We are beginning a new school year which is a new opportunity to begin using classical music in the classrooms during class and in the hallways and on school buses to and from school. Classical music playing in the back ground helps students to relax, allowing them to concentrate and 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 world’s scientists, doctors, teachers, authors and mathematicians are also musicians. July’s newsletter was a testimonial to the many Valedictorians, Salutatorians and grads of 2009 who are scholars and musicians. Doctors have found power in having their patients listen to Opera and Classical Music to help “cardiovascular conditions through its effects on the nervous system.” Many articles on health and healing through Classical music are included in this issue.
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 October 2009 newsletter
Who was Leonardo Da Vinci?
Leonardo was born in April 15, 1452 in the village of Vinci to Ser Piero Da Vinci, a lawyer and Caterina, “a local peasant girl.” His parents each married other people when he was a year old. “At an early age Leonardo showed extraordinary talents” and was “interested in just about everything around him. He was said to have confused his math teachers with questions.”
As a person, Leonardo was said to be a very caring , handsome, and good natured young man who would stop in the market place see caged birds, purchase them and set them free. He was said to have done this many times in many different markets.
He had an “unquenchable curiosity …equaled only by his powers of invention.”… “Leonardo was educated in the studio of the renowned Florentine painter, Verrocchio. Much of his earlier working life was spent in the service of Ludovico il Moro in Milan.” He was a Renaissance genius as an artist, painter, sculptor, mathematician, scientist, engineer, inventor, botanist, anatomist, architect, musician, physicist, mechanic, geologist, and designer.
In his many notebooks are weaponry drawings, vehicles on land, bridges, flying machines, parachutes, “cartography, anatomy, geometry, horology including clocks with pendulums, and music sketches include a bell with two hammers and multiple dampers, a three-tone bagpipe and a portable organ. He worked out what was to become the basic theorem of hydrodynamics-in Codex Madrid 1.”
Gibbs-Smith, C., The Inventions of Leonardo Da Vinci, Charles Scribner’s Sons. New York 1978.
Madeline’s Musical One Minute Radio Show for September 2009.
What did Leonardo Da Vinci think about music and what musical instrument did he enjoy playing? Click here https://www.madelinefrankviola.com/madelines-one-minute-radio-show/
Poem or Story of the Month
The poem “If” by Rudyard Kipling was written for his 19 year old son. When Sir Winston Churchill was asked if he would write his autobiography he replied it had already been written by Rudyard Kipling. Click on the following link for “If” :
This September 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:
“Doctors Prescription: 2 Arias plus a Chorus” (June 17, 2009) by Hayley Mick from the Thursday’s Globe and Mail. Janice Richman-Eisenstat, a lung specialist in Winnipeg uses singing to help her patients. “Singing has long been touted as good for the soul.” Research shows singing heals “the body. Scientists and medical professionals across the globe are reaching conclusions similar to those of Dr. Richman-Eisenstat, who now prescribes singing” for some patients. “In Europe, patients with Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s and other neurological disorders are forming choirs to help strengthen their throat muscles. In New York and elsewhere, stroke patients are using melodies to facilitate their speech recovery. Researchers in Vancouver are exploring how music affects the brains of patients with bipolar disorder and depression.” In June 2009 over 70 researchers from more than 12 “countries will join forces through a consortium called Advancing Interdisciplinary Research in Singing (AIRS). Based at the University of Prince Edward Island, the program has secured federal and private funding for research projects over the next seven years.”
“Artist profile: Mark Lindenbaum: Bellingham Tuba Player Organizes Benefits Concert” (June 21, 2009) by Margaret Bikman from The Bellingham Herald, WA. Since elementary school Mark Lindenbaum, M.D. has played a brass instrument. He is a third generation musician as his father and grandfather also played musical instruments. Seven years ago he began a chamber music series to benefit the Alzheimer Society of Washington. To read more about this marvelous doctor and musician click on the following link:
The following five articles are of a new study done by Italian and United Kingdom Medical Doctors on the power of Opera and Classical Music to be “helpful for cardiovascular conditions through its effects on the nervous system.”:
“More Research Shows Therapeutic Value From Music” (June 23, 2009) by KYW’s Dr. Brian McDonough from the KVW1060.com , Philadelphia, PA. On Tuesday, June 23, two new studies were released on how music “affects overall health. The first from the journal Circulation finds that music can synchronize blood flow and respiratory rates. This can have a great therapeutic value for heart patients.” Twenty four patients were studied while they were listening “to selections of classical music and opera while doctors monitor their blood pressure, heart rates, and breathing rates.” The patients “were all working in unison.” The second “study looked at teenagers, 52 emotionally troubled ones, and found those who were able to make music with a keyboard or drums could improve their moods, school performance, and their self esteem.”
“Music, Cardiovascular Rhythms Fall in Sync” (June 23, 2009) from Reuters Health , NY.
Dr. Luciano Bernardi, lead researcher, professor of internal medicine at Pavia University said “The profile of music (crescendo or decrescendo) is continuously tracked by the cardiovascular and respiratory systems. This is particularly evident when music is rich in emphasis, like in operatic music. These findings increase our understanding of how music could be used in rehabilitative medicine.” Dr. Bernardi says, “Music induces a continuous, dynamic — and to some extent predictable — change in the cardiovascular system. It is not only the emotion that creates the cardiovascular changes, but this study suggests that also the opposite might be possible, that cardiovascular changes may be the substrate for emotions, likely in a bi-directional way.” Bernardi said this in “a news release from the American Heart Association.” Source: Circulation: Journal of the American Medical Association, June 30, 2009.
“Music to Heal the Heart? People’s Pharmacy” (June 25, 2009) from Health News. “Ancient civilizations used music in their healing rituals. Now an Italian study suggests that the tempo and volume of music can have profound physiological effects on the human body.” Twenty four healthy young Italians were the subjects. “Half were aspiring singers while the other half had no musical training. Listening to rhythmic musical phrases from Verdi resulted in heart rhythm changes. Crescendos increased heart rate and blood pressure while decrescendos slowed heart rate and lower blood pressure. The listeners’ emotional response to the music did not influence the outcome.” The conclusions of the study suggest “that music may be helpful for cardiovascular conditions through its effect on the nervous system.”
“Dynamic Interactions Between Musical, Cardiovascular, and Cerebral Rhythms in Humans” (June 22, 2009) from the American Heart Association. “Luciano Bernardi MD*, Cesare Porta MD, Gaia Casucci MD, Rossella Balsamo MD, Nicolò F. Bernardi MSc, Roberto Fogari MD, and Peter Sleight MD . From the Department of Internal Medicine (L.B., C.P., G.C., R.B., R.F.), Pavia University and IRCCS S. Matteo, Pavia, Italy; Department of Psychology (N.F.B.), University Milan-Bicocca, Milan, Italy; and Nuffield Department of Medicine (P.S.), John Radcliffe Hospital, Oxford, United Kingdom.” For the Background of the study; Methods and Results including works by Bach, Verdi, Puccini, Beethoven and Mayer waves; and Conclusion Click on the link below:
“Music Helps the Heart” (June 26, 2009) submitted by Ivanhoe Newswire from the Cardiovascular Channel. “Besides its ability to soothe the savage beast, music has the power to reduce stress, boost athletic performance and enhance motor skills of people with neurological impairments. Italian researchers now find that blood flow and respiratory rates can synchronize with music, indicating that music could one day be a therapeutic tool for blood pressure control and stroke rehabilitation. Researchers found music induces physiological changes that may precede the psychological appreciation. Such autonomic modulations could be of practical use in treating vascular and coronary disease.”
“Music ‘Aids the Healing Process” (July 19, 2006) by Pallab Ghosh from the BBC News Science Correspondent. Dr. Rosalia Staricoff, head of the study, says, “There is growing scientific evidence that music aids physical changes which can help heal the body. The physiological benefits have been measured. Music reduces blood pressure, the heart rate, and hormones related to stress.” Regular musical performances are given at Chelsea and Westminster Hospital in London and they have “seen impressive results. A scientific study by the hospital has found that patients who listen to live music need less drugs and recover more quickly than those who do not.” Professor Paul Robertson, a scientist and accomplished musician plays his violin regularly for patients in several hospitals. His clinical trials will show “how exactly music affects the brain and the body.” Professor Robertson says, “We are approaching the point where a doctor would legitimately be negligent not to actually recommend music as a therapeutic intervention. What we are currently doing is building up the body of evidence so that we can say with clinical confidence that this is truly a beneficial intervention.”
“Music Makes the World Go Round” (June 28, 2009) by Aldous Huxley from the Herald Sun, Australia, haraldsun.com.au. The many facets of music. “Patricia Gray, head of the Biomusic program at the National Academy of the Sciences, believes that music came into this world long before the human race.” She says, “If music making is as ancient as some believe, this could explain why we find so much meaning and emotion in music, even though we cannot say why it makes us feel the way it does. This seems to signal that the roots of music lie closer to our ancient lizard brain than to our more recent reasoning cortex and that music has a more ancient origin than language.” Beethoven “said good music was a higher revelation than all wisdom or philosophy. The vibrations on the air are the breath of God speaking to man’s soul.God whispers into the ears of some men, but he shouts into mine!” In 1989 when the Iron Curtain “came tumbling down”, Beethoven’s glorious Ninth Symphony with its Ode To Joy was played near the crumbling Berlin Wall to symbolize the death of Communism.” During the student demonstrations in China’s Tiananmen Square, the loudspeakers blared Beethoven’s music “before the tanks rolled in.” Mr. Huxley says, “Beethoven’s music still has more emotive power than a dozen rock bands. Most pop music is, after all, more about style than substance – monotony tinged with hysteria, as Vance Packard put it. Even rap music, supposedly the voice of rebellious black consciousness, seems lyrically obsessed with the vain and the vacuous – jewellery and gangster lifestyles.”
“Music Possesses an Amazing Healing Power” (July 22, 2009) by Patty Donovan, from theNaturalNews.com. Classical music is being used by both therapists and doctors. “The vibration of stringed instruments in particular is thought to intertwine with the energy of the heart, small intestine, and the thyroid and adrenal glands as shown by research at the Gagnon Cardiovascular Institute in New Jersey. Music weaves an intricate physiological dance with the body’s neurons and blood cells and this dance is now being intensely studied by various researchers.” For thousands of years music therapy has been used. “Dr. Claudius Conrad, a senior surgical resident at Harvard Medical School and a gifted pianist is” launching “a study of music’s impact on the sleep cycle of acutely ill hospitalized patients.” When slow movements of Mozart’s pieces are played for patients, their hearts “will adapt to the beat of the music. First, these electrical signals are converted to hormones in the brain. Dr. Conrad found that along with the need for fewer sedatives and the need to normalize blood pressure and heart rates, critically ill patients showed a 50% spike in growth hormone, produced in the pituitary gland, after listening to just one hour of Mozart piano sonatas.”
“How Music Can Calm Your Dog’s Fears” ( July 4, 2009) by Maureen Harmonay from the Boston Advocacy Examiner. “Authors Joshua Leeds and Dr. Susan Wagner have been able to demonstrate that certain kinds of soothing classical music can provide a calming antidote when animals are stressed and losing their cool. Not just from the effects of unwanted noise, but also when they are fearful, aggressive, suffering from separation anxiety, or terrified by the prospect of a ride in the car. Until now, behavioral modification techniques and drugs seemed to offer the only relief from these problems.” One of the stories talks “about Petey, a dog who howled with delight when a visitor in his home played Grieg’s Piano Concerto.” The study found that Classical music played on “solo instruments, slower tempos, and less complex arrangements had a greater calming effect than faster selections with more complex harmonic and orchestral content.”
“Pianist Brings Years of Experience, Wide Repertoire to Gig at Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital Dallas” (July 12, 2009) by Ian McCann / The Dallas Morning News. GeniA Milton, an 82 year Dallas resident, brings her gift of music to hospital patients twice a week. “Patient Peggy Orr said pianist GeniA Milton’s music cut through her pain and brought a smile to her face. Toes tap among those seated on the couches and in wheelchairs. Smiles crack across even the saddest of faces. Children dance, eliciting a smile and a wave when Milton has a hand free. Most often, people come up to her and say a quiet “thank you.”
Evidence & Articles supporting the benefits of classical music in your daily life, in the Public School Classrooms, and while doing homework after school:
“Using Music in the Classroom” ( 2001) by Dorothy Lockhart Lawrence, editor of PPOV from the Advanced Brain Technologies, Ogden, Utah. “Welsh science teacher Anne Savan couldn’t believe the difference it made in her chemistry lab. When the government insisted that all children complete the standard National Curriculum, Savan became concerned. For some reason her new group of pupils in the mid 1990’s was the most challenging ever. Her class of boys had special educational needs plus emotional and behavioral difficulties. One of her students had such poor coordination he made 19 attempts at a lab experiment requiring the student to put a peanut on a spoon, then heat it in the flame of a Bunsen burner. He never achieved it and his behavior resulting from his frustration was uncontrollable. Chance observation of a television program gave Savan the idea that music of a certain frequency might help students with poor coordination. She began to play classical music, .. orchestral Mozart as she tried Mozart’s piano concertos but that was not effective “during daily science lessons over a period of five months. The response to the music was dramatic as the pupils became calm and cooperative within minutes of entering the room.” Savan 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.” The next five months of classes with Mozart Symphonies “produced the same results, calm, cooperative students who were able to complete each lesson.” … “Savan believes the music may have relaxed her pupils enough to improve their physical coordination and lower their frustration levels enough to allow them to perform manual tasks effectively and efficiently.”
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. 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. 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”
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