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Healing Music Ezine, February 2002, Vol. 1, No. 7

February 2002 Subscribe: Healing Music Enterprises E-zine Volume 1, Number 7

Healing Music Ezine Editorial

Olympic Music

The Olympics have been a highlight event in many households this month. This popular traditional event is characterized by ceremony and exceptional performance. Music is an integral component of both Olympic ceremony and performance. Which brings me to the question, What did YOU think of the music used in the Olympics this year? First of all, there was the famous John Williams theme that has been used for the past 3 or 4 Olympics, now associated worldwide with these time-honored Games. Almost any man, woman or child who hears this stirring march with its trumpets and fanfare would immediately think "the Olympics!" That's how powerful musical cues are. But what did you think about the music that the various skaters chose to use for their pairs skating and ice dancing? Personally, being a musical traditionalist, I liked those that chose the classical music. Like the "Meditation" from "Thais" that the controversial Russian couple skated to, versus the "Love Story Theme" that the Canadian couple used. Of course this reflects my life experience in music. Other people obviously prefer very different kinds of music. Which leads to my next point. We all must respect the musical taste of the individual. There is no right or wrong in musical preference. For instance, if a patient tells me that they want to listen to country music ballads before their surgery, that's what they get. Music that resonates with the individual has more wide range effects on their body and psyche. This is true for both reflective relaxing music as well as active pick-me-up tunes. Music was written to communicate the thoughts and feelings of one human to another and when we are using it for that purpose we are using it for its highest good.

On another note, the calendar section of my website now features the regular series of classes being offered at the Healing Music Enterprises office here in Louisville. I have the facilities to conduct classes there and will do regularly recurring classes on:

  1. How to create tapes for surgery
  2. Using music with pregnancy, childbirth and newborns
  3. Understanding how music affects the Mind-Body-Spirit
  4. Toning, Chanting, and Drumming for Health
  5. Using Music with Alzheimer's Patients

These classes will be offered on demand with a minimum of four people necessary to have a class. Each class will be 2-3 hours in length. Class will be held every other Friday morning, Saturday afternoon, and Sunday evenings. Private sessions can also be arranged. Call 502-895-7688 to register.

Alice H. Cash, Ph.D., LCSW


Question of the Month

Q: My question is regarding my alarm clock. Waking up to a buzz or other loud noise is a terrible way to start my day. And as much as I lock, rock and roll, it is too aggressive to wake up to as well. When I wake up to a distressing noise, the rest of my day seems frenetic often. I want to wake up to something that gets me started slowly and in a relaxed way. Any suggestions? Thank you.

Paul in Louisville

A: Dear Paul,
A. I'm very sympathetic to your dilemma Paul and I agree that waking up to a loud buzz or ringing sound is an terrible way to start one's day. I suggest you invest in a decent clock radio that you can set on the classical station. That's what I do and I set the volume loud enough to awaken me but not to jolt me awake. They also make clock radio's with CD players and you can chose what CD you want to awaken you, anything from "Air on the G String" to "Enya" or perhaps some nice English folksongs. You needn't suffer through bells or buzzers for another day!

Send in Your Question to the ChantDoc!

Healing Music Ezine News

My Calendar has been updated with projected new workshops, classes and presentations, including a tour to Hawaii this coming May. Please go to to read about the coming events. Recently I travelled to Spartanburg, S.C. to do a long-awaited two-day workshop for Spartanburg Regional Hospital System. We had an outstanding crowd on both days and listened to lots of good music as well as learned about Music in the Hospital Setting and Behavioral Health on the first day, and Music with Pediatrics and Geriatrics on the second day. The audience was filled with nurses, social workers, music therapists, chaplains and others! Please go to the web-site section entitled Testimonials to read some of the evaluations. I was quite honored and flattered by the response. I was also pleased by the number of individuals in the audience that were willing to get up and share their own personal stories of music and healing, both personally and professionally. Free books and tapes from the chantdoc were given out and I do hope to return to that area of the country in the near future!

Healing Music Ezine Focus

Listening Training and Music Education

II. This month's special article is taken from "Why Music Ed" which comes out weekly in e-mail form. If you'd like to subscribe to this newsletter, just send an e-mail to

Different types of music reach and stimulate different parts of the brain. There is music that provides physical energy to the body, and music that provides mental energy to the mind. Music with the heavy beat, such as rock, rap or techno, stimulates the body primarily through the vestibular system. [The vestibular system, regulated by the inner ear, measures body movement and position and controls balance.] Like it or not, this music "gets into us," often to the point of being invasive or even aggressive. Music for the mind, on the other hand, primarily stimulates the cortex via the cochlea. [The cochlea/cochlear system of the ear measures the pitch, timbre, and attack of sounds.] In this kind of music, there is less emphasis on the beat and more on melody. The richer the music is in high harmonics, the more mental energy it provides. Music for violin is at the top of the chart.

Both types of music have a purpose, but they need to be used appropriately. I would never recommend using Mozart's music or Gregorian chants for aerobic exercise classes, but I would also never recommend doing homework while listening to rock or rap.

Music is neither "all rhythm" nor "all melody." By definition, it is a composite of both. Most music, however, exhibits a clear predominance of one or the other. At one extreme there is music with little or no beat or tempo, such as the earlier mentioned Gregorian Chants or Tibetan "ohms." This music is intended for meditation and spiritual work. It is the quintessential "music of the mind." At the other end of the spectrum there is rap, an almost exclusively vestibular music - a music of the body, by the body, and for the body. The beated monotone voice of the rap singer has no melodic line and only minimal pitch differentiation.

A music teacher once asked me how he could develop music appreciation among students who are "into" rap with the exclusion of all other kinds of music. The answer was expanding their listening to a wider range of the auditory spectrum. I am very aware that this is easier said than done because rap music requires virtually no listening skill to be enjoyed. Its impact on the body is such that it "gets into you" - whether you want it to or not. In the following story, I will demonstrate that with skill and patience it is possible to open the ear. I will also show that the "payback" is well worth the effort.

A few years ago I met Walter Bahn, Benedictine monk and former music director of a cathedral in San Francisco. He now works as a social worker in the Dominican Harlem of Manhattan, where community programs are available to keep children off the streets. One such program includes an initiation to singing and chanting which, if successful, would enable the children to join a church choir.

I was fascinated by the approach he developed to sensitize children who knew nothing about music other than rap. In the beginning, the children had no sense of tonal differentiation whatsoever. To see if they would change pitches, Walter had them imitate motorcycles or fire truck sirens. While they could do this, they were still unable to measure their pitch accurately. To help them, he used hand signs invented in the teaching of Gregorian chant. The hand signs are very simple: for DO the child points to the navel; for RE, to the middle of the chest; for MI, to the chin; for FA to the nose; and so on. The method is not unlike Kodaly's hand signals. Both are excellent multi-sensory approaches which use awareness. Adding to the teaching of music, both movement and singing reinforce the vestibular, proprioceptive [internal stimuli generated by the body to regulate itself], tactile and visual stimuli which reinforce and develop auditory cochlear-vestibular integration - so important in the development of listening.

I met Walter at a time when he was searching for other techniques...that might speed up the children's progress. At that time, it was taking him several months to bring these children from a completely amusical mode to singing and chanting in a well- established choir. During this process, dramatic changes were taking place in the children's personal, social and academic lives. Those participating in his choir program were staying out of trouble, were attending school, and were improving their marks. In short, the more their musical abilities, (and hence, listening skills) developed, the more integration, self control and direction they acquired. Some of them are now studying at Harvard, Columbia, and West Point. Walter Bahn offers a beautiful illustration of what a music educator can do to improve listening and turn lives around.

SOURCE: "Listening Training and Music Education" by Paul Madaule. Published in Early Childhood Connections: Journal of Music and Movement-Based Learning, Vol. 4, No. 2, Spring 1998.


I. Editorial: Olympic Music
II. Ask the Chantdoc: FAQ's
III. News and Events: Updated Calendar

Healing Music Ezine Focus

Healing Music Products

Dr. Cash offers affordable products to help you reap the benefits of music and healing. Products available include audio tapes, music sample CD and book as well as her ebook & Mp3 package. Each product is expertly created to offer you sound tools for therapeutic music sessions.

"Notes for Tuning Your Life with Music"
(available as soft cover book or ebook,
with CD or Mp3 music supplement)

BOOK & CD- (Book - $14.95; CD - $14.95 or Book/CD Combo - $24.95 & S/H)

EBOOK & Mp3s (Ebook - $8.95; Mp3s - $5/set)
Sets include:
Alzheimer's & Dementia Collection
Lullaby Collection
Chant Collection

Tape titles include:
The Healing Power of Music
Toning & Chanting with Addictions
Why Mozart? The Research on Mozart and Learning

To order, go to Dr. Cash's products page at:

Healing Music Products

Treat yourself and your loved ones to The Chantdoc's products to help you reap the benefits of music and healing. Dr. Cash offers her newest book and ebook "Notes for Tuning Your Life with Music" and accompanying CD and MP3s plus audiotapes - chock full of healing music for your health and wellbeing. Reasonable and effective!

Check out our full line of products

Healing Music Services

Dr. Cash is available for seminars, workshops, classes and other group and individual instruction in using music for healing and promoting health and wellbeing.


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