Our blog and Radio Show revisits the life and work of Astronaut Neil Armstrong, engineer, professor, and musician.

Many of the world’s engineer, physicists, mathematicians, teachers, biologists, chemists, scientists, medical doctors, writers, and others have studied and played musical instruments since they were children. These eminent individuals have integrated music into their thinking process.

Remember to start your day 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, and can soothe your mind preventing crime. If school cafeterias and school buses played Classical Music, the students would be calmer and more focused without violent tendencies.

Our article of the month for May 2024: “Leadership Lessons from a Dollar Bill” by Madeline Frank, Ph.D.

Radio Show feature question for May 2024:

How did Classical Music play a part of Astronaut Neil Armstrong’s life as an Astronaut, engineer, test pilot, Professor of Aeronautics, husband, father and grandfather and what musical instruments did he play?   (Re-issue from Feb. 2013) 




Early life:

On August 5, 1930, Neil Alden Armstrong was born to Stephen Armstrong and Viola Louise Engel Armstrong in Wapakoneta, Ohio. Neil’s father as a state auditor moved his family to a different town in Ohio every few years.

Love of music and flying:

At a young age Neil received “his love of music from his mother”, Viola Armstrong, a pianist. She taught him to play the piano. When Neil Armstrong was 6 years old his father, Stephen, took him on his first plane ride on the Tin Goose, a Ford Trimotor airplane.

In the eighth grade Neil joined the band at the Upper Sandusky School in Ohio. He chose to learn the baritone horn.

Neil’s mother said, “I asked him why he chose such a big horn? He was such a little fellow and it seemed to be more than he could carry. But he said he liked the tone. So, of course, we didn’t discourage him. And perhaps the school band needed a baritone player. I never had to remind him to practice. He just naturally set aside time for that.”

Some evenings the Armstrong family children would join with their mother, Viola, on piano with Neil on baritone, June his sister on violin, and Dean his brother on cornet to enjoy playing music together as a family.

The Armstrong family moved back to Wapakoneta where Neil entered high school. He played in the high school band, for church events, and for the Boys Scouts. He completed his Eagle Scout training and by the age of 15, Neil Armstrong earned his license to fly, before receiving his driver’s license.

While in high school Neil formed a jazz band called the “Mississippi Moonshiners” to play at assembly intermissions and school dances. Jerre Maxon, the trombonist in the band said, “Neil was a very good musician. He had a strong driving after beat, you know, and really kept us going. He sure loved music. He said music contributed to ‘thought control,’ and he always tried to improve his playing.”

In Wapakoneta high school of the 45 piece band members six were boys. Maxon said, “After the football game, when we went downtown to parade, Neil would turn his cap around and March backwards, just for laughs. Sometimes we would trade off instruments. I suppose we drove the band director crazy-but those were good times.”

Maxon says, “But with the exception of these episodes with the band and the “Moonshiners, Armstrong was a quiet, reserved young man, who said little. I think one of the hardest parts of the moon mission for Neil will be the public speaking.”

Stephen Armstrong, Neil’s father said, “He wanted his own instrument. In those days, our family had few luxuries. Neil worked at Neumeister’s Bakery cleaning the bread mixer until he had raised enough money to buy a Conn baritone horn”.

Wapakoneta, Ohio today houses the “Neil Armstrong Museum”.

In 1947 after high school Neil Armstrong attended Purdue University having “won a Navy scholarship”. He was an engineering major at Purdue and played in the Purdue University Military Band under band legend Paul Spotts Emrick.

Maxine LeFevre, assistant to Purdue’s Al Wright, director of bands, is the band historian. She says, “Neil Armstrong is remembered by his classmates as a likeable boy with a bashful smile. His band colleagues recall the pride he took in his horn. No one dreamed at the time that by 1962 we would hear Neil was chosen to be an astronaut. The Purdue Marching Band did a half-time show in his honor that fall. Oddly enough, we titled the show ‘First Bandsman on the Moon’ and it came true!”

Neil Armstrong’s father says, “Every time Neil came home in these past years one of the first things he would do was sit down at the piano and play.” Neil’s mother added, “That seemed to be part of coming home. After he had played three or four things, he was ready to sit down and tell us what he had been doing.”

Neil Armstrong’s studies at Purdue “were interrupted by the Korean War.” As a Navy fighter pilot he “flew 78 combat missions, one in which he was forced to eject after the plane lost one of its ailerons, the hinged flight-control panels on the wings. During the Korean War, Mr. Armstrong was in the unit that the author James A. Michener wrote of in “The Bridges at Toko-Ri.”

Returning to “Purdue after the Navy”, he studied aeronautical engineering. After graduation Neil Armstrong moved to California where he was hired as a “test pilot for the National Advisory Committee on Aeronautics, the forerunner of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, at Edwards Air Force Base. His first flight in a rocket plane was in the Bell X-1B, a successor to the plane Mr. Yeager had first flown faster than the speed of sound. He made seven X-15 flights at 4,000 miles per hour, reaching the edge of space, and piloted many more of the most innovative and dangerous aircraft ever developed.”



In 1962, Neil Armstrong was selected to be an astronaut. During the Apollo 11 mission in 1969 Neil Armstrong was “the first man to walk on the moon.” As he planted “his feet on the lunar surface” Neil Armstrong said, “That’s one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind.”

Neil Armstrong’s family said, “He remained an advocate of aviation and exploration throughout his life and never lost his boyhood wonder of these pursuits.” He was a lifelong musician throughout his life. Neil Armstrong died on August 25, 2012 in Cincinnati, Ohio.

Neil Armstrong was an Astronaut, “First man on the moon”, an engineer, test pilot, professor of Aeronautics at the University of Cincinnati, husband, father, grandfather, and lifelong musician.


“Leadership Lessons from a Dollar Bill” by Madeline Frank, Ph.D.

Why Washington, D.C. needs George Washington. How did George Washington find his experts in times of trouble?

If you needed a root canal would you get someone who specialized in root canals or someone who bought the biggest ad? Of course you would hire the best expert at doing root canals.

George Washington was unanimously elected by the Electoral College on February 4, 1789 to be the first President of the Country. Did you know that at the time of his election the United States was bankrupt?

George Washington was sworn in as the First President on April 30, 1789 in New York’s Federal Hall at the age of 57. In the book, “The American President” written in 1999 by the Kunhardts it stated that President George Washington’s “reputation was everything to him and he protected that reputation at any cost.”

President Washington called his “First Cabinet”, his “First Characters”. He chose experts in their chosen fields with “the greatest reputation” for character. President George Washington chose men for his “First Characters” for the traits of honesty, and integrity.

President George Washington said, “My political conduct and nominations must be exceedingly circumspect. No slip into partiality will pass unnoticed. By having Mr. Jefferson as the head of the Department of State, Mr. Jay of the Judiciary, Hamilton of the Treasury, and Knox of that of War, I feel myself supported extremely well.”

Washington did not select family members, friends, or people in the same social circles as he was, or the wealthy. He chose honorable men who were experts in their field and had the “greatest Reputation” and character.

What are the four things you can do to be a leader like President George Washington?

  1. Be a leader who has an excellent reputation for good character, the courage of their convictions, the honor, integrity, and morality that includes a code of ethics and a clear and decisive passionate belief in the right way to conduct business or run your country.
  2. As the leader of your country, organization or business surrounds yourself with a “Brain Trust”, competent people of excellent reputation and character who know your business and markets, are of like mind, and have a strong firm intellectual capacity to help you accomplish your goals.
  3. Go around the table and listen to your experts carefully. Then make informed decisions.
  4. Once the Leader of the country, business, or organization CEO knows all the problems to be faced and has studied them from every angle, the Leader needs to have a vision, a plan of action with the goal to be accomplished. Leaders need to have a strong belief in service to others.
  5. George Washington is more than the face of a one-dollar bill. He solved the first bankruptcy of the United States by hiring an expert Treasury Secretary Alexander Hamilton. As a fan of history Washington, D.C. needs George Washington’s expertise.

Make George Washington’s leadership lessons apart of your life. Choose wisely in selecting your experts to run your businesses. Do not go for the big ads go for the experts who believe as George Washington did that “his reputation was everything” and that he would protect it “at any cost”. Like George Washington hire experts who have character, who have integrity and honesty and believe that their “reputations are everything to them”. ©2024, 2013 Madeline Frank

Dr. Madeline Frank’s 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”



“The Secret of Teaching Science & Math Through Music” shares 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  by Madeline Frank, Ph.D. Click below:

“Madeline’s Midnight Melodies- Music From around the World”. This CD complements her books with a blend of dance music, gigues, tangos, ballet and favorites including “Danny Boy”, Puccini’s “O Mio Babbino Caro”, Debussy’s “Claire De Lune” and others. “Madeline’s Midnight Melodies” CD is now available for purchase by downloading a song, downloading the album click below:

Amazon | iTunes

 “Musical Notes On Math” by Dr. Madeline Frank teaches your child fractions and decimals, the fun easy way, through the rhythm of music, Winner of the Parent To Parent Adding Wisdom Award is available in book form, newly updated as an e-book on Kindle, Nook, or iBook.:

Wishing you and your family a happy Mother’s Day 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, 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) 2024 Madeline Frank