We want to wish all of our readers a Happy Passover and a Happy Easter! Remember to start your day right 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 prevents crime.
Many of the world’s scientists, medical doctors, engineers, mathematicians, teachers and writers have studied and played musical instruments since they were children. These eminent individuals have integrated music into their thinking process. Remember no one is immune to the power of music! Parents remember to have classical music on your family’s iPod
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 included in the May 2012 newsletter!
April’s article of the month: First Impressions Are Fast Impressions: How do you succeed at both? By Madeline Frank, Ph.D.
For other articles by Dr. Madeline Frank click on the following link:
Dr. Madeline Frank’s new book “Leadership on a Shoestring Budget” is now
available through amazon.com. Click on the following Amazon.com link to order your copy
of “Leadership On A Shoestring Budget”
Madeline’s Musical One Minute Radio Show for April 2012:
“Marcia Daft how do you integrate music and dance with teaching math and science and what musical instrument do you play?”
Question of the Month: Who is Marcia Daft?
Marcia Daft is a pianist, composer, and master teacher. For 20 years, she has shown educators how to integrate music and movement with other academic subjects. She is the Founder of Moving Through Math and Moving Through Science – a series of arts integrated DVD’s, children’s books and instructional materials for teachers. She is a concert pianist, and holds a license (French pronunciation) in Dalcroze Eurhythmics – a technique of integrating music and dance.
Marcia Daft was born on July 24th, 1967 and to Louise and George Daft.She grew up in a musical family. Her father put himself through college playing trumpet for ROTC. He also played ukulele and sang. Her mother grew up in a family of three sisters, and all three grew up playing the piano. Her mom’s two sisters studied at Eastman Conservatory and became professional pianists.
Marcia Daft grew up in Lafayette Hill, Pennsylvania. She started playing piano at home – her mother was her first teacher. She had two older sisters who were already studying piano, so she started quite young – around four years old. She studied piano continuously through elementary and high school. She put herself through high school on a music scholarship by accompanying for all the choirs and musical theatre productions.
Marcia Daft says, “I was very disciplined – I got up and practiced before school in the mornings and then again in the evenings. Playing an instrument certainly trains you to become focused and efficient in your use of time.”
She went to Lafayette Elementary outside of Philadelphia and excelled in math and science. Most of her math and science curiosity and interest came from her sister. She especially liked her chemistry set. Marcia and her sister also played a lot of math games.
Starting when Marcia was about 8 or 9, she and her sister took the train into the city on Saturdays to take classes at the Academy of Natural Sciences. They absolutely loved these classes. She remembers going to lectures by Jacques Costeau at that time. They watched a lot of National Geographic on TV and read the magazines as well.
Marcia Daft attended St. Joseph Academy and Whitemarsh High School – both in suburban Philadelphia. In high school she was inspired by Mr. Ray her Chemistry teacher. She was always a very good student at the top of her class in all subjects.
It was only after she finished college that she began to take dance lessons seriously. At that time Marcia studied a little bit of ballet, quite a bit of modern, and some African. Having a strong musical background is a huge advantage for picking up dance quickly.
Marcia Daft attended Duke University where she studied piano performance and majored in bio-medical engineering. Then she studied piano performance with Brigitte Engelhard-Dent of the Mozarteum in Salzburg, Austria. Then she earned an MA in music from the University of Chicago where she studied with a number of different professors. Finally, she studied at Juilliard, at Longy Conservatory, and at the University of Maryland for her Dalcroze training.
Teachers who inspired Marcia Daft in College and grad school: Marcia Daft says, “I studied piano with Dun-Nan Liu – the composer for the Shanghai Symphony Orchestra at the time – he was my best piano professor ever. He really knew how to teach technique. I also studied with Easley Blackwood – who helped me analyze the Beethoven Sonatas. I still think about him when I play them.”
How and when did you decide to teach science/math through music and dance to children? Ms. Daft says, “I started working at the Wolf Trap Institute for Early Learning Through the Arts 20 years ago. In this program, performing artists were partnered with Head Start Teachers. Working together, we created innovative and artistic ways to teach early childhood curriculum. That’s when I realized that the arts had to power to transform not only the children’s lives, but also the way they embraced and understood other academic subjects.”
Teachers have been asking Marcia Daft for 20 years to create a curriculum that puts together all her work in education. In 2009 she began recording her first project “the Caterpillar to Butterfly DVD, which any parent or teacher can pop in a DVD player and see arts integrated learning come to life with their own children. This DVD is the first arts integrated instructional video ever produced, and it took two years for her to create it.”
Ms. Daft says, “Typically, arts integrated teaching is led by a highly skilled teaching artist, and I needed to see if this process could be converted to a DVD experience. Based on all the awards and accolades, I believe we have achieved what we set out to do. So now any child anywhere can experience and arts integrated unit of study. That for me was a major achievement for helping parents and teacher learn about the possibilities of arts integrated teaching.”
Ms. Daft says, “Now we are rolling out Moving Through Math – and arts integrated math curriculum that aligns with the Common Core. The Waterloo School District in Iowa is implementing Moving Through Math district wide – so that is quite exciting. We have mountains of formative feedback from teachers letting us know how successful this approach to teaching is, and our next goal is to find a major research study to statistically evaluate the impact of integrating music and movement with the study of mathematics. I believe it is essential for Americans to start to grasp the importance of the arts for developing the child’s mind, soul, and body. Americans are quite uninformed about why the arts are important. So I believe that an arts integrated math program will help bring awareness to the impact of the arts on learning.”
To order Marcia Daft’s award winning DVD “Caterpillar to Butterfly” for grades K-3 and her books go to:
“The Classical Music Cure” (Feb. 29 2012) by Katherine Duncan from CBC Radio. In a recent study Classical music was used “as a treatment for high blood pressure.” Researchers studied “90 men and women aged 40-74, and divided them into three groups. One group listened to Classical music on a regular basis; another group took part in laughter yoga (where you force yourself to laugh until it starts to feel natural) while the third group served as a control, receiving neither music nor laughter.” The outcome of the study: ‘Both the Classical music group and the laughing group had lower blood pressure.”
In a “Music and Medicine Journal” another study was published that “looked at recovery times for procedures such as hip or knee surgery.” The participants “listened to music for at least 4 hours a day, with a control group who didn’t listen to any music.” The results of the study were that the participants who listened to the Classical music “along with other post-op medications recovered more quickly.”
Dr. Claudius Conrad a medical doctor specializing in surgery and an accomplished pianist in Boston “is investigating the connection between Classical music and surgery.” When he is operating Dr. Conrad frequently “listens to recordings of himself playing Mozart during operations.” He “says there’s a clear connection: In surgery, you do something that is comparable to a concert and like a concert situation, in surgery you want to do the most beautiful work you can under great stress.”
The Royal Liverpool Orchestra in England has won “a special commendation for “Innovative and Outstanding Contribution to the Field of Arts and Health Practice” from the Royal Society for Public Health.” Members of the orchestra have come in to hospital wards to play for patients with brain injuries, depression, and dementia with very positive benefits to the patients. The program is called” Musician in Residence”. Staff members and patients say, “having a symphony musician come and play for them makes people feel special”.. with “chance to play, or sing along.. helping make patients feel less isolated, more relaxed and confident.”
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.”
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. 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 4 children, ages 19, 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”
For more scientific evidence, 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 read “The Secret of Teaching Science & Math Through Music” by Madeline Frank, Ph.D. Click on the link:
“Musical Notes On Math” by Dr. Madeline Frank teaches your child fractions and decimals, the fun way, through the rhythm of music, Winner of the Parent To Parent Adding Wisdom Award. For more information click on the following link:
For Tips on how to use “Musical Notes On Math” click on the following link: