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                        Healing Music Ezine
                                              from Healing Music Enterprises
                                     and Dr. Alice Cash

       October 2003                  Volume 3 Number 1

in this issue

  • I. Editorial Musings:
    Piano Lessons
  • II. Special Topic:
    Music with Alzheimer's patients
  • III. Chantdoc may be coming to your area!
  • IV. Booking Dr. Cash in Your Community
  • V. HME Shoppe
    ”It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas!”

Editorial Musings

Piano Lessons

One of the most frequent questions that I’m asked is about piano lessons. How early one should start and how much should one practice if she “doesn’t intend to become a concert pianist.” Ideally, a child or teen-ager will ask for lessons. Many times when a child comes to me and doesn’t practice with enthusiasm, it’s because the parent wants their child to play the piano, not the child. I’ve never really known that to work. As a matter of fact, many teachers today will ask parent a child to sign an informal contract stating that the child will practice a minimum of 30 minutes a day and that the parent will see that that happens.

Neuro-scientists are beginning to discover the many benefits of early piano lessons. As a matter of fact, one of the earliest “Mozart Effect” studies dealt specifically with the benefits of piano lessons on improved intellectual functioning. This month’s APA “Monitor Online” has an excellent article: The two psychologists who conducted the study suggest that music lessons may offer children intellectual benefits and fine-tune their sensitivity to emotion in speech. This would then help them to be able to communicate better in the world if they are sensitive to other’s emotions and responses.

The age at which one begins piano is important and I believe that when a child asks for lessons, that is a good time to give it a try. I didn’t begin lessons until I was eight years old but I was playing on others’ pianos from the age for four. The earlier a child begins training the ear, the brain and the fingers, the greater the permanent intellectuals benefits. HOWEVER, one can learn to play the piano purely for pleasure at any age. I have taught beginners of all ages and I believe it’s a way to keep the mind and body young! There are many adult beginner books out there.

No matter what the age, the main reason to study piano or any musical instrument is for the sheer joy of it. For someone who loves music, playing an instrument is exhilarating and rewarding in a way that nothing else can equal.

Dr. Alice H. Cash
President, Healing Music Enterprises
"Tune Your Life with Music!"
3219 Marion Court
Louisville, Kentucky 40206
502/895-7688 (phone) 502/896-7277 (fax)
502/419-1698 (mobile)

   Special Topic

Music with Alzheimer’s Patients

The power of music to make a difference in the lives of Alzheimer’s patients is a well-documented phenomenon. It is, of course, a quality of life intervention. It is not going to stop the progression of the disease nor will it slow it down. What music does is to bring the individual an opportunity to experience pleasure and a sense of familiarity and competence when most opportunities for this are rapidly fading. It also provides an opportunity for interaction with family members and friends. Some researchers have observed people standing up from their chairs or wheelchairs and asking someone to dance when certain familiar songs are played. In the hospital where I work we routinely have the nurses and aides get people up dancing to “In the Mood,” “Pretty Baby,” “School Days” and “The Hokey-Pokey.” Oftentimes these same patients would not want to take any exercise at all or interact with another human. Familiar music is the magical intervention that gets them up smiling and moving about, no matter how slowly. We also know from researchers that the mere act of smiling causes the release of endorphins and other feel-good chemicals.

For about 30 minutes after the music therapy session, the patients often eat better, are less combative and interact better with staff and fellow patients or family members. As always, live music is preferable to recorded music, but it is easy enough just to sing one-on-one with your family member or loved one. Favorites here are “You Are My Sunshine,” “My Old Kentucky Home,” and “Amazing Grace.”

Next Monday, November 3, in Lexington, KY (Sheraton Suites), Dr. Crystal Sahner will be giving a keynote address to a Conference on Care-Givers of Alzheimer’s Patients. For more information or to register, follow this link Dr. Sahner is a music therapist, a psychologist, and Vice-President of Healing Music Enterprises. She and I have created an audio-tape for Alzheimers patients that can be purchased at For those that live nearby, I encourage you to go and learn about music and the Alzheimer’s patients. I know Dr. Sahner will be giving lots of useful suggestions as well as an overview of some of the current research.

As always, please contact me with any questions about this or any other music-related topic!

Update on “Ear-Worms”

Ear worms are songs or jingles that get in your head and just won't seem to go away. You find yourself humming the little ditty in the shower or in the car on your way to work. You don't even have to like the just gets caught in your brain and won't go away. Two years ago I introduced this concept, which is based on the work of a University of Cincinnati marketing professor, James Kellaris. (See ) Dr. Kellaris is still appearing on talk shows and being interview about this most interesting and familiar phenomenon. To get a list of the most common, i.e., top-ten ear worms, see Enjoy!


At the conclusion of every workshop and presentation that I give, I hand out an evaluation to determine what people liked the best and what ideas they will use first. This month I have three new sets of evaluations for my readers to enjoy in the Testimonials section of the HME web site at:

   Chantdoc may soon be visiting an area near you!

November 3, 2003 - keynote speaker Dr. Crystal Sahner will be presenting in Lexington, Kentucky (Sheraton Suites) at a “Conference on Care-Givers of Alzheimer’s Patients” Go to for more information.

November 8, 2003 - Hamilton, Ohio - “Music in the Childcare Setting” contact Amy Alcorn at

March 26, 2004 - Tampa, Florida - “The Healing Power of Music” at the Center for Conscious Living - Contact

November 25 or 26, 2003 - Boston, MASS - topic pending

February 2004 Santa Fe, New Mexico - topic pending

July, 2004 - Alberta, Canada - joint conference with Scripps Center for Integrative Medicine - topic pending

Date undecided: Washington, D.C. area - “Music in the Golden Years”

Read about the newest Calendar updates!

   Healing Music Shoppe - Christmas is on its way!

Have YOU done all of YOUR Christmas shopping? I know I haven’t and I’ll be getting lots of musical gifts for people. Everything you could want from CD’s, books on Healing with Music, instruments, and books of music are there. Check it out!

   Healing Music Services

Dr. Cash is available as a keynote speaker, workshop and seminar leader, course educator, and individual "music medicine consultations" with people, as well as other group and individual instruction in using music for healing and promoting health and wellbeing. Go to for more information.

Attention: Louisvillle Area Health Professionals

Dr. Cash offers classes on a regular basis on:

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

2 -3 hour long classes are offered on demand for four people or more. Class can be booked for Fri am, Sat pm, & Sun eves. Also private sessions.
Call 502-895-7688 to register or Send an Email .

   Healing Music Products

Dr. Cash offers helpful products to guide you reap the benefits of music for healing. Each product is expertly created to offer you sound tools for self directed therapeutic music sessions. All purchases are secure and guaranteed.

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

Mp3 Sets include:

  • Alzheimer's & Dementia Collection
  • Lullaby Collection
  • Chant Collection

2. AUDIOTAPES - $10 & S/H - Tape titles include:

  • The Healing Power of Music
  • Toning & Chanting with Addictions
  • Why Mozart? The Research on Mozart and Learning
  • The Use of Music with Alzheimers and other Dementias
  • Music for Surgery ($19.95 for two tape set)

3. Healing Music Shoppe Do you have some birthday presents, wedding gifts, or shower gifts to buy? Why not go to my new Healing Music Enterprises Store and buy a book, CD, or even a musical instrument for that special someone? You can get a troubadour harp or a didgeridoo; a djembe, a bongo, or a bagpipe! Now that's a surprise isn't it? Feel free to write me personally for advice on the best instrument for you or your child. We also offer sheet music, music books, musician career services, musical recordings and more.

4. Music Book and CD Library - the place to browse and shop online for Amazon music books, CDs, VHS and DVDs. Hand picked to ensure that content reflects music for healing and well being.

   Contact Us

Please feel free to forward this issue to friends and associates. Anyone can subscribe for free (see below)

Contact Info:
Alice H. Cash, Ph.D., LCSW
Healing Music Enterprises
(502) 895-7688    (502) 419-1698 (mobile)
(502) 896-7277 (fax)

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