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August 2011

 

 

 

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"Using Music in the Hospital"

Dr. Alice H. Cash is often asked to share her
Grand Rounds Presentation with hospitals' doctors and staff.  Learn what is currently happening around the world and the results they are having.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

"It was the easiest of all hand surgeries! I was listening to music, then a slight lull of nothing and then back to the music. Wonderfully comfortable. The best surgical experience yet. I am honored to know, worked with and utilized Dr. Cash's magnificent creation. I do hope the medical field understands the import of her invention!"

Sheryl S.
Louisville, KY

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Dr. Cash will come and speak or play a recital for YOUR association, conference, university or church

Just visit our speaker information page and then let's talk!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 
In This Issue: 

   News Item  

Do you really understand how music affects your mind and body?

Do you have favorite music that you love and never tire of?  Do you listen to it over and over...at home, in your car, on vacation?  Rarely do I meet the person who answers "no" to this question.  Pretty much everyone I know has some kind of favorite music that they've loved for years.  Many of us have thousands of favorite songs, favorite singers, favorite composers and even favorite instruments that they reach for when the want a "pick-me-up" or a "calm-me-down."  Often, the music that we get most attached to is music that has a powerful and positive association with either an event in the past or a person (love relationship) from the past. 

The good news is, you don't have to know what is going on in your mind and body to appreciate the music that you love the most.  But, don't you want to know?  I can remember sitting in a concert hall as a small child, listening to what seemed like the most beautiful, soul-stirring music I had ever heard and wishing that it could never end.  I remember wondering why it affected me so powerfully and vowing that one day I would figure that out!  It has been a gradual and life-long journey but I believe that I'm getting closer to the answer and would love to share it with you.

I know that none of us has time these days to read a long dissertation on the subject, so let me narrow it down to a few simple factors:

  • Music that is associated with some very positive and powerful event in the past, tends to be a lifelong favorite.  Ex:  when you were a pre-schooler through age 12, your Mother and/or Grandmother always sang "You Are My Sunshine" when you were sad or scared or sick.  Substitute "This Little Light of Mine" or "Jesus Loves Me" or any number of other similar songs and you see immediately.
  • Music that is associated with specific lifetime major milestones, often becomes favorite music.  Ex:  "Pomp and Circumstance" is associated with graduations of all kinds.  "The Wedding March" has been played for over a hundred years at millions of weddings.  Famous and familiar lullabies such as "Brahms' Lullaby" have been sung for generations.
  • Then there's the chemical connection.  Neuroscientists have long-ago proven that when we listen to our favorite music, whatever that might be, certain neurochemicals such as endorphins and serotonin and produced in the brain and give us an immediate boost of that "Feel good feeling!"  It can be either energizing or calming, depending on the tempo and character of the music you have chosen.
  • Finally, there's the entrainment phenomenon.  Even when a piece of music is unfamiliar and has no previous connection or association with your life, the rhythm, tempo, melody, lyrics, or simply the character of the music may very well "hook you in" by synchronizing your body's energy field, attention, or bio-rhythms to the music.  Have you ever been "mesmerized" by a piece of music you never heard before?  That's the entrainment phenomenon!

So, hopefully you understand this a little bit more and can think about this next time you hear some music that you know you love but never thought about why it affected you so powerfully!

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   Music with pregnancy, preemies and infants: The Lullaby Project


In the late 1990's I began working at a local major hospital here in Louisville, KY.  It was just about this time that the book "The Mozart Effect" was coming out and I had been quoted in this book and was getting lots of media attention and questions from lots of people.  One of the burning issues was whether the music of Mozart could really have an effect on one's unborn child or one's newborn child!

The governor of Georgia created a CD of classical music that was issued to all new mother's in Georgia when they left the hospital with their newborns.  Although it was later determined that classical music had nothing to do with a child's IQ, it was believed that if the mother listened to classical music, it would definitely provide a positive sonic environment for the infant's development and help them "organize their learning."

At the hospital where I worked, I implemented a program for educating the Newborn Nursery Staff and began giving lectures every month to the Expectant Parents Class.  There are specific, sequential steps that a pregnant mother can begin doing at the beginning of the second trimester of pregnancy.  For more information, listen to the download of the Healing Music Sampler or the CD.

I also have a blog with lots of information on preemies and full-term infants:  www.PregnancyandPreemies.blogspot.com Please don't miss out on a powerful tool for babies health and good development!
Read or comment on this post

 

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  Music for Memory Care

We have pulled together 23 songs.

We sat down at a beautiful Steinway Grand Piano and recorded the 23 most commonly requested songs as we have entertained the elderly. The beautiful sound of a Steinway Concert Grand comes through in these simple piano songs. The recordings allow the listener to revisit their past, generate discussions between listeners, or sing along. The recordings are instrumental only as to engage the listenerís mind and have them bring up the words or lyrics they remember.  This CD is always a hit with the Grandparents!

Music for Memory Care

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    Serenity Headphones now available for uses other than surgery

A few months ago, I accepted a challenge to create a new blog post each day during June for my Surgery and Music Blog.  Since getting the word out about the exciting benefits of music with surgery is one of my main missions these days, I excitedly accepted the challenge. 

Now I am happy to announce that our Serenity Headphones are being programmed with our music for pregnant women and mothers of newborns, patients with early Alzheimer's disease, music for patients with Parkinson's disease and music that you request!  Just let me know what your health situation is and I'll be happy to call you and discuss what kind of music might help you the most!

Having surgery is one of those serious and often terrifying live events and people want to know what they can do to make it as safe as possible and to get through it with as little trauma and side-effects as possible.  Now these wonderful headphones can be used with any sort of health disturbance as well as for relaxation and general healing.  Relaxation is mandatory prerequisite for healing after all!
 

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    Brain and Music Blog
Music and Your Brain:  An Expert Explains

Dr. Daniel Levitan is one of the most prominent experts our there today on the topic of music and the brain.  He wrote a highly acclaimed book called "This is Your Brain on Music."  Please watch this fascinating video and give me your comments!

Click here if video isn't visible
 

See complete post

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     Drumming Circles

Today, drum circles are being created all over the world, often for the very same reasons.  Drumming circles in hospitals, schools and universities are happening daily and participants are realizing all that they have to gain from their willingness to try something a little different.

Alice and Heidi will be conducting a drum circle on the University of Louisville, Health Sciences Campus.  This is part of a summer program called "Take 20 for Relaxation."  Please join us for this free program.  If you have a drum or other percussion instrument, please bring it! For more info, click HERE.

 Hope to see you there!

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    Alice H. Cash
For nearly two decades, I've been helping people use the music that they already love to heal their lives and increase their wellness quotient!  I am one of the world's only clinical musicologists and hold  a Masters degree in piano performance, a Ph.D. in musicology and a Master of Social Work in clinical social work.  I am also a licensed clinical social worker. I work with people and diagnoses of all kinds, enabling them to find healing, acceptance and hope.

I love performing, researching, and teaching and have put them all together in a career called "Music Medicine." 

See you next month!!

 Alice Cash        

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