Revisiting Learning Expert Dr. Georgi Lozanov’s “Accelerated Learning”: Madeline’s Monthly Blog, Musical Tips, & Radio Show for October 2023
This month our Blog and Radio Show revisits and celebrates the work of Dr. Georgi Lozanov’s “Father of Accelerated Learning Suggestopedia.” Dr. Georgi Lozanov was a Bulgaria medical doctor specializing in psychiatry, psychotherapy, physiology, and education.
Remember to start your day right by listening to Baroque and 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.
Our article of the month is “A Compassionate Teacher is a True Treasure” by Madeline Frank, Ph.D.
Radio Show feature question for October 2023 revisits the work of Dr. Georgi Lozanov, the Father of Accelerated Learning Suggestopedia.” How did Dr. Georgi Lozanov, a Bulgarian medical doctor and educator teach Accelerated Learning to his students?
Our blog features Dr. Georgi Lozanov, a Bulgaria medical doctor specializing in psychiatry, psychotherapy, physiology, and education. He is the “Father of Accelerated Learning: Suggestopedia” and plays the slow movements of Baroque music, music from 1600-1750, in the background of his classrooms to teach foreign languages and other subjects to his students. In learning languages, his “students learn 100 to 1000 new vocabulary words every day with 98 percent retention.”
Dr. Lozanov’s of Suggestopedia /Accelerated Learning Basic Principles: As a man of healing, a physician, Dr. Lozanov discovered that people learn best when they are happy and relaxed and believe they are capable of succeeding at the subject they were learning. He says, “A small child learns to ride a bike with one of his parents holding on until he or she is comfortable and can ride by him or herself.” As small children we are happy and comfortable and willing to learn. Once we go to school roadblocks are placed in our way and we feel we cannot do the work. Dr. Lozanov removes these roadblocks to learning.
Dr. Lozanov taught, through the power of positive suggestion, that with a “relaxed and focused state of mind” learning becomes joyful. He trains his teachers to be experts in their field, to love and care about their student’s wellbeing, and believe in their goals for success.
The music in the background of Dr. Lozanov’s classroom is the slow movements of Baroque composers Bach, Vivaldi, Handel, Corelli, Tartini, and Pachelbel. The music played is slower than a person’s heart beat and relaxes the students and helps them remember more.
In Dr. Lozanov’s classroom the students are in a circle so the learning is active learning. Non-competitive.
Professor Dr. Gateva: Dr. Lozanov had several assistants that helped greatly with his work. He says, “Professor Dr. Gateva, musician and linguist joined my institute 6 years after it had been founded. She helped me improve musical sessions and enrich the methods with examples, she revised and created new textbooks, she composed many songs for the foreign language studies as well as children’s operas, which I needed to teach mathematics according to my methods.” In 1997 she died of cancer. He says, “I have always been grateful to her for her deep understanding and significant contribution to my methods as well as for the beauty she so skillfully applied to my work.”
Beginnings of Suggestopedia: Dr. Georgi Lozanov’s said, “I finished my first experiments on Suggestopedia and used them to defend my thesis for Doctor of Science in 1971. I was appointed a university professor.” He goes on to say he worked for five years as a physician “in the largest psychiatric hospitals of the country in Byala and Kurilo serving the last two years as a manager of the hospital in Kurilo.” Then worked 11 years working with patients in hospitals. For 20 years Dr. Lozanov began and managed “the State Research Institute of Suggestology” and also for 10 years began and managed a faculty Research Center for Suggestology and personal Development at the University of Sophia”.
House Arrest after UNESCO: Twenty-five experts from many countries came to Sofia, Bulgaria for Dr. Georgi Lozanov’s conference on “Suggestology as a Learning Methodology” in December 11-17, 1978. These experts were from UNESCO’s, United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization. They concluded that Dr. Lozanov’s method of Suggestopedia be “recommended for application all over the world.”
A year after the Conference, Dr. Lozanov said, “I was stopped at the border” by the Bulgarian communist government “when I was going on an official trip to the USA.” They “took my passport and placed me under house arrest which lasted for 10 years, 1979-1989.”
Dr. Lozanov no longer had “the right to travel, to receive or send letters, to lecture on television, and at the University.” He also “couldn’t publish anything, couldn’t talk on the phone with people from abroad.” During this time he was permitted to go from his “home to the institute.”
During these ten years, he did not know what was happening in the world, and imitators offered versions of his work that were not Dr. Lozanov’s “Suggestopedia.” He said, “I couldn’t protect myself; I didn’t even have the full information of what was going on in the world.”
For the ten years of his house arrest, Dr. Lozanov went to “the State Research Institute of Suggestology” and then came home each day.”
After Dr. Lozanov’s 10 years of house arrest he went to Vienna and managed a Research Institute for Learning Studies in Austria for 6 years and began a new “Department for Suggestopedia for Children at the Pedagogical Academy in Vienna.” Dr. Lozanov trained teachers and physicians on Suggestopedia and set up schools around the world teaching his Suggestopedia. Dr. Lozanov said, “Learning is a matter of attitude, not aptitude.”
Dr. Georgi Lozanov the “Father of accelerated learning” died in Sliven, Bulgaria on May 6, 2012. The communist government of Bulgaria sought to lock up Dr. Gorgi Lozinav’s “Accelerated learning” program as if it was a gem they could keep only for themselves. As a medical doctor, a healer, a family man, he cared about helping others to be whole thinking persons. Dr. Lozanov said, “Learning is a matter of attitude, not aptitude.”
“A Compassionate Teacher is a True Treasure” by Madeline Frank, Ph.D.
Have you ever had a teacher who really wanted to teach you?
As a teacher what is the most important thing you can do for your students?
You have to genuinely care about your students and believe in their ability to learn. As a teacher you must be kind and patient with your student and be willing to help them solve their problems.
I’m going to tell you about the greatest compassionate teacher I know. His name is William “Bill” Whitson.
What was so special about Mr. Whitson? He had a burning passion to share his knowledge of playing the violin with you. He had a kindness and patience that he directed at his students.
When did I meet Mr. William Whitson?
The summer I was eight years old my Mom, Romayne Leader Frank, arranged for me to take violin lessons with Mr. Whitson.
Mr. Whitson was Mom’s last hope. She had tried every type of reading class available and still, I was unable to read.
What was my first impression of Mr. Whitson as an 8-year-old child?
Mr. Whitson was a tall, handsome, young man who looked at me with a big smile, with a bright light shining from his eyes, that said without saying a word, you can be a good student, and I will show you how.
His positive attitude just glowed from him. He was in the military. I did not know at the time that he was only 23 years old.
He looked delighted to be teaching me. It was the first time I had a teacher that smiled and really looked like he actually liked me and wanted to teach me. My first impression of Mr. Whitson is the finest example of what a teacher should be.
At our first lesson, Mr. Whitson taught me how to hold the violin, how to hold the bow, how to read the notes on the musical page, and where to put my fingers on the violin to play the theme from Beethoven’s 9th Symphony. He also taught me how to maintain my violin and bow and to clean it after playing; wiping the rosin off the violin and bow with a soft cotton cloth.
When Mr. Whitson and I finished my first violin lesson, I asked my Mom to take me to the Library. I wanted to read all about Beethoven.
You see Mr. Whitson did the impossible. By teaching me to play the violin, he taught me to read the musical notes on the page, which is parallel to reading a book. That summer the light went on and I began my journey of playing the violin and learned to read.
During the summer, Mr. Whitson would give me a violin lesson and then he and my Dad, Dr. Robert J. Frank, would go fly-fishing on the Chesapeake Bay in Virginia. They always had a wonderful time and we had great dinners during those summers.
Mr. Whitson asked my parents if I could attend his chamber music concert? My parents agreed and we traveled in his car, a 1957 Corvette, with another musician a French Hornist, named Ms. Linda. The Chamber Music concert was wonderful. It was my first time attending a classical music concert, where we heard a piano trio for violin, French horn, and piano. It was a terrific concert. The three musicians played so well together. I also enjoyed the ride to and from the concert in Mr. Whitson’s Thunderbird.
I studied with Mr. Whitson for 2 years until he completed his military service and returned home to Palo Alto, California to found his Palo Alto Chamber Orchestra, where he was the musical director and conductor for 37 years.
Thanks to Mr. Whitson I became a good student in school and continued playing and studying the violin. At 17, I played for the first time at Carnegie Hall and went on to earn two degrees from the Juilliard School, where Mr. Whitson had also studied. I performed with the Metropolitan Opera, New York City Opera, played concerts with Frank Sinatra, Lou Rawls, Natalie Cole, and performed concerts and recitals around the world also teaching classes as a visiting professor. Later I went on to earn a Ph.D. in Administration/Management with an emphasis on Total Quality Management.
Mr. William Whitson made all of this possible because of his belief in my ability even when I had no belief in myself and could not read. I still remember as a child of 8, Mr. Whitson looking at me with his bright shining eyes that said, without saying a word, you can learn to read and be a good student, and I will show you how!
Many years later, the summer of 1990, Mr. Whitson asked me to coach chamber music and give a master class for his viola students in his Palo Alto Chamber Orchestra summer camp. I was honored to be coaching and teaching his students just as he had taught me all those years ago. Because of his love and passion for teaching and playing chamber music and working with his students, I have spent many wonderful years patiently and with kindness teaching students as well.
Some of these students were also unable to read and because of Mr. Whitson’s fine example as a teacher, I was able to teach them how to read, and become good students through playing the violin, viola, or cello.
Mr. William “Bill” Whitson taught for over 40 years, winning many awards, and making a difference in so many students’ lives. He taught his students to strive for excellence, to be the very best people they could be, and to share their love of music with others. His legacy is boundless. His many former students are playing and teaching around the world and I am proud to be one of them. With Mr. Whitson nothing was impossible.
What 3 things did Mr. William Whitson teach me about teaching students?
- As a teacher he taught me how to be kind and patient with each student. Your students need to know you care about them and believe in them.
- To always have a big smile on your face, a bright shinning light in your eyes, and have a positive attitude, and make it fun and inviting to learn.
- Become an expert in your field, never stop studying and learning and always be willing to help others. Dr. Georgi Lozanov, Father of Accelerated Learning said, “ Learning is a matter of attitude, not aptitude.”
Remember to Mr. Whitson nothing was impossible.
What 3 lessons did Mr. William “Bill” Whitson teach his students that benefitted us our entire lives?
- How to concentrate, be disciplined, be cooperative, stay motivated, and how to work as a team.
- How to take care of our violins, violas, cellos, or basses, which taught us self-esteem and self-worth.
- Reading musical notes on the page taught us how to read the words in a book.
William Whitson passed away on August 8, 2001. His family, his students, and his friends were blessed to have known such a wonderful caring compassionate person who shared his passion for learning and playing classical music. His legacy lives on through the many students he trained to be excellent compassionate teachers, musicians, conductors, and thinkers.
© 2014 ©2023 Madeline Frank
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Wishing you and your family a happy October from your Non-Invasive Medicine…Music Expert, Madeline
For over 30 years, Dr. Madeline Frank has helped children and adults overcome problems through Classical music. Madeline Frank, Ph.D., DTM is an award-winning teacher, an amazon.com best-selling author, researcher, speaker, conductor, and concert artist. She has discovered a scientific link between studying a musical instrument and academic and societal success. Madeline Frank earned her Bachelor and Master’s degree from the Juilliard School of Music. Her education has included scholarships at the Juilliard School, Indiana University, and the University of Cincinnati and she has a violin performance diploma from the North Carolina School of the Arts. (C) 2023 Madeline Frank.