Our Radio Show and blog celebrate the extraordinary life and work of Yoshiko Nakura, teacher, mentor, and musician. Included are two articles on the power of classical music for education and healing.
Our article of the month is “Great Leaders Just Do A Little Bit More” by Madeline Frank, Ph.D., DTM
Radio Show Feature Question for April 2019: How did classical music play a part of Yoshiko Nakura’s life as a teacher, mentor, and musician and what musical instrument did she play?
Early Years: Yoshiko Nakura was born on Sep 7, 1945 in Japan. She began studying the violin at a young age and was an excellent student in school. She graduated from Toho Gakuen Music High School.
College Years and Graduate Work:
Yoshiko graduated from Toho Gakuen School of Music with highest honors studying with Hideo Saito. Yoshiko continued to study the violin on a scholarship at the Julliard School of Music where in 1969 she formed the Tokyo String Quartet with her classmates from Toho Gakuen. Under the coaching of Raphael Hillyard, violist of the Juilliard Quartet, “the Tokyo String Quartet won the first prize both at ARD International Music Competition Munich and The Coleman Chamber Ensemble Competition. The quartet toured around the world, appeared in many international music festivals, and released their recordings on Deutsche Grammophon label. Their debut album received the Grand Prix du Disque Montreux.”
Wolf Trap Festival:
The summer of 1971, when I was 17 years old I had a scholarship to play violin in the student orchestra at Wolf Trap Festival in Vienna, Virginia. The opening concert featured the quartet in residence, the Tokyo String Quartet. My Mom, Romayne L Frank attended the concert with me. “I whispered to my Mom how much I admired the beautiful playing of Yoshiko Nakura in the Tokyo Quartet and wished I could study with her that summer.” After the concert Mom went to talk to Yoshiko and introduced her to me. That summer Yoshiko became my teacher, mentor, and friend. On the violin she taught me Beethoven’s Violin Concerto and Beethoven’s “Spring Sonata”. Yoshiko inspired, encouraged, and motivated me to work hard that summer and do my best. On free evenings, we would often dine together and she taught me to use chopsticks.
Soloist, Chamber Musician and Educator:
After leaving the Tokyo String Quartet in 1974, Yoshiko Nakura expanded her activity as a soloist and educator in Europe and in the United States. She frequently performed with the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center and participated in the Marlboro Music Festival in Vermont. At the same time, she taught at the Philadelphia Musical Academy, Smith College and the Hamburg Conservatory.
During this time, I was a student at the Juilliard School and would attend Yoshiko’s concerts in New York City and afterwards we would go to dinner and have fun talking about the work we were doing.
Later, she became a guest concertmaster of Bamberg Symphony Orchestra and played as a member of Bamberg String Quintet.
Yoshiko and her husband Nobuo performed in the Bamberg Symphony. While I was playing a concert tour near Bamberg, Yoshiko attended the concert and afterwards invited my husband and I to stay with them in Bamberg over- night. When we arrived backhome from the concert tour, Yoshiko told me the happy news that she and Nobuo were pregnant with Yukie. Yoshiko sent me proud pictures of Yukie playing the violin. They later had a son. We spoke many times on the phone and wrote letters and sent pictures of our children. She enjoyed being a wife, mother, musician, and teacher.
After working abroad, Yoshiko returned to Japan and joined the Nippon Octet, the Mito Chamber Orchestra and the Saito Kinen Orchestra. She also taught at Toho Gakuen School of Music and at Ferris University as a Professor. She gave recitals and performed in several chamber music concert series.
In 1995, Yoshiko traveled with her daughter, Yukie to visit me, my husband, and children in Virginia. We had a marvelous time.
In 2005, I was playing a concert tour through Asia and visited Yoshiko in Japan. We had a wonderful time going to the Kabuki Theater, walking through Chigasaki, Kanagawa where she lived looking at the beautiful scenery and eating lunches and dinner together and talking about our families. Yukie joined us for lunch one day and Yoshiko was telling me how proud of Yukie she was. She told her in English and in Japanese and Yukie was smiling a huge smile. A few years later, Yukie married and had two children that Yoshiko and her husband adored.
I have known Yoshiko Nakura, my beautiful friend, teacher, mentor, concert violinist, wife, mother, and grandmother for 48 years. She had a loving heart and was one of the finest persons I have had the pleasure of knowing. Her brilliant light was extinguished on Nov. 6, 2018 at the age of 73. Yoshiko Nakura leaves a lasting legacy of teaching over 5 generations of students to be excellent performers, teachers, and thinkers, passing the torch on to the next 5 generations.
Great Leaders Just Do A Little Bit More by Madeline Frank, Ph.D., DTM
What do great leaders care about? What is important to them? What do they have in common?
John Maxwell says, “Leaders come into any situation, no matter how down it may be, and they have the ability to help people see the light at the end of the tunnel. Leaders see the problem as an opportunity.”
Great leaders often emerge from the ashes of great turmoil and desperation. The greatest leaders understand that they are not the solution, but they are a catalyst to help people envision prosperity and take action toward pursuing their goals.
Prime Minister Winston Churchill was elected to the position of Prime Minister during the darkest days of World War II when all signs pointed to inevitable defeat by the Nazis.
His speeches inspired hope, pride, and the motivation to fight for their country!
Before speaking at the House of Commons and giving his most famous speech, Churchill walked among his people, rode on the subways with them, and asked them what they thought of their country and what they wanted him to do to protect it!
“Never, never, never, never give up —in nothing, great or small, large or petty—never give in, except to convictions of honor and good sense. … Never yield to the apparently overwhelming might of the enemy”.
Churchill inspired and motivated his nation to act with these words! They were the fuel that the citizenry needed to achieve a victory.
Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher in 1979 became the new leader of Great Britain. Her country was bankrupt, had rising unemployment, rioting in the streets, rising inflation, and crippling labor strikes.
Thatcher understood that government was not the solution to the problems her country was currently facing, run-away government power was the problem.
She immediately worked with her team of like-minded experts, to privatize all nationalized industries such as utilities, aerospace firms and the National Freight Company. These enterprises were sold at favorable terms to promote private enterprise and reduce government power, promoting the rights of individuals who would pay mortgages on their new properties.
Public housing was sold to its tenants at discounts to promote home ownership of individuals who would be property owners paying a mortgage on their new properties.
Great Britain prosperity was crippled by labor unions with their intimidation and strikes. Prime Minister Thatcher stood firm against these unions by bringing the coal industries and the steel industries under proper balance.
She was a problem solver putting her “faith in freedom, free markets, limited government, and a strong national defense”. She was a servant leader, inspiring, encouraging, motivating, and giving hope to Great Britain.
President Ronald Reagan, the Great Communicator was a servant leader. He valued and connected with people wanting the best for them. In President Reagan’s State of the Union speeches, he told the stories of everyday people who would be sitting in the gallery by his family. As he told their stories he would ask them to stand up.
Michael Deaver was deputy chief of staff for Ronald Reagan for 30 years. Deaver said, “Ronald Reagan was one of the shyest men I’d ever met.” Deaver was asked, “Why Reagan had such rapport with the press corps?” He replied, “Well, Reagan basically liked people, whether they were part of the press corps or whether they were just ordinary people. That comes through.”
Reagan cared about people regardless of their occupation or position in life. Everyone liked being around Ronald Reagan because he loved people and connected with them.He understood that relationships were the glue that held his team members together- the more solid the relationship, the more cohesive his team.
Dan Quiggle said, “Ronald Reagan spoke plainly and genuinely to the American people-from his heart and with genuine sincerity about what he believed was best for America and for the world.”
Ronald Reagan understood that connecting with others was the first step toward being able to lead. He asked questions and listened attentively; wanting to find out answers and common ground with the people they connected to.
At Walt Disney World® Resort, Lee Cockerell was the leader at the helm for over 10 years. He was a servant leader. He says, “everyone is important. Make your people your brand.” Show them appreciation, recognition, and give them encouragement. He also says, “Give people a purpose, not just a job. To become a better leader, infuse quality, character, courage, enthusiasm, and integrity into your workplace and into your lives.”
So, what can you do today?
1) Value people every chance you get. Show them appreciation and respect, no matter if they are the janitors in the building or are your teammates. Everyone matters and is important to you.
2) Listen more. No one ever grows tired of talking about themselves. Show them you care about them and like them by listening carefully to their responses.
3) Give people hope, inspiration, encouragement, and motivation to do a good job for your company. Give people purpose and empowerment.
One quote I like to live by is from Art Linkletter who said, “Do a little more than you are paid to, give a little more than you have to, try a little harder than you want to, aim a little higher than you think possible, and give a lot of thanks to God for health, family, and friends.”
What one thing will you do starting today to step up your leadership just “a little bit more”?
If you need a speaker contact Madeline at: firstname.lastname@example.org
“Music Helping Students Be More Mindful at Local Elementary School” (March 13, 2019) by Matt Wrigh from Fox 8 in Cleveland. Over 50,000 students in more than 100 elementary schools are listening to the Cleveland Orchestra and other orchestras perform classical music over their schools PA systems, every morning and afternoon, to improve their students concentrate and focus on their school work.
Lea Ann Besancon, a third-grade teacher said, “She’s noticed an improvement in student behavior and academic performance. One goal of the program is to foster lifelong mindfulness and meditation skills. I’m a total believer that this is what’s good for children, this is what’s best for kids and this will help them as they go through their lives.”
Third grade student Antonio Musto said, “I’m kind of a little stressed before school, and it just helps me relax,”
Music and Medicine A Healing Combination: Doctors by Glen Whiffen (Feb. 28, 2019) from the telegram.com. “Music is medicine to the ears, and more scientific research is backing it up. On Saturday night, a number of doctors, surgeons, radiologists, musical therapists and other health-care professionals are putting on “a fundraising variety show “Music Is Medicine” at Holy Heart Theatre in St. John’s. They were backed up by a number of well-known local musicians, students and others. Proceeds of the show go to benefit local charities.”
Dr. Paul Jeon, a radiologist, and event co-organizer said “music is known to have amazing therapeutic properties, whether being used to sooth a premature infant in intensive care or to comfort and elderly patient with Alzheimer’s disease.” He says, “Scientific studies show how music changes the brain’s chemistry. We know it can boost the body’s immune system, help in the treatment of depression, and reduce stress and anxiety.”
“The Secret of Teaching Science & Math Through Music” by Madeline Frank, Ph.D. is available in book form, and newly updated as an e-book on Kindle, Nook, or iBook:
Barnes and Noble(Nook)
“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 is available in book form, newly updated as an e-book on Kindle, Nook, or iBook.
Barnes and Noble(Nook)
Tips on how to use “Musical Notes On Math”
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” is music to relax by and to move by for music therapy. “Madeline’s Midnight Melodies” CD is now available for purchase by downloading a song, downloading the album, or by CD by clicking below:
Download Your Copy Today!
Dr. Madeline Frank’s book “Leadership on a Shoestring Budget” is available through amazon. To order your copy of “Leadership On A Shoestring Budget” as an e-book on Kindle click on the following link:
Wishing you and your family a happy April 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 found a scientific link between studying and/or listening to musical instruments 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) 2019 Madeline Frank.