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March - April 2013

In This Issue: 

   News Item

American Music Therapy Association, Southeast Region (AMTA-SER)Conference in Chattanooga, TN

From March 20-23, 2013 I attended "Music Therapy:  Entrain for the Future," the Conference of the American Music Therapy Association, Southeast Region. The conference was a lot of fun, very informative and was attended by music therapy professionals as well as students.

There was a great keynote presentation by Tim Ringgold, a well known music therapist from Oakland, CA. He told us with words, music, and pictures, the story of his first-born child.  She was b


orn with a very rare condition that caused her to have almost no skin on her body. . Although she only survived for 18 months, the family was transformed by what they went through, and created a charity dedicated to finding a cure. Very inspirational!  His daughter's condition was Epidermolysis Bullosa and the blog he created is called www.bellasblessings.com.  I highly recommend checking this out!

I also attended an exciting seminar on West African drumming for music therapists, and an informative session on "iPad for Music Therapy:  Tool or Toy."  As the proud owner of a new iPad, I was thrilled to find out about all kinds of new apps for music and video.  Of course, all of the people that I met there were as kind, helpful and friendly as could be and I've made dozens of new friends that have all offered to help me and be available to me as I endeavor to get my Surgical Serenity Solution out to hospitals and patients around the world!

One of the most exciting connections that I made at this conference was with some music therapy composers who are interested in adding newly composed soundtracks to our current Surgical Serenity music.  Eventually we will have music in dozens of genres for patients and hospitals to choose from!  Suggestions and recommendations are always welcomed!  I was also so pleased to meet some music therapists that have been on my Healing Music list for years, but I had never met them!  Overall, it was a great conference and I'm looking forward to the national conference in Jacksonville!

   Healing Music Blog

Music and the NICU: NY Times reports on newest study

On Monday, April 15, the New York Time reported on yet another study documenting the benefits of music with preemies in the NICU (neo-natal intensive care unit). It’s one of those many music healing/music medicine phenomena wherein an ancient practice, known since the beginning of time as lulling or singing softly to your newborn for calming, soothing, and comforting, is studied in modern times and found to be beneficial! And it’s a good thing!

When I started my family back in 1975, I know that I wanted to do everything as naturally as possible. I knew that, as a professional musician and music teacher, that my unborn and newborn baby would be hearing lots of music all day every day. Today, my oldest daughter is a professional music in Boston and hear daughters also hear music, classical music, all day, every day. There is no question that when a baby is growing inside the mother, the baby can hear mother’s heartbeat, digestive sounds, and eventually, her voice. When a mother sings to her unborn baby, that baby begins to associate her mother’s voice with love, safety, security and protection. This is exactly why I encourage all pregnant women to sing or hum softly to their unborn child. You never know when baby may decide to come early, for whatever reason, and if mother has been singing all along, those same songs will prove to be a huge asset.

The study reported in the NY Times documents that babies who are sung to by their mothers, gain weight faster, stabilize their body temperature and pulse sooner and are ultimately discharged sooner!

Read More ...

    Surgery and Music Blog

Benefits of Surgery with Music: Medical Research Documents

As the word spreads about your options for using music during surgery, the studies come out, documenting the benefits, and the list of benefits grows and grows. Here are a few of the main benefits for the patient having general anesthesia:

For the patient: Slow, steady, and soothing instrumental music can:

  • Decrease anxiety and the need for as much anxiety medication
  • Decrease the amount of propofol needed as a result of patients level of relaxation
  • Decrease the amount of pain medication needed during and after surgery
  • Decrease the amount of time in the recovery area as a result of
    • Less nausea and vomiting
    • Less dizziness and confusion
    • Faster recovery and back to work because of less anesthesia

For the surgeon: Upbeat, steady tempo, instrumental music can:

  • Improve focus
  • Maintain energy level
  • Decrease distractibility

For the hospital: Benefits of using separate music for patient and surgeon

  • Safer procedures with less side-effects
  • Patients safely discharged sooner because of less anesthesia and pain meds
  • Customer satisfaction sky-rockets
  • More patients are able to be seen during the day

My sincerest hope is that one day all hospitals will use music in their operating rooms to soothe and comfort the patient in a natural and effective way, through cordless, pre-programmed headphones, while the surgeon has his favorite upbeat music that allows him to have a laser focus and plenty of energy through speakers in the OR. There is ample research to document all of these benefits. Click HERE to see a presentation on Music with Surgery. Please feel free to contact me with any questions!

Read More Posts on Music and Surgery ...

    Brain and Music Blog

Learning about the brain…through music!

For decades, scientists have been telling us that the brain is the last unexplored frontier. Although we still have so much more to learn, we have definitely learned lots of new and wonderful information in the last 25 years, things to PET scans and other new technologies for observing the brain while it’s listening to music! Dr. Daniel Levitan has done some of the most fascinating and compelling research on what happens in the brain when different kinds of music are played.

Recently CNN published the following article, which I wanted to share with my readers! Enjoy!

(CNN) – Whether you are rocking out to Macklemore & Ryan Lewis in your car or reading with Bach in your bedroom, music has a special ability to pump us up or calm us down.

Scientists are still trying to figure out what’s going on in our brains when we listen to music and how it produces such potent effects on the psyche.

“We’re using music to better understand brain function in general,” said Daniel Levitin, a prominent psychologist who studies the neuroscience of music at McGill University in Montreal.

Three studies published this month explore how the brain responds to music. The quest to dissect exactly what chemical processes occur when we put our headphones on is far from over, but scientists have come across some clues.

Read More ...

    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        


Dr. Alice H Cash



"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!


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