Saturday, December 19, 2009

Merry Christmas from Healing Music Enterprises

Every year I send out a little greeting to all my clients and customers. This year's video will need to be turned way down because it recorded much louder than I intended! Just turn it way down and enjoy "Il est ne, le Divine Enfant" a French carol arranged by the wonderful John Carter!

Happy Holidays every one!

Thursday, November 26, 2009

What is Music Therapy?

Music To Your Ears – The Healing Way (posted by VIASOLO)

Shakespeare once said, "If music be the food of love, play on". The power of music over the human mind is enormous, and that's putting it lightly. Music therapy is the use of music for therapeutic purposes by a trained professional. The idea of using music as a healing influence dates back to the time of Plato and Aristotle. In the modern world, music for therapy came to the fore when musicians played for war veterans to cure them of physical and emotional trauma. Since many of the patients responded well, nurses and doctors began requesting the services of musicians for therapy.

Soon, music therapy became recognized as an effective and scientifically-backed mode of treatment. The first music therapy degree program ever was established in 1944 in the State of Michigan, U.S.

A trained music therapist gauges the emotional well-being, physical health, social functioning and cognitive skills through the patient's responses to music. Once the assessment is complete, the practitioner designs music session for individuals or groups. The therapeutic music is prepared based on client needs and uses music improvisation, song writing, lyric discussion, imagery and musical performances.

Using music for therapy can be a very powerful way to reach children and adolescents. Elderly people and people with developmental and learning disabilities, people suffering from Alzheimer's disease and age related problems and people in acute pain also benefit from music therapy. Music therapy is a powerful way to help people express their feelings.

Professional music therapists are usually found in rehabilitative facilities, psychiatric hospitals, medical hospitals, drug and alcohol programs, nursing homes, correctional facilities, schools and private practice.

Some people mistakenly believe that a patient needs to have some particular musical ability to benefit from therapy. There is no one particular style of music that is more therapeutic than the rest. Any style of music can be equally effective. Any person can be a patient. The patient's background, needs and history help determine the type of music used.

Even healthy people can make use of the healing powers of music. Listening to or making music, playing or drumming can greatly reduce stress and improve productivity. Research shows that music is a vital support for physical exercise. Music therapy is even said to assist labor and delivery.

In hospitals, music therapy is used to alleviate pain and is often used in conjunction with anesthesia or pain medication. A question that is often raised is why use music if anesthesia does the same thing? Music helps because it dissolves emotional barriers and elevates the patient's mood. Music also counteracts depression, calms and even sedates patients. In a nutshell, music helps reduce muscle tension and brings on a deep and satisfying relaxation.

Since 1994 music therapy has been identified as a reimbursable service in the U.S. Music therapy is considered ‘active treatment' when it meets the following criteria:

- Is prescribed by a physician

- Is reasonably necessary for the treatment of the injury or condition

- Is based on a documented treatment plan

- Is showing some sort of result in the patient

The future of music therapy is indeed very promising as more and more research supports the effectiveness of music against diseases like Alzheimer's and chronic pain.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Using Music to Encourage More Exercise?

Playing the piano is fun, take it from me! But the people in Sweden, came up with a way to make it even more fun and also to help people get more exercise!

Saturday, October 03, 2009

Lee Luvisi, my piano professor, plays tonight!

Tonight I get to hear one of the greatest pianists in the world! Now it's possible that I could be just a little bit prejudiced because he happened to be my own piano professor for my undergraduate and graduate degrees in piano performance, but we each get to choose our favorite musicians, right?

Lee Luvisi taught at the Brevard Music Center in the summers of 1965 to 1970 and it was there that we met. He was in his late 20's and I was in my late teens; a very good combination of ages for teacher and student! Mr. Luvisi was quite the perfectionist and under other circumstances I might have balked, but he inspired me to do things that I never would have thought I could even do! I'll never forget the week he assigned me a Brahms "Intermezzo" and told me to learn and memorize it totally away from the piano, so that the first time I ever played it was at my lesson the following week...totally from memory!

Everyone needs a teacher who inspires them and brings out the best in them and I believe he did this for me. Not that there weren't a few tears every now and then, but I always knew he believed in me and had my best interest at heart.

Tonight he will play the Mozart concerto for piano in orchestra in C major with the Louisville Orchestra. I played the same concerto with the Louisville Ballet Orchestra in 1969, I believe so it will be fun to hear him to it tonight and relive my same experience 40 years ago. Wish you could be there!

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Apollo, God of Music and Medicine

When I first started my website,, way back in 1999, one of my first thoughts was to have a theme that would say music and medicine, music as medicine, music for healing, and sound as healing, wordlessly. I thought first of Apollo who was the Greek god of Music and of Medicine, among other things.

My first webmaster created a masterful image of Apollo and created an entry to the site, through Apollo. That was 10 years ago now and things have changed, but I still think it is important and interesting to know about Apollo!

According to Wikipedia,Apollo

2nd century AD Roman statue of Apollo depicting the god's attributes—the lyre and the snake Python
God of music, poetry and oracles
Parents Zeus and Leto
Siblings Artemis
Children Asclepius, Troilus, Aristaeus
Roman equivalent Apollo
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Ancient Roman religion

Main doctrines
Polytheism & numen
Imperial cult · Festivals

Temples · Funerals
Votive offerings · Animal sacrifice

Twelve major deities
Apollo · Ceres · Diana · Juno
Jupiter · Mars · Mercury · Minerva
Neptune · Venus · Vesta · Vulcan

Other major deities
Divus Augustus · Divus Julius · Fortuna
The Lares · Quirinus · Pluto · Sol Invictus

Lesser deities
Adranus · Averrunci · Averruncus
Bellona · Bona Dea · Bromius
Caelus · Castor and Pollux · Clitunno
Cupid · Dis Pater · Faunus · Glycon
Inuus · Lupercus

Sibylline Books · Sibylline oracles
Aeneid · Metamorphoses
The Golden Ass

See also
Decline and persecution
Nova Roma
Greek polytheism

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In Greek and Roman mythology, Apollo (in Greek, Ἀπόλλων—Apóllōn or Ἀπέλλων—Apellōn), is one of the most important and many-sided of the Olympian deities. The ideal of the kouros (a beardless youth), Apollo has been variously recognized as a god of light and the sun; truth and prophecy; archery; medicine and healing; music, poetry, and the arts; and more. Apollo is the son of Zeus and Leto, and has a twin sister, the chaste huntress Artemis. Apollo is known in Greek-influenced Etruscan mythology as Apulu. Apollo was worshipped in both ancient Greek and Roman religion, as well as in the modern Hellenic neopaganism.

As the patron of Delphi (Pythian Apollo), Apollo was an oracular god — the prophetic deity of the Delphic Oracle. Medicine and healing were associated with Apollo, whether through the god himself or mediated through his son Asclepius. Apollo was also seen as a god who could bring ill-health and deadly plague as well as one who had the ability to cure. Amongst the god's custodial charges, Apollo became associated with dominion over colonists, and as the patron defender of herds and flocks. As the leader of the Muses (Apollon Musagetes) and director of their choir, Apollo functioned as the patron god of music and poetry. Hermes created the lyre for him, and the instrument became a common attribute of Apollo. Hymns sung to Apollo were called paeans.

In Hellenistic times, especially during the third century BCE, as Apollo Helios he became identified among Greeks with Helios, god of the sun, and his sister Artemis similarly equated with Selene, goddess of the moon.[1] In Latin texts, however, Joseph Fontenrose declared himself unable to find any conflation of Apollo with Sol among the Augustan poets of the first century, not even in the conjurations of Aeneas and Latinus in Aeneid XII (161–215).[2] Apollo and Helios/Sol remained separate beings in literary and mythological texts until the third century CE.

Hope you'll find this as interesting as I do!

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Healing Music Headphones

Yesterday I went to visit a dear friend in the hospital who has been in a serious auto accident and now has nine broken bones. Thank God, bones can heal, but she is also diabetic and has other complications. Another friend had suggested that I program some of my wireless, cordless headphones with her favorite classical piano music, as well as some hymns. And so I did! I don't know that I've ever felt so good about something I did to help a sick person with music. She appeared to be thrilled with my headphones and was listening as I left her with a big, serene smile on her face.

The surgical serenity headphones are programmable for any health/wellness/illness condition. Order some today for someone YOU love!

Sunday, July 19, 2009

How can music be used to heal?

Music can heal in so many different way!

Music stimulates and utilizes many parts of the brain - it captivates and maintains attention.

Music is an effective motivator.

Music provides a safe, structured setting for verbal and non-verbal communication.

Music uses sounds and silences to structure time in an understandable way.

Music provides both structure and freedom through the use of form and improvisation.

Music provides a meaningful, enjoyable context for repetition.

Music activities encourage social interactions.

Music is an effective memory aid.

Music supports and encourages movement.

Music taps into memories and emotions.

Music provides nonverbal, immediate feedback.

Music activities are easily adapted to each person's abilities.

Music interventions can be designed to be success-oriented.

Music uses concrete concepts that are easily demonstrated and understood - fast & slow, up & down, loud & soft, long & short, etc.

Music activities utilize many senses at the same time to enhance the learning experience - hearing, seeing and feeling

Monday, July 13, 2009

How can music heal the body?

This is one of the most frequent questions I get when I go out into the world to speak to conferences and conventions! I guess it almost seems too easy? Everyone loves music and know that they enjoy it a lot, but does it really "HEAL" the body? Well, first of all you must define healing. Healing is not the same as curing! By my definition, healing has to do with moving toward wholeness and the improvement or amelioration of symptoms. When I work with my patients in a counseling session, I often choose a piece of music that enables them to release painful feelings that they were keeping locked into their bodies. Keeping painful thoughts and memories locked into your body can actually cause illnesses to develop. I'm not saying that it's the only cause of illness, but it's definitely a big contributor. Germs might even pale by comparison!

When people hear beautiful music that they love, that has positive associations for them or that brings floods or good memories back to them, hormones and chemicals are released in the body that actually do heal and improve that person's health and their immune system! This is has been scientifically proven hundreds of times around the world.

If you'd like to know more, order my book "Notes on Tuning Your Life with Music" and the "Healing Music Sampler." Give yourself and your loved ones the gift of healing music!

Monday, June 29, 2009

Understanding Music Therapy

What is Music Therapy

by Lake Dell
There is no question that music has this sort of power over our minds. Shakespeare was quoted as saying, If music be the food of love, play on. But, it seems that it is also the food of our health.
There are many trained professionals that use music in a therapeutic sense; this is Music Therapy. This idea that music can help in the healing process is dated back to Plato’s days.
Today, the use of music for therapy began when music was found to help war veterans cope with physical and emotional trauma.
Soon enough, music therapy, backed by statistics and scientific testing, became well known for it’s healing abilities. In 1944, The State of Michigan created a program for music therapy.
Music therapy patients are first tested to see how they respond to music through emotional well-being, physical health, social functioning and cognitive skills. Once diagnosed, the patient is put in a program where a trained music therapist designs music sessions.
The music sessions are created based on the patients’ needs and responses to songs, lyrics, imagery, and performances.
Music therapy has been known to help patients in all age groups. Children with certain developmental and learning disabilities benefit from music therapy as much as the senior citizens who suffer from Alzheimer and the likes can benefit as well.
You can usually find a music therapy professional in many different places such as rehab facilities and correctional facilities. Even some schools employ these professionals.
There is a myth in the industry that a patient can only benefit from music therapy with they have some kind of musical ability. But it has been proven that anybody can be aided by music therapy.
It is important for the professionals to know the background and history of a patient to fully assess what music will and will not help.
Even healthy people can make use of the healing powers of music. Listening to or making music, playing or drumming can greatly reduce stress and improve productivity. Research shows that music is a vital support for physical exercise.
In hospitals, music therapy is used to alleviate pain and is often used in conjunction with anesthesia or pain medication. A question that is often raised is why use music if anesthesia does the same thing? Music helps because it dissolves emotional barriers and elevates the patients mood.
Depression can be fought using music therapy as the right kind of music relaxes and calms patients. It is even known to fully sedate some people.

Monday, May 11, 2009

Music soothes the savage patient?

Science with a Smile: Music soothes the savage patient

Roger R. Coleman, Doctor of Chiropractic

Roger R. Coleman, Doctor of Chiropractic

There’s a part of me that sort of thinks when you hear harp music you’re probably not doing too good and if the person plucking the harp has wings you’ve got real trouble. But I could be wrong. 

It seems researchers at the Department of Vascular and Thoracic Surgery and Critical Care at the University of Central Florida-Orlando had a somewhat different idea. 

They launched a pilot study in which they wanted to find out if pain and anxiety could be reduced by live harp music. 

They used a 20-minute session of harp music to see if it was effective. And guess what, that 20 minutes of harp music decreased both pain and anxiety. 

But as the researchers point out, they couldn’t really be sure if the effects were produced by the harp music, the presence of the harpist and data collector or both. 

But it certainly is intriguing to think something as simple as music might lead to treatments that make us feel better. 

Remember, this was a pilot study and there was no control group to compare with the patients, who listened to the harp music, but still, it’s a study and you and your doctor should discuss it. So sit down with your personal doctor and the two of you can read a copy of “The effects of harp music in vascular and thoracic surgical patients” by D. Aragon.

As for me, I find harp music just a little scary, but I do seem to feel more relaxed after listening to Dean Martin or even some Jimmy Buffett. 

Now if they could just come up with music that would stop baldness, that would be a scientific breakthrough. 

Remember, this information is not intended as health care advice. The responsibility to determine the risk, usability and value of any information lies with your personal health care provider.

Tuesday, May 05, 2009

Should we leave Susan Boyle alone?

An interesting news story...

First, out of nowhere, there was Susan Boyle. And yea, the world dropped its jaws at the sound of that crystal-clear voice coming out of an ordinary looking woman, and saw that it was good.

AP file
People, she got a haircut and a scarf. This is not major cosmetic surgery, here.

And then, she showed up with a new hairdo and a Burberry scarf, and lo, the people started to freak the heck out. "What's next, a fake tan?" sniffed the Associated Press.

Come on. The woman got a $51 haircut and a scarf! It's not like she instantly threw herself on the plastic-surgery operating table and loaded up on Jimmy Choo stilettos. For all that she did clean up a bit, she still reminds me of a grade-school piano teacher. She'd never be noticed in a crowd by anyone who hadn't watched her YouTube audition clip.

But after the Boyle bonanza, in which everyone and their sister was e-mailing the YouTube clip, and then the Media Discovery, in which sites like ours were re-telling the story YouTubers already knew, there came the inevitable Warning Of The Backlash.

This story in the Times Online blames the supposed backlash on the new look, the fact that apparently Boyle's "never been kissed" line wasn't true, and that she's had some past musical success. Big deal. She's 47, if she hadn't ever tried to break into music before, with that voice, she's not just dowdy, as the paper calls her, but dumb. So she's not dumb! That's good!

And after the Warning of the Backlash came the declaration that said backlash was actually bogus. Any moment now we await the word that the bogus backlash itself was really bogus, and then the reversal of that bogus backlash, and now I can't even be bothered to keep up any more.

Wednesday, April 08, 2009

Healing Music in France

This afternoon I went to the Musee d'Orsay in Paris. It is definitely my favorite museum in Paris! There are so many beautiful impressionistic paintings that show how important music has always been in the life of Europeans and the French especially! I don't have much time at the moment to muse about all of the feelings I had today looking at these paintings but will write about it more when i return. Meanwhile, enjoy this famous painting of some of the male musicians who were friends of Landowska at the turn of the century!

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Music Healing and Rap Music

I'd like to introduce you to my friend and former student Carlos Merriweather, a.k.a. Tony Dollars, biographer of Consumine Desire. He has written an intriguing book that is all about compassion and learning how to internalize compassion in your life and share it with others, especially young people. Carlos says "Healing the self destructive mind of the Rap Music Listener. Consumine Desire offers not only theraputic listening and singing. This theraputic listening and singing adapts to the plan of "Compassion Action" as a self healing endeavor to make positive adjustment to any detrimental behavior. Get your copy of the story by clicking the book at

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Anesthesia-related heart attack?

You've probably heard that anesthesia carries risks with it. I think that the average person thinks mainly of
  • not waking up from surgery
  • severe nausea
  • prolonged grogginess
  • severe constipation
  • rashes and skin eruptions

and other such things. But did you know that cardiac arrest can also be an unwanted side effect? You may have heard of the rapper "Usher?" His wife went to Brazil for plastic surgery and suffered cardiac arrest in mid-surgery. Here's what the AP news said: A spokeswoman for the Sirio-Libanes Hospital said Wednesday that Tameka Raymond left the facility Monday night but declined to provide any details on Raymond's treatment at the family's request. The spokewoman spoke on condition of anonymity per hospital policy.
Representatives for Usher had no immediate comment.
Ellen Dastry, a spokeswoman for the doctor who was to perform the plastic surgery, said last week that Raymond suffered a cardiac arrest while being anesthetized ahead of a "simple liposuction" at Sao Paulo's Sao Rafael Hospital.
Raymond was revived in less than a minute with heart massage, and was placed in an induced coma before being taken to the intensive-care unit, said Dastry, spokeswoman for plastic surgeon Silvio Sterman.
She was then transferred to the posh and better-equipped Sirio-Libanes Hospital to recover.
Usher was supposed to perform at music mogul Clive Davis' pre-Grammy party, but backed out to come to Brazil to be with his wife.

Saturday, January 31, 2009

Many people have blogged about the importance of music to our workouts. There has been a lot of research about the effect of music on mood and even matching tempo to heart rate. There also appears to be a magic number for volume; Spinal Tap had it right all along.
Dr. Neil Todd and his team has been cited extensively on their research regarding the sacculus, an organ in the inner ear that helps regulate balance. The sacculus is attached to the hypothalamus by the vestibular nerve. The hypothalamus is the part of the brain that helps regulate appetite, libido, temperature, anger, and fatigue. They report that this connection could explain the rush that many feel when their balance is effected through carnival rides, bungee jumping, or even swinging as a child.
They have found that the sacculus also appears to be stimulated by sounds above 90 decibels. A very similar physical and emotional rush can be experienced when we listen to music above 90 decibels. Todd has stated that “the distribution of frequencies that are typical in rock concerts and at dance clubs almost seem designed to stimulate the sacculus.” Rock and dance music are often the most commonly chosen playlists for exercise, and most people like to turn the volume up to drown out the rest of the world, likely putting you at or above the 90 decibel level.
Normal conversation is approximately 60 decibels, a dial tone is about 80 decibels, and street traffic while sitting in your car is approximately 80 decibels. Singing (you know you rock out in the car) can have the same effect on your sacculus. No wonder we love turning up our tunes and hearing ourselves sing while driving in traffic; it’s not just the acoustics of your vehicle. Large groups of people chanting or cheering can also have a similar effect, adding to the emotional tie to your favorite football team; isn’t it more fun to watch the big game at the stadium or a party?
Exercise alone provides a sense of euphoria, improves circadian rhythms, and improves mood. Music helps us prepare for exercise, makes it more enjoyable, and helps us extend our workouts. When listening to loud music, you may be regulating appetite, temperature, libido, fatigue, and mood through your hypothalamus. However, research states that continued exposure to noises above 85 decibels can cause hearing loss, so we are not suggesting that you turn up the tunes too far.
Post from: Diets in Review Blog

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Music at the Inauguration: Healing the Country

What a day of beautiful and varied music this has been! I have cried tears of joy and of gratitude more times today than I have in a long, long time. I LOVED all the music that I heard today and was reminded once again that music can do as much to bring people together as anything on the planet. At the actual inaugural ceremony we heard everything from multiple trumpet fanfares to Aretha Franklin to Yo-yo Ma and Ithzak Perlman and it was all simply wonderful! The atmosphere was so electrified however that I think most any music selected would have been well-received and beautifully performed. I believe that our country, just today, began to heal in way that is desperately needed. It's going to take years and years, but with God's help and lots of beautiful music, it will happen!

Thursday, January 08, 2009

Apollo, Greek God of Music and Healing

In Greek mythology, Apollo was a powerful and diverse God. He was lauded as the Giver of Music, Medicine, Light, Law, Prophesy and the Arts. Apollo was considered to be the son of Zeus and Leto, and the father of Asclepius, also associated with Medicine. Apollo was the most handsome of all the Greek Gods, depicted with golden hair, an archer's bow, and a lyre. Apollo represents the principles of rational consciousness, wisdom, courage, clarity and truth, who shows people how to bring light to their minds and inner beings.

Apollo is said to direct the Muses, which puts music, history, dreams, dance, poetry, and art under his realm. The Muses are said to be the invisible forces that we call on when we exercise our creative talents and imagination.
Apollo has been called the true paradigm of a Greek God. He represented harmony, order and civilization, a bright and rational God. Associated with the cultivated arts of Music and Healing, he was a patron of intellectual pursuits and human development.

Apollo had a great temple built for him at Delphi which bore two Greek maxims, "Know Thyself" and "Nothing In Excess". Hermes invented the lyre, a harp like instrument with nine cords, in honor of the nine Muses. Hermes gave this first lyre to Apollo. In return, Apollo gave Hermes the caduceus, still used today as the symbol of Medicine.

Apollo was a gifted musician, who delighted the Gods with his lyre performances. He was also a master archer and a fleet-footed athlete, credited with being the first victor in the Olympic Games. He is said to have taught humans the art of healing.

Ancient sculptors showed Apollo as a beautiful youth with flowing hair tied in a knot above his forehead, wearing a laurel wreath, holding his lyre or bow. His most famous statue is the 'Apollo Belvedere', a Roman copy of a Greek bronze original, now kept in the Vatican Museum, in Rome, Italy.

Friday, January 02, 2009

One Man's Approach to Healing Music

David Darling is a fantastic musician who believes in the healing power of music. I urge you to check out his CD's and other products. I higly recommend his work! Happy New Year