October 2007 marks the first anniversary of Madeline’s Monthly Article & Musical Tips. Music has the power to motivate, inspire, educate and soothe pain. No one is immune from the power of music.
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Oliver Sacks, MD, Professor of Clinical Neurology at Albert Einstein College of Medicine, is the author of a new book this October entitled Musicophilia : Tales of Music. “Dr. Sacks describes different neurological conditions that are effected by music.” In our September issue of Madeline’s Monthly Article & Musical Tips , Dr. Sacks discussed the critical role music plays in the therapy for different medical diseases. Music stimulates memory in Alzheimer patients and activates muscles with patients effected with Parkinson’s. The playing of music and/or participation, in some form , activates nerve cells in the brain. It is very important to choose the right music for each patient. Music that they were once fond of can help re- stimulate memory. Dr. Sacks says, music is “the profoundest non-chemical medication for his patients and music has the power to organize”.
“Medical Varsity Plans E-Library” (Aug 22,2007) from The Hindu India’s National Newspaper. “The Tamilnadu Dr. MGR Medical University will shortly commission an e-library that will house medical literature in electronic format instead of books.” Included will be the “Impact of Music . …..Some kinds of music definitely complement the healing process in some disorders….futuristic assessments of … neurosciences in 20015 …”.
“The Science of Music” (Sep 2,2007) by Bryan Appleyard from the Times On Line UK. Ingmar Bergman, the great film director, “listened to music.” His daughter-in-law said he saw it, “as a sort of gateway to other realities, different from those we can immediately perceive with our senses.” Daniel Levitin , recording engineer, producer, and musician- has written a new book “This Is Your Brain on Music”. He says, “the science of music must begin from the fact that it is universal and ancient human obsession. It appears to be hard-wired into us-not just the appreciation, but also the making of music.” For the article go to :
“Mozart Makes Everything Sweeter” (August 23,2007) by Mijana Velijkovic from the Excalibur On Line York University’s Newspaper. As you drive up the foothills of Siena, Italy to Carlo Cignozzi’s Vineyard, you hear his “beloved classical music ”playing. Cignozzi says, “even plants need a little soft music.” When Cignozzi decided he wanted to change his career , he researched other vineyards in China and Korea and examined the positive effects of classical music on vineyards. He began by playing Mozart’s “Magic Flute” and Vivaldi’s “Four Seasons” on his accordion for his vineyard workers , “feeling that he had not only had an effect on them but also his grapes.” His results are as follows : “His grapes matured within 10 to 14 days, instead of the usual 20 days. The alcohol content also became higher due to the faster growth. Another discovery….was the decrease in bacteria, moulds and parasites.” During the night Cignozzi played Tchaikovsky to keep away nighttime predators such as deer away from his vineyard. Cignzzin says, “music, it seems, had become a potential organic pest deterrent.”
“Musicophilia: Tales of Music and the Brain” (Sep 9,2007) by Oliver Sacks, MD from the Science & the City Academy Events. Music has the power to “lift us out of depression when nothing else can. It can get us dancing to its beat. Music can move us to the heights or depths of emotion.” Music can persuade us to buy more at a store or help us to remember. “But the power of music goes much, much further. Indeed, music occupies more areas of our brain than language does- humans are a musical species.” Dr. Sacks new book “examines the powers of music, through the individual experiences of patients, musicians, and everyday people…” On Oct 16, 2007 , 6-7pm, at The New York Academy of Sciences will be a reception and book signing with Dr. Oliver Sacks. For the entire article go to:
“Oliver Sacks On Earthworms, Stevie Wonder and the View from Mescaline Mountain” (Sep 24,2007) by Steve Silberman from Wired Magazine: Issue 15.10 A new interview with Oliver Sacks, MD . For the interview go to :
“Sacks’ Ipod Playlist” (Sep 25, 2007) The interview continues as Dr. Sacks shares his musical playlist.
“91 Year Old Uses Arts Program to Transform Struggling Students” (Sep 12,2007) by Susan Felt from The Arizona Republic. Gene Jones, decided 8 years ago, when he was 84, to change the way students learn in the Tucson Unified School District. Jones a WW11 decorated veteran , a retired businessman who took failing businesses and re-developed them into multimillion dollar businesses, “was awarded one of the five $100,000 Purpose Prizes, given to people over 60 who are engaged in transforming social projects.”. As a freshman at Dartmouth “he spent nearly every weekend night at the music building, studying while curled up beneath a piano. It was the beginning of a lifelong love of music.” He later “how music affected him, but later would learn music’s profound effect on students while sponsoring fellowships to the Boston Symphony Orchestra’s music program at Tanglewood during the 70s . “ Jones says, “I was impressed with their determination, passion and discipline….They were doing music not for money. They were doing it because of their love and commitment.”
“Aging Well: Music to the Ears” ( Sep 10,2007) by Tamera Manzanares from the Craig Daily Press.Com/News. Classical music has the power to lift people “struggling with depression, loneliness, dementia and other aspects of aging.” A concert by The Steamboat Springs Orchestra on Saturday is offering free tickets to seniors. For the entire article go to :
“So When Is Debussy Due At De Station” (Sep 15,2007) from the Plymouth Evening Herald-Plymouth, England, UK. The playing of classical music at Bretonside bus station is keeping crime away.
We are beginning a new school year which is a new opportunity to use classical music in the classrooms during math and English composition class and after school during homework time. Classical music played in the background helps students learn to relax, allowing them to do a better job on their work. The new school year is also a wonderful opportunity to start learning a musical instrument to learn discipline, cooperation, teamwork, motivation, concentration and self-esteem. Studying a musical instrument develops millions of new connections, synapses, between nerve cells in the brain. Many of the worlds scientists , doctors, and mathematicians are also musicians. July’s newsletter was a testimonial to the many Valedictorians, Salutatorians and grads of 2007 who are scholars and musicians.
The question of the month:
Mr. M asked: “I have a family member who is depressed and has some medical problems, can music help?
My Answer: Listening to classical music has the power to sooth us and make us forget about our depression, our pain, and our problems. Music removes us from our surroundings focusing on the music.
Below are several articles supporting this research
“Musicians Offer Sounds to Soothe” (March 1, 2006) by Lori Carter from the Orlando Sentinel in Central Florida.Verlon Eason is a certified music practitioner and a harpist playing at Orlando Regional Medical Center and two other hospitals in the area . She says, “I’m interested in educating the public to let them know how… music and the arts can be very healing and therapeutic for patients. It releases endorphins in the brain, which gives you an overall sense of wellness. It regulates the heartbeat and stabilizes it.” She goes on to say, “With cancer patients it releases stress, fear and worry, and it creates a sense of hope within a person—everyone needs hope.” “Sounds Good , Music Calms the Savage Pain Beast” (Nov/Dec. 2006) from Arthritis Today. Steven Stanos, medical director, osteopathic physician, at the Chronic Pain Care Center at Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago says, “We think music stimulates areas of the brain that are responsible for releasing the body’s own painkillers. Music stimulates the periaqueductal gray (PAG) area in the mid-brain, which is where we have our own opiod system. In an article entitled, “How Art Therapy Could Help You Stay Healthier” ( Nov. 10, 2006)
by Colin Kerr from the Irish Medical Times, Google points out the alternative medicine website www.oohoi.com which “poses the question, could music help us recover from our illness?” The web site Oohoi states that in 1992, studies were done in Germany, UK, and the US that showed patients recovered faster listening to music and felt less discomfort and anxiety. After World War II, many war veterans returned home depressed and mentally disturbed. The veterans greatest fear was their “horrifying experience of war. … Music therapy, at the end of World War 11, “was developed to help depressed soldiers returning from war. The treatment was so successful that medical authorities employed musicians in hospitals.”
Kerr says, “when used in combination with pain-relieving drugs, music has been found to decrease the overall intensity of the patient’s experience of pain and can sometimes result in a reduced dependence on pain medication.” … “Some classical music approximates the rhythm of the resting heart (70 beats per minute). This music can slow a heart that is beating too fast.” Psychologist Dr. Raymond Macdonald, of Glasgow’s Caledonian University explained that “when you look at brain scans of people listening to music the whole brain lights up like a Christmas tree.” “Try Music to Heal Body and Mind” (Nov. 14, 2006) from the Detroit News Online. The October issue of Health of Consumer Reports stated the following: “Listening to soothing music causes your pulse and breathing rate to slow down substantially. That can lead to better sleep, less short-term pain, and an easing of Alzheimer’s symptoms.” Consumer Reports Tips on getting the most out of your time with music: “Choose music you find relaxing. Studies have shown that classical or meditative music with soft, flowing rhythms are effective. Consider headphones to help block out. Get comfortable, and give it time-at least 30 minutes while lying other sounds down.”
“The Art of Healing” (Oct. 22, 2006) by Marlena Hartz:
CNJ staff writer from the Clovis News Journal serving Eastern New Mexico and West Texas. Davide Cabassi , a classical pianist and finalist at the Van Cliburn International Piano Competition played a concert at the Clovis Community College for the Arts in Healing program. Hartz says, “The Italy native said in times of sickness he turns to his piano and music for comfort.” Cabassi contracted a bone-eating virus at the age of 9 and was unable to walk. During this time he “glued himself to the keyboard,” says Hartz. Cabassi, “I was pretty sick as a kid. Then I started to play. … Hartz says, “Mastering the piano remained his outlet, even after the virus left his body. Later in life the artist dealt with depression.” Cabassi said, “Again, it was this box,”…pointing to the piano, that took me out.” Nola Pawol, Plains Regional Medical Center administrator and physical therapist agrees with Cabassi. “Dedication is essential in recovery. It takes a strong desire to recover if you have one side of your body paralyzed.” One of the audience, Louise Snell, 88, after Cabassi’s performance stated it this way, “Music is a part of the soul, it takes you from the lowest depths to the highest heaven. “Cancer Patients Turn Appreciative Hearts, Ear to N.C. Symphony’s ‘Treatment’” (April 12, 2007) by Allen Mask, MD from Raleigh, North Carolina WRAL. 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.
For more scientific evidence, medical evidence, and musical therapy refer to my book The Secret of Teaching Science & Math Through Music
Musical Notes On Math teaches your child fractions and decimals the fun way through the rhythm of music, the Winner of the Parent To Parent Adding Wisdom Award. See a one page math to rhythm tip sheet
To order the book, “Musical Notes On Math” tap on **
This October if you have a question about the power of music for education and healing … what would your specific question be? Tap on my web site below and look on the left side to where it says ask me a question:
Classroom Review/Update On Using Classical Music in the Public School Classrooms and while doing homework after 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
- “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.”
“Music Saved the Street Children of Venezuela-Could It Work for Scotland Too? (Aug. 13,2007) by Ben Hoyle from the Times Online UK. “ In the violent slums of Venezuela, free classical music lessons have transformed the lives of hundreds of thousands of children and created an unlikely production of virtuosos. For 32 years El Sistema (the System) has tackled the “spiritual poverty” among some of South America’s poorest street children by teaching them to play Bach, Beethoven and Mahler in orchestras.” On Friday at the Edinburgh International Festival the Simon Bolivar Youth Orchestra of Venezuela , one of over 200 orchestras reaching over 250,000 children, will play a concert arranged by project organizers who hope to “rescue a generation of children on one of Scotland’s most notorious housing estates.” At the rehearsal will be families from the Raploch estate hoping to change the lives of their children. Raploch has “widespread unemployment and parents are scared for their children…To d for their children.” The families want “to keep their children off the streets …drinking… Tonic Wine.” From the Youth Orchestras of Venezuela have come Gustavo Dudamel, 26, the new music director of the Los Angeles Philharmonic and from the ghetto of Caracas, Edicson Ruiz, “17, the youngest –ever member of the Berlin Philharmonic.”
The transformation project will start slowly with a 120 Million Pounds for new schools, nurseries, 900 new homes, sports facilities and health facilities. Venezuela’s, El Sistema began “humbly with a handful of children playing in a garage”. Today the Youth Orchestras of Venezuela attract “more than 15 Million Pounds a year of government funding”. For the article go tohttp://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/uk/article2246441.ece
“Music Is A Lifeline”(Sep 26, 2007) from Artslink.co.za News. What was accomplished in Venezuela could be done in Africa.
“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 moved to Tucson in the spring of 2000 and “became president of the Tucson Symphony Orchestra board, attended a national conference for people running symphony orchestras. There, he heard of an experimental program in North Carolina that brought orchestra players into the classrooms not just to expose kids to the pleasures of music, but also to help classroom teachers impart curriculum and teach basic skills.” This North Carolina program was so successful in raising children’s test scores that Jones decided to fly several of the Tucson educators to North Carolina to see the program at work. They were so excited about the North Carolina program that they decided to implement a similar program in Arizona . “Seven years later, Opening Minds through the Arts, the program they excitedly sketched out on their way home, is in 36 TUSD schools, serving 17,000 students for 32 weeks a year. It’s been so successful at pleasing teachers and parents, and raising test scores, that Harvard University has studied it as a model for arts integration.” To read the entire article go to :
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 November 2007 newsletter.
Wishing you and your family a good October from your Non-Invasive Medicine…Music Expert, Madeline