator Is Nation’s Teacher of the Year” (April 26, 2007) by Lynn Thompson from the Seattle Times Newspaper.“Good Day In Granite Falls” ( April 29, 2007) from the Seattle Times editorials & opinion.

Music has the power to motivate, inspire, educate and soothe pain.

Reminder from last month: No matter what your occupation, we all have one thing in common, we get stiff holding one position for to long. A few examples of this are working at a computer, working at your desk, and bending to pull out weeds in your garden. Have you ever watched an athlete do stretching exercises before a game? The reason for these exercises is to warm up muscles before getting into action. This is the same thing I do before I begin to practice my viola or sit at my computer to work on my articles. International pianist Leon Fleisher, 77 in last months article entitle “Hands-On Music, Once Again” by Susan Elgin recovered from his dystonia, which caused him to lose the use of his right hand at the age of 37 . Botox injections have relieved his symptoms and he is playing with both hands after a 35 year hiatus . ” When teaching master classes, Fleisher imparts health wisdom to his students in the hope of preventing injuries from “the dangers that lurk in the practice room,” he said. “When you go to the ball park, you see guys stretching, right? But no one tells piano students to stop every half hour and stretch-but that’s very important.”

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A student asked, during a class I was giving on “Music and the Brain,” if music could help his relative who had recently had a stroke ? Dr. Oliver Sacks, Professor of Clinical Neurology at Albert Einstein College of Medicine, author of Awakenings, has been playing the piano since childhood and continues to play. He uses music to help his patients recover after different illnesses. One of his patients, a stroke victim , was unable to speak. Dr. Sacks had a musician come into the room and play her favorite song. She was then able to sing the words to the song while listening to the music. Dr. Sacks says music is “the profoundest non-chemical medication for his patients and music has the power to organize”.

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

“Website Initiative NZ First For Classical Music” ( March 29, 2007) from “For the first time, complete live New Zealand classical music performances will be available as free podcasts or downloads for world wide audiences. The performances are selected from Radio New Zealand’s recordings of complete concerts in the Auckland Philharmonia Orchestra’s 2006 subscription series and will be hosted monthly as music downloads on New Zealand’s leading radio website

“Cancer Patients Turn Appreciative Hearts, Ear to N.C. Symphony’s ‘Treatment'” (April 12, 2007) by Allen Mask, MD from Raleigh, North Carolina WRAL. To view the article and see “Symphonic Medicine Helps Cancer Patients” go to Music has the power to remove you from your surroundings. “Harpist Anita Burroughs-Price helped Kelly through one of her long, uncomfortable chemotherapy sessions. “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 over-powering and soothing. I focused on the music,” Kelly said.

“Herbie’s Secret Spices” (April 21, 2007) from the At 11 years of age, Herbie Hancock performed the Mozart Piano Concerto with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra after winning the Young Peoples Series competition. At 14, after hearing a classmate improvising at the piano with his jazz trio, during a school variety concert, Herbie wanted to learn to play jazz. His classmate introduced Herbie to the recordings of George Shearing. Herbie was discovered by jazz trumpeter , Donald Byrd, where he “playing first with Byrd’s band and then with Miles Davis Quintet.” Hancock says his “creative edge came not only from his classical training but also from studying for an electrical engineering degree. He helped introduce the moog synthesizer, electric keyboards and mini moog synthesizers to jazz.” His music flows from the classics of Bach and Mozart.

In the following two articles, award winning folk singer, Grace Griffiths, who was diagnosed with Parkinson’s in 1998, uses music as a healing art for herself and others: “Singer Inspires In Fight With Parkinson’s” (April 19, 2007) by Laurie Mustard from the She sang at the Parkinson Regional Conference at the Norwood Hotel. The theme of the conference “Living the best life possible.”Grace Griffith’s “life with Parkinson’s, career as a physical therapist and commitment to the healing art of music has led her to become increasingly involved in educating people about the disease.” Grace says, Parkinson’s “really does present an opportunity for growth because it shows you what’s the big stuff and what’s the small stuff. Some of the big stuff being fellowship, sharing struggles and connecting with people. The small stuff…is the stuff we always thought was big stuff. Calamity… give us the opportunity to notice joy and beauty in things that before you might have passed without seeing.” “Grace Griffiths Finds Comfort In Her Music By Pushing Back the Limits of Parkinson’s” (April 11, 2007) by Tahree Lane, staff writer for the in Toledo, Ohio. She sang and spoke in Toledo at the 10th annual Parkinson’s Disease Symposium. “People may take some bits of my philosophy and see if they can adapt it for themselves. Music is my bliss. It’s what gets me through the day.”

“Boosting Brain Power: Can You Make Yourself Smarter?” (April 11, 2007) by Beth Anne Piehl from the Petoskey News Review in Petoskey, Michigan. “The key is to stay mentally active, whether you’re a Baby Boomer or just a baby.” Dr. Roger Gietzen, a neurologist in Petoskey , suggests activities that require brain computation.” The article suggestions listening to Mozart, take a music lesson, work on puzzles , brain teasers, learn a language, read, and hobbies like gardening and woodworking.

“New Thame Loos To Include Classical Music?” (April 21, 2007) from the Thame’s local news-TameNews. net Oxfordshire.UK . Classical music “deters youngsters from loitering.” These new toilets with classical music in the background will stop crime. Our first example of this was on October 31, 2006 when an article came out entitled “How Classical Music Can Reduce Crime, Benefit Your Mood and Increase Your Spending In the article classical music was being played in the most dangerous neighborhoods in the London Underground stations to decrease crime. Robberies decreased by 33%, staff assaults decrease by 25%, and vandalism decrease by 37%.

“Music Therapy Enters Mental Health Institute” (March 29, 2007) from Newindpress Chennai, India. At the Mental Health Center, patients in Ward 10, “will now wake up and go to sleep listening to music.”

“Dance Program tapped Out: Junior High Club Needs Funding” (April 6, 2007) by Tracy Panzer, Staff writer for the Chambersburg Public Opinion online. com. A Junior high dance program in Chambersburg, PA is using dance classes to improve students grades, but to continue the classes, funds are needed. This article caught the attention of a local McDonald’s Owner. “McDonald’s Owner Offers $5K to Faust Dance Club” (April 7, 2007) from the Chambersburg Public Opinion-Chambersburg, PA. The students “academic reports are monitored on a regular basis, and students are required to show progress.”

“Pope Celebrates 80th Birthday” (April 15, 2007) from Vatican City, Reuters, Pope “Benedict, an accomplished pianist will celebrate his birthday with a lunch with cardinals, followed by a concert of Mozart and Dvorak in his honor at the Vatican”. “Music for my brother is the expression of joy and happiness, of his gratitude to God for the beauty of life,” said his older brother Georg Ratzinger, long time music director of Regensburg Cathedral during a recent recorded TV interview…

“Sophomore Captain Leading Hawks” (April 20, 2007) by Greg Page, Sports Writer, from the Lehigh University Student Newspaper. At Lehigh University , sophomore Kyle Roth is captain of the women’s lacrosse team and ” has scooped 25 ground balls this season and has committed only 11 turnovers.” She mentions listening to classical music on her “iPod when she plays wall ball.” She says, ” I read somewhere that classical music stimulates your brain, and I think that when I’m in a game, the first thing I forget is how to think well.”

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

  • “Granite Falls Educator Is Nation’s Teacher of the Year” (April 26,2007) by Lynn Thompson from the Seattle Times Newspaper. The nations 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, 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.”
  • “Solano Leaders Shadow Principals” by Andrea Wolf/ Times Herald correspondent March 21,2007, Vallejo, California. Glen Cove Elementary School, Principal Greg Allison has his undergraduate degree in music and teaches his students choir on Fridays and has them perform at the end of the year for their parents. “A pianist, he also makes a point to play classical music and invite” musicians from the symphony to perform.
  • 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 10 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. where nothing else can. 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 local Hospitals and Rehab Hospitals in Virginia. If anyone has an experience they would like to share on the benefits of classical music please write me and I will include it in the June 2007 newsletter.

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