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September 2005

Beaches, Babies, and Blissful Barcarolles*

  1. Alice Returns to Cancun

  2. Latest Research on Music and Pregnancy

  3. Are You Interested in Having Dr. Cash Speak at Your Next Event?

  4. Classes Offered in Music Healing for Fall 2005

1. Alice Returns to Cancun for Musicological Research (J)

Great news! Nine months after my first trip to Cancun (last January), I gave birth to the idea of returning to do some musicological research. The way I see it, the more I can learn about native instruments and how different cultures use music for healing purposes, the more I can help YOU to heal from various illnesses. This time my primary destination for research in the Cancun area was Chichinitza and the Mayan ruins there. I felt sure that music was an integral part of their culture and their worship of Kukulkan, the sun god, and all of the other gods as well. What I found was something that I never could have expected…

Right before leaving the U.S., we discovered that we’d be able to visit Chichinitza on the day of the Fall equinox, the best possible day of the year to be there! This is the day that the Mayan architects of the main temple, Temple of Kukulkan, showcased by building it so that that shadows cast by the sun at exactly 5:00 PM on the Fall Equinox create a clear image of a descending serpent, the feathered serpent Kukulkan, descending the North side of the Temple of Kukulkan, seen above. The temperature was about 98 degrees with humidity about the same. The air was leaden except for an occasional zephyr. As 5:00 o’clock approached, the clouds began to gather and as the crowd grew, so did the fear that the sun would be obscured and there would be no shadow. Camera crews from around the world were there and we were told that the famous shadow had not been seen he past four years. You see in the first photo above that there was no direct sunlight at that time. At almost exactly 5:00 PM, the clouds parted and the sun began to create the famous shadows, minute by minute down the side of the temple. At the bottom of the spot where the shadows fall is a huge stone serpents’ head and by 5:20 the serpent was complete.

During most of the afternoon, Mayan music was being played by local musicians on authentic instruments. I was able to buy a copy of a clay flute which I am playing in the picture of me in the surf. It is a pentatonic instrument with a clear, piercing tone. In the other picture I am playing the simple, two-tone drum that I bought from local crafts merchants that lined the paths to the temple. When played together with the flute (yes, this requires two people) the effect is quite trance-inducing. I can imagine that if this kind of music was played for hours and hours on the Spring and Fall equinox, gradually building to the 5:00 moment, the moment of the sun appearing and creating the serpentine shadow would be a moment of near ecstasy. This is what music can do. It’s power to send a crowd or a group into a frenzy has been well-known for thousands of years.

For more information on Chichinitza:

Now, once again I am seated by the azure waters of the Caribbean, caressed by the warm sea breezes and drinking another exotic, tropical beverage, served by the gracious, accommodating staff of the the Hotel GR Solaris. For me, Cancun will always be a very special place. As a result of going to Cancun University, I just feel like creativity flows through the air and the water there and gives me ideas a thoughts that I cannot receive anywhere else. I highly recommend it!

2. New Research on Music During Pregnancy

Earlier this week I was notified on a new study about music’s effect on a fetus. You know that Music with Babies and Music with Pregnancy are especially dear to me. I am the mother of three beautiful daughters and I did play lots and lots of music for them (and myself!) while pregnant. They are all very musical today and one is a professional violinist, but more importantly, they are all very healthy and well-adjusted! For a new mother and baby, bonding is the most crucially important task! Without a strong emotional bond, the child is set-up for a myriad of problems from addiction, to fibromyalgia, depression and anxiety, and so many others.

I am not suggesting that playing music for your baby or singing to your baby will take away the possibility of these diseases, but I do believe that creating a powerful bond with your child creates a state of security and self-esteem, a feeling of unconditional love and acceptance and THIS is the best preventative medicine out there! We live in a society that is so competitive, so judgmental, and so punitive that many babies are being compared negatively to their peers or siblings before they are even born! The nature of a lullaby is that it is loving and affirming of the little one in every way. My new lullaby CD is the perfect gift for your baby, child, or friend. Or even yourself!! The first run of them is almost gone so call or e-mail me immediately if you want to get one! Meanwhile check out the brief description of this latest study, which was actually done in Saudi Arabia (of all places!) Have a good month and please stay in touch with me with your questions, comments, or stories of music healing!

All the best,

Alice (aka “chantdoc”)

Foetal response to music and voice.
NH Al-Qahtani Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, College of Medicine, King Faisal University, Dammam, Saudi Arabia.

Aust N Z J Obstet Gynaecol, October 1, 2005; 45(5): 414-7.

Objective: To examine whether prenatal exposure to music and voice alters foetal behaviour and whether foetal response to music differs from human voice. Subjects and methods: A prospective observational study was conducted in 20 normal term pregnant mothers. Ten foetuses were exposed to music and voice for 15 s at different sound pressure levels to find out the optimal setting for the auditory stimulation. Music, voice and sham were played to another 10 foetuses via a headphone on the maternal abdomen. The sound pressure level was 105 db and 94 db for music and voice, respectively. Computerised assessment of foetal heart rate and activity were recorded. 90 actocardiograms were obtained for the whole group. One way anova followed by posthoc (Student-Newman-Keuls method) analysis was used to find if there is significant difference in foetal response to music and voice versus sham. Results: Foetuses responded with heart rate acceleration and motor response to both music and voice. This was statistically significant compared to sham. There was no significant difference between the foetal heart rate acceleration to music and voice. Conclusion: Prenatal exposure to music and voice alters the foetal behaviour. No difference was detected in foetal response to instrument and voice.

3. Are You Interested in Having Dr. Cash Speak at Your Event?

Alice is a Professional Member of the National Speakers Association and President-Elect for the Kentucky Chapter. Alice has spoken at conferences and professional meetings and events all over the world. Her presentations meet with delight and rave reviews each and every time she speaks. Invite Alice to speak at your next event!

"I didn’t want her to stop. Her presentation was so uplifting and educational that I wanted to stay all day!"

"Dr. Cash kept my interest through-out the whole session. I am a 60 year old MeMaw that is raising my grandson. He is seven and has had a lot of turmoil in his life already. I decided that I was not going to put him on drugs and every time I hear about an alternative method of helping him, I jump to it. Dr Cash explained methods of using music that I can use with my grandson along with the healing work I do. I am a Reiki Master and a Spiritualist Minister. Saturday, I became aware of a lot of new ways I can use music in my spiritual work. Thank you for making this class available."

Additional rave reviews of Alice and her programs

4. New Classes Offered for YOU at HME Offices in Louisville

1. Baby Blues: What can you do?

Many women suffer from moderate to severe depression following the birth of their baby. The effects include feelings of hopelessness, despair, inability to cope, and low self-esteem. Come and learn some coping skills and strategies, including music

2. Music with Pregnancy and Newborns: Healthier, Happier Homecomings

There is much research from reputable journals and hospitals over the last decade. From the second trimester on, there are lots of good things you can be doing for your unborn child. Learn to use the music that you love most for your baby’s health and well-being! (Support group available after class is finished)

3. Surviving Cancer: Can music make a difference? Help for you and your family

A diagnosis of cancer is frightening for the patient and family. Getting into action with non- chemical therapies can be helpful, calming, and enjoyable. Learn new and creative ways to cope with feelings in yourself and family members. (A support group is also available at HME offices)

4. Alzheimer’s Disease: A group for family members and caregivers

The power of music with Alzheimer’s disease is well-known and well-documented. Learn how to implement music interventions that are easy and effective.

5. Planning for music with your surgery:

The Power of music through headphones before, during and after your surgery is well- documented. If you or a family member or friend has surgery or an out-patient procedure scheduled, you don’t want to miss this important class!

6. Toning and Chanting with Addiction Recovery:

Are you in recovery? Would you like more than you’re getting right now in your meetings? Learn the ancient techniques of toning and chanting with someone who has studied and taught these techniques for nearly 20 years. No musical experience needed!

COST: One FREE class if you pay entire tuition before first class. 6, 1-hour classes $180.00. Due at first class. Some scholarships available. Each class will have a manual that includes syllabus, readings, and assignments. Classes will meet on week-ends and evenings, TBA when each class has 6-8 people in it.

Alice is willing to present any of these classes out of town over a single week-end if there is interest. Call for more information; schedule fills quickly!

CALL 502-419-1698 for more information

: A moderate tempo “boat song” that gives a sense of quietly rocking on the water. Chopin wrote a famous Barcarolle; Gabriel Faure wrote many of them.

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Dr. Alice Cash has devoted her professional life to the promotion of music for healing. Dr. Cash combines her Masters in Social Work with her PhD in Musicology to educate people in the art and science of music's unique properties. In 1996, Dr. Cash launched Healing Music Enterprises as a vehicle to offer her expertise to health care professionals, educators, students, organizations and people at large. Her services are in high demand across North America and more recently, at an international level. Dr. Alice Cash may be reached through

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