We want to wish all of our readers a very Happy Mother’s Day! One mother recently said, “Mothers are the quiet unsung heroes!” Mothers are more concerned about their children’s needs then their own. (Selflessness) Mothers love their children with their whole heart and are willing to sacrifice for their children’s needs. (Unconditional love) Remember your own beloved mother and honor her on this very special day. The books and movies of wonderful mothers, “Cheaper By the Dozen” about Lillian Moller Gilbreth and “I Remember Momma” are classics. Start your Mother’s Day joyfully by listening to Classical music which has the power to improve your mood, make you smarter, help you work faster with more accuracy, improves health and healing, grows healthier plants in fewer days, increases sales in stores, soothes your mind and preventing crime. If school cafeterias and school buses played Classical Music, the students would be calmer and more focused without violent tendencies. If anyone has an experience they would like to share with our readers on the benefits of classical music please send it and it will be include it in the June 2009 newsletter
Question of the Month:
Name the physicist and mathematician who won the Nobel Prize in 1963 in physics for the “nuclear shell structure” who was also a singer?
Maria Goeppert Mayer (b. June 28, 1906 in Kattowitz, Germany (now Katowice, Poland) d. Feb. 20, 1972 in San Diego, Calif.) physicist, mathematician, Nobel Prize winner in 1963 in physics for the “nuclear shell structure,” and singer of Schubert songs. She was the mother of two children. Her son Peter said, “She must know every song Schubert ever wrote” (McGrayne, 2006, p. 191). She “became one of the two women to receive a Nobel Prize in Physics ,the other being Marie Curie.”
Her father was professor of pediatrics at the University of Gottingen, the sixth generation of professors in her family. She followed in his footsteps to be “the seventh generation of professors in her family, and her son would be the eighth” (McGrayne, 2006, p.199). Dr. Mayer’s mother was a pianist, singer, and “a former music teacher” (About.com: Women’s History, p.1. McGrayne, S.(2006). Nobel Prize Women in Science. Washington, D.C. : Joseph Henry Press. pp. 175-200. “Her father insisted, “Never become just women.” For 30 years she worked as an unpaid volunteer in three different fields for three American universities. “She taught supervised graduate students, served on university committees, and published articles-but did not receive a university salary until ten years after her Nobel Prize-winning work.” (McGrayne,S.B., 2002, P.175) McGrayne, S.B. (2002). Nobel Prize Women in Science. Washington, D.C.: Joseph Henry Press.
During the time she was working on her theory of the Nuclear Shell Structure “there were German scientists working on exactly the same thing. After they had published their results, Maria sought to collaborate with them.” Hans Jensen, “one of the German team, worked with Maria to produce a book in 1950 called Elementary Theory of Nuclear Shell Structure. In 1963 both Maria and Hans Jensen were awarded the Nobel Prize for Physics “…for their discoveries concerning nuclear shell structure.” Maria Goeppert Mayer “received her Nobel Prize in Physics in 1963 together with” J. Hans Jensen and Eugene Paul Wigner.
Dr. Mayer said, “Winning the prize wasn’t half as exciting as doing the work.” In “the 1940s and early 1950s, she computed equations on opacity for Edward Teller that would be used for Teller’s investigations into the possibility of a hydrogen bomb.”
Madeline’s Musical One Minute Radio Show for May 2009
May 2009 Feature Question:
How does Classical Music play a part of Maria Goeppert Mayer’s life as a physicist and mathematician?
Click to listen: https://www.madelinefrankviola.com/madelines-one-minute-radio-show/
“The Power To Reconnect” (April 2009) by Tim Homfray from The Strad Magazine. “In 2007 a project was launched to investigate the value of music to people with dementia. Two musicians, violinist Kokila Gillett and pianist Pavel Timofejevsky, who perform together professionally as the Philomel Duo, made ten monthly visits to Nightingale House, a London care home, to play to residents with varying degrees of the illness.” The musicians established a rapport with the residents and consulted with care staff members “on repertoire that would reconnect with the participants’ lives and memories.” The musicians played virtuoso pieces, folksongs, and popular pieces. Gillett says, “They saw responses even in their very first session. There was a man there whose eyes began to sparkle. His wife was visiting, and he took her hand. To watch the intimacy and recognition between them felt almost voyeuristic.” The musicians playing regularly to dementia sufferers at a London care home had residents singing, dancing, talking and remembering. “The therapeutic qualities of music have long been recognized. Its powers to affect mood and promote feelings of well-being have been enlisted in various scenarios, from therapy to shopping to calming air passengers during take-off.”
Dorothy Sayers (b. June 13, 1893 in Oxford, England and d. Dec. 17, 1957) was a mystery author ,the creator of Lord Peter Wimsey, a violinist , violist, and a mother. Dorothy Sayers played the violin and viola at village concerts. Sayers said after playing violin on a village concert as a youth, ” at every stroke of the bow the platform shook and danced and swung and swung and jumped and rolled and tossed like a ship at sea.” Even though the stage was rickety she enjoyed the audiences reception. She said,” ..for they encored me-they did indeed.” She “joined her school orchestra as a first violinist and later, like many young fiddlers, learned to play the viola in order to join a local youth orchestra that was short in the alto department” (Boyd, 2008, p.358).
“Amateur String Players: Pleasure Seekers” (Dec. 2008) by Martin Boyd from The Strad Magazine.
Lise Meitner (b. Vienna, Austria November 7, 1878 –d. Cambridge, England, Oct. 27, 1968) was a Physicist and pianist. Her father Philipp, a lawyer, and mother, Hedwig, encouraged their 8 children “to listen to their parents, .. think for themselves” and encouraged them to have “enquiring minds”. Tutors were hired to teach the 8 children, Lisa was the third child. Their house was filled with stacks of books to read and “music was important to the family.” All the children learned to play the piano. “One of her brothers even became a composer and concert pianist. From a young age Lisa was encouraged to play the piano, and her passion and love for music stayed with her all her life.” When she was fourteen her formal schooling ended, “but she still wanted to learn. She asked her father if she could study at the University of Vienna.” Classes at this time “were closed to women and Jews.” Her parents said she needed a “way to support herself financially” and her parents “insisted she first learn how to be a teacher before she pursued a higher education.”
The university in 1899 decided to admit women without having a high school diploma. She prepared for this exam by finishing “an eight year study in two years” and “took the exam and passed.” Only four of the fourteen women who took the test passed. At 23 years of age she “enrolled and attended physics classes with the men.” She finished her Ph.D. in Physics five years later. Because she was a women, she could not “use the same lab as the men” to work on her experiments at the University of Berlin. “She worked with Otto Hahn” in Berlin, unpaid doing the work in a basement, living on a small allowance her family sent her.
They “discovered a radioactive element” which they named protactinium. Hahn served in World War 1 and left Meitner to do the work. Hahn received his Nobel Prize in Chemistry “for the interpretation of nuclear fission” in 1944. No mention was made of Meitner’s work.
She fled to Sweden when the Nazis came to arrest her. She had been in Berlin for 30 years.She would sign her scientific articles “L. Meitner” and when the publisher discovered she was a women he no longer published her articles. She called the process she was working on nuclear fission. “Without her knowledge other scientists built on her work and called it the “Manhattan Project” which was .. the development of the atomic bomb. She refused to help with the development of the weapon. She wanted her discoveries to be used for peaceful purposes”.
She worked with her nephew, Otto Robert Frisch, for many years. He was 34 years her junior. “Albert Einstein affectionately called her “our German Madame Curie”. She was honored with the Enrico Fermi* Award with her co-workers Strassman and Hahn two years before she passed away. Twenty nine years after her death in 1997, the heaviest known chemical element, 109 “was “named Meitnerium* in her honor. On her gravestone is written “A physicist who never lost her humanity”.
“Scientist of the Decade: Lise Meitner (1878–1968)”
Lillian Moller Gilbreth, (B. May 24, 1878 in Oakland, Cal.-D. Jan.2, 1972 in Phoenix, Arizona) She was an industrial engineer, efficiency expert, with a Ph.D. in the Psychology of Management at Brown University in 1915. She received her Bachelor’s degree in 1900 and her Master’s degree in 1902 in literature at the University of California at Berkley. Her Ph.D. dissertation became a book, “The Psychology of Management” in 1915. She was the “First Lady of Engineering”, the inventor of “refrigerator door shelving” , “the foot-pedal operating bin”, a pianist, mother of 12 children, and a grandmother.
Her parents were William and Annie Delger Moller and she was the oldest of 9 children. Her father was a businessman and her mother was in poor health so she did not start in public school until she was nine years of age. As a child her life was filled with music. “Even as a child Lillie loved rhythm” (Gilbreth, 1998, p.48). Her parents , every evening ,would both take turns sitting at the piano and playing songs they enjoyed for their children. Dr. Gilbreth said, “Mama played a great variety of things- a Minuet of Beethoven, Handel’s Largo, some waltzes and polkas.” “Papa played.. mostly Steven Foster” ( p.48). Lillian studied the piano at a young age. The family also “enjoyed singing patriotic songs together” and Lillian at a young age would play “the accompaniments – only she could not transpose, so if the song was too high Papa came back to the piano and played chords in the proper key” (p. 49). The Moller house was filled with many books for the children to read. Gilbreth, L. (1998). As I Remember. Georgia: Engineering & Management Press.
Once she started public school “she progressed quickly and was academically successful in high school. Her passions at the time were literature and music, which she studied with composer John Metcalfe.”
On Oct. 19, 2004 she married Frank Gilbreth , a bricklayer, building contractor and management engineer, and they were a “husband and wife team of science and engineering”, efficiency experts studying their large family for ways of recording daily routines to learn how to save time and be more efficient. When he died in 1924 she continued her work for the next 48 years.
Rhythm in music is the timing and as an efficiency expert she excelled at it! Her twelve children were also surrounded by music.
“Math Tips for Parents” (April 7, 2009) by Dr. Arvind Gupta from the Vancouver Sun.com in Canada. Dr. Gupta says, “Music can also create a highly focused learning state in which large amounts of content information can be processed and learned. Baroque music, such as that composed by Bach or Handel that is 50 to 80 beats per minute creates an atmosphere of focus that leads students into deep concentration in the alpha brain wave state. Learning vocabulary, memorizing facts or reading to this music is highly effective. On the other hand, energizing Mozart music assists in holding attention during sleepy times of day and helps students stay alert while reading or working on projects.” He also says, “When helping your child with memorizing facts or figures, be they mathematical or not, try putting the information to rhythm or rhyme.” During stressful times this is what they will remember.
Opinion: Arts Advocacy Day Testimony from Linda Ronstadt” (March 31, 2009) by Linda Ronstadtfrom the MercuryNews.com Linda Ronstadt,a Grammy-award winning singer, shares her childhood growing up on a cattle ranch in Tucson, Arizona surrounded by music with a Congressional subcommittee as part of Arts Advocacy. She says, at her grandmother’s house they played classical music on her Victrola and listened to opera on the 78-RPM recordings. The Metropolitan Opera broadcasted on the radio on Saturday nights and they would listen to the broadcast “or sit at the piano trying to unravel a simple Beethoven, Brahms, or Liszt composition from a page of sheet music. Evenings, if the weather wasn’t too hot or freezing…we would haul our guitars outside and sing songs until it was time to go in…” Her father whistled while he was repairing equipment, her older brother practiced “Ave Maria” to perform with the Tucson Boys Choir, her sister sang while washing the dishes and her younger brother played the double bass. Her father on Sundays would play the piano “and sing in his beautiful baritone: love songs in Spanish for my mother.. My mother would play Ragtime or… Gilbert and Sullivan.” At this time “There was no TV, the radio couldn’t wander around with you ..it was tethered to the wall…”
She continues with the value of music for improving health and the ” recent survey by Harris Interactive of 450 randomly selected high schools revealed that students who are enrolled in a music program have a 90.2% graduation rate, while those who take no music classes have a 72.9% graduation rate. Christopher Johnson, professor of music education and associate dean of the School of Fine Arts at Kansas University, conducted a landmark study comparing test scores of students in a music program with students who had no music. Professor Johnson later testified before Congress, presenting some eye-opening data: students of all regions and socio-economic backgrounds who studied music scored significantly higher on math and English tests than students who did not study music.” She mentions several programs that have changed at risk children’s lives including the “Opening Minds to the Arts” developed in her home town of Tucson, Arizona, “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.)
She finishes by saying, “Imagine what can be accomplished if we support the arts, engage ‘at risk’ youth and help them succeed in school and in their lives. For ‘underserved’ families, indeed for all families, participation in music and the arts can help people reclaim and achieve the American Dream.”
“Composing Concertos in the Key of Rx” (March 25, 2009) by Matthew Gurewitsch from The New York Times. Dr. Michael Roizen, chief wellness officer of the Wellness Institute at the Cleveland Clinic, said “Listening to finer music and attending concerts on a consistent basis makes your real age about four years younger. Whether that’s due to stress relief or other properties, we see decreases in all-cause mortality, reflecting slower aging of arteries as well as cancer-related and environmental factors. Attending sports events like soccer or football offers none of these benefits.”
The director of the research program in music and medicine at the Paracelsus Private Medical University in Salzburg, Austria is Vera Brandes.. She says, “I am the first musical pharmacologist,” Brandes is “developing medication in the form of music, dispensed as a prescription. To market the product line, she helped found Sanoson (sanoson.at), a company that also designs custom music systems for medical facilities.”
The research Sourcetone uses is from Harvard Medical School and Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center in Boston. Dr. Gottfried Schlaug, neurologist, “studies the effects of musical activity on brain function and plasticity. He considered, at one time, “a career as an organist and choir director … His work with Sourcetone has essentially consisted of quantifying subjective personal responses to specific pieces of music in an objective way. He says his “deeper medical interest.. are ..to provide a “neurobiological substrate” for existing forms of music therapy already in wide use: to prove that they work and how they work.” He uses “melodic-intonation therapy, which uses singing to help stroke patients relearn language.” Dr. Schlaug says, “I think it’s important to engage and make music. Not just to listen.”
“Doctors Beat” (April 12, 2009) by Janet Christie from the Scotland on Sunday.
“A US study suggests that listening to sophisticated classical tunes can make you more youthful.” Dr. Michael F. Roizen, of the Wellness Institute at the Cleveland Clinic, in Ohio says, “Listening to finer music and attending concerts on a consistent basis makes your real age about four years younger. Whether that’s due to stress-relief or other properties, we see decreases in all-cause mortality, reflecting slower ageing of arteries as well as cancer-related and environmental factors. Attending sports events like soccer or football offers none of these benefits.”
Classical music is known as a healing agent but what of Rock music?
“We all instinctively know that specific types of music can induce or promote particular states of mind. It makes sense that Israeli researchers found that those listening to fast music were twice as likely to have an accident, while soothing music at metro stations and schools helped calm teenagers in Newcastle. Back in 1989, US troops used the sheer annoyance factor of Joe Dolce’s ‘Shaddap You Face’ and Rick Astley’s ‘Never Gonna Give You Up’, played at full volume for three days, to induce Panamanian president Manuel Noriega to resign. Even the Vatican, no fan of Noriega, was forced to protest about this excessive cruelty.” Today, “the use of ‘acoustic bombardment’ has become standard practice in Iraq, Afghanistan and Guantanamo Bay to create fear, disorient detainees, prolong capture-shock, induce sleep-deprivation – and drown out screams. A Barry Manilow medley was used in Sydney to drive loitering youths from local parks. Surprisingly, not all musicians object to this practice. When they were told their track ‘Enter Sandman’ was among the most widely played song for torture, rock band Metallica .. said, “Our music is meant to be scary, and if we can help with the war on terrorism in any way, we are extremely proud.”
“Woman Who Plays Classical Music to Soothe Horses Told to Get License” (March 27, 2009) by John Bingham from the Telegraph.co.uk. “Rosemary Greenway has been playing passages of opera and orchestral symphonies on the radio to the animals at her stables for more than 20 years, convinced that it helps soothe them. …Rather than pay the fee, she now leaves the radio off except on Sundays when she is alone at the stable yard.” She says, “I actually use my radio for the benefit of the horses as Classic FM helps them relax.”
This May 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: ww.madelinefrankviola.com
Evidence & Articles supporting the benefits of classical music in your daily life, in the Public School Classrooms, and while doing homework after school:
Mrs. S teaches 7th grade Math at Davis Middle School in Hampton, VA.: “Students perform better on tests and quizzes while listening to Mozart Symphonies in the background..” (Dec 1, 2008)
Mrs. I’s fourth grade reading, writing, and math class in the York County Public School District in Virginia. “During the summer of 2008, I taught students from all the schools in the county. About the middle of the term, I decided to start playing classical music while students worked independently. I noticed that students were more focused on tasks than they had been previously while doing independent work. They also talked to each other less. One day, when I forgot to turn on the music, a number of the students came up to me and reminded me to turn it on. At the end of the term, all the students had reached their academic goals in both subjects, (reading and math) and most had gone way beyond their goals. (Most of the student’s scores went up 15% to 36% higher.) I know that the atmosphere that was created by the classical music contributed a lot to this.” (Sep 24, 2008)
Mrs. C’s high school math class in Colorado: “The students asked for music in class. I told them I wouldplay 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”