MUSIC & THE MINDMICHAEL BALLAM
This document includes quotes and information from respected sources throughout the world regarding the positive and negative effects of music and the arts. In many cases, the references are given clearly in the quote. Where this isn’t the case, names and references have been withheld to protect privacy, or the references have been temporarily lost and will be added as they are uncovered. You can use the following links to go directly to the sections of the document you are interested in.
INTELLIGENCEEffects of music and the arts on human intelligence
Developing “neural circuits” or pathways of synaptic response which causes and retains learning
“Last October researchers at the University of Konstanz in Germany reported that exposure to music rewires neural circuits. In the brains of nine string players examined with magnetic resonance imaging, the amount of somatosensory cortex dedicated to the thumb and fifth finger of the left hand – the fingering digits -was significantly larger than in non players. How long the players practiced each day did not affect the cortical map. But the age at which they had been introduced to their muse did. “The younger the child when (he or) she took up the instrument, the more cortex (he or she) devoted to playing it. Like other circuits formed early in life, the ones for music endure. Wayne State’s Chugani played the guitar as a child, then gave it up. A few years ago he started taking piano lessons with his young daughter. She learned easily but he couldn’t get his fingers to follow his wishes. Yet when Chugani recently picked up a guitar, he found to his delight that “the songs are still there,” much like the muscle memory for riding a bicycle”. The musical Brain: Learning window 3 to 19 years. What we know: String players have a larger area of their sensory cortex dedicated to the fingering digits on their left hand. Few concert-level performers begin playing later than the age of 10. It is much harder to learn an instrument as an adult. What we can do about it: Sing songs with children. Play structured, melodic music. If a child shows any musical aptitude or interest, get an instrument into (his or) her hand early. NEWSWEEK, February 19,1996 pages 57-61
Arts Students Continue to Score Higher on SAT
Students of music and the other arts continue to outperform their non-arts peers on the SAT, according to reports by the College Entrance Examination Board. As a whole, in 1995, SAT-takers with coursework or experience in music performance scored 51 points higher on the verbal portion of the test, and 39 points higher on the math portion, as compared to students no coursework or experience in in the arts. Scores for those with coursework in music appreciation were 61 points higher on the verbal and 46 points higher on the math portion. And longer arts study means higher SAT scores: in 1990, those who had studied the arts four or more years scored 59 points higher on the verbal and 44 points higher on the math portion, than students with no coursework or experience in the arts. To compare the scores below with data from 1990-1992, see Teaching Music, Aug. 1994, p.8. Data for these reports were gathered by the College Board at the time the SAT was given. For more information, contact Gail Crum, MENC information services, at 800-336-3768.
At BYU Dr. Linda Smith describes impact of test taking. Linda Shirley of Testing services describes the impact of music being used in the testing Services. . Rosalie Pratt says: “There appears to be an influence on learning because of music” There are definite physiological effects on the body such as heart beat, muscle tension, skin temperature and EMGs.” Mozart appears to have some of the greatest influence because of the structure. BYU Daily Universe 48-96 page 20.
GJ Whitrow quote: Einstein: Improvise and arrive at solutions. Improvise and arrive at solutions. “He often told me that one of the most important things in his life was music. Whenever he felt that he had come to the end of the road or into a difficult situation in his work he would take refuge in music and that would usually resolve all his difficulties.”
Music lessons have been shown to improve child’s performance in school. After eight months of keyboard lessons, preschoolers tested showed a 46% boost in their spatial IQ, which is crucial for higher brain functions such as complex mathematics. Frances Rauscher, Ph.D., Gordon Shaw, PhD, University of California, Irvine. National Coalition for Music Education
Univ of California, Irvine, 36 people took standardized intelligence tests after three 10 minute periods of Mozart. Those who listened to Mozart’s Sonata for Two Pianos (K448) scored an average 119 – eight points higher than those who listened to a relaxation tape and nine points higher than those who listened to silence. Mozart’s music is quite complex and very patterned said neurobiologist Frances H Rauscher, the study’s lead author. Rauscher said the complex music may “prime” the brain for mathematics or other analytical work because it triggers the same brain activity. “We predict that music lacking complexity or which is repetitive may interfere with rather than enhance abstract reasoning,” the researchers said in the journal Nature. UPI, Deseret News Oct 14 1993 Entire study documented in Nature Vol 365 14 October 1993.
Psychology Today July/August 1993 cites Irvine study and says Mozart’s Eine Kleine Nachtmusik put people in that “mathy” fame of mind. Mozart’s musical passages repeat themselves in a very logical and rhythmic way.
Effects of different kinds of music on mice
Suffolk, Va, high school student David Merrell finished first in regional and state science fairs by demonstrating the effects of music on lab mice. After the mice ran through a maze in about 10 minutes,, Merrell played classical music to one group and heavy metal to another for 10 hours a day. After three weeks, the mice exposed to classical music made it through the maze in a minute and a half. The rock music group took 30 minutes. Said Merrell:”I had to cut my project short because all the hard-rock mice killed each other. None of the classical mice did that.”
Music is one of the seven forms of human intelligence
Music is everywhere – In bird song and in bubbling brooks and in laughter, even in the stars. Music is the universal language that transcends time and space. Music is one of the SEVEN FORMS OF HUMAN INTELLIGENCE, all equal in stature and in potential. And yet education – as is – is almost totally geared to nurturing linguistic and logical – mathematical abilities alone, leaving the other five forms – including music – neglected At elementary school level more than half of all school districts in the United States have no full-time music teacher. And thus our schools tend to refine intellects but neglect to discipline emotions. And undisciplined emotions keep getting us into trouble. The ugliest headlines are about somebody who may have been smart as all get-out, smart enough to be a bank executive or a politician or a scientist. But if emotionally colorblind, he’s an unguided missile inevitably destined to self-destruct. Without the arts- including music-we risk graduating young people who are “right brain damaged.” For anyone to grow up complete, music education is imperative. Case histories on file with the National Commission on Music Education uncover exciting correlation between the study of music an such critical work-place performance factors as self-esteem, self discipline, the ability to work in groups and higher cognitive and analytical skill. Music in schools, what little there is, is considered ancillary to “real education,” as something of a “curricular icing.” If it is to be reestablished as basic to education, as fundamental to being “an educated person,” then educators and performers, composers and publishers-and those non-music-related industries-must close ranks to restore educational balance in schools. The National Commission on Music Education is such a coalition. Already, in its first year, it has won the support of 75 national organizations, willing, under a slogan of “Let’s Make Music,” to work together toward the musical enrichment of public schools’ curricula. How does one plausibly argue for spending school money on music when we are graduating illiterates? Should we not be putting all our emphasis on reading, writing and math? The “back-to-basics curricula,” while it has merit, ignores the most urgent void in our present system – absence of self-discipline. The arts, inspiring – indeed requiring- self discipline, may be more “basic” to our national survival than traditional credit courses. Presently we are spending 29 times more in science than on the arts, and the result so far is worldwide intellectual embarrassment. PAUL HARVEY NEWS, ABC 1991.
ECONOMICSEconomic arguments for maintaining a community arts programs
“A vibrant arts community is critical to how corporations decide where to locate, when people decide where to work.” Megatrends and Megatrends 2000, John Naisbitt.
LEGISLATION & EDUCATIONLegal issues and the importance of school programs
Unused FCC Authority
Since 1984 the FCC has had the power to enforce US Criminal Code Title 19, Section 1464 which reads. “Whoever utters any obscene, indecent, or profane language by means of radio communication shall be fined not more than $10,000 or imprisoned not more than 2 years or both.”
Can I Make a Difference?
Ellis Marsalis, local Jazz legend and professor, wrote a letter to the editor after the Orleans Parish School Board cut music teachers out of its strained budget. “The recent cuts inflicted on the arts, music and libraries in our school system represent the mistaken notion that these programs are less important than math or science. Nothing could be further from the truth. It is through the arts that the left brain meets the right brain. Music instruction, in particular, raises math scores. They changed their minds and restored 43 itinerant music teacher jobs. The Times Picayune March 4, 1994
Need for Arts Curriculum
For 50+ years, researchers have been establishing the importance and value of music and fine arts education for children. During the past 20 years, research in the neurological and cognitive sciences has indicated ways to improve teaching and learning. Optimal instructional methods and programs integrate neurological functions, generate positive emotional feelings and attitudes, provide multi-century enriched environment, and at adverse learning styles and multiple intelligences. Such instructional programs effectively incorporate the arts. A b correlation exists between music and arts based learning and enhanced student achievement. In into reading, writing, computing and listening as instructional tools, students can and to learn through images, textures, rhythm, color, making models, role-playing, movement, sculpting, painting, the signing, the singing and playing instruments. From neurologist and scientists concerned primarily with the functions of the brain to Dr. Howard Gardner and his period of multiple intelligences researchers assert with rear to accomplish genuine educational reforms the must establish music and the other arts as part of our basic, core curriculum, and incorporate and into it every area of the total curriculum.
MEDICALDocumentation of medical benefits derived from music and the art
Anthony De Casper of the University of North Carolina has shown that fetuses store in their memories complex songs that are sung to them daily during the last trimester. After delivery, babies respond with increased attention to these familiar songs. The Times-Picayune 3/13/95
“What the hospitals have noticed, says Woodford, is that restless babies, even some babies in pain following surgery, will nod off to sleep, sometimes as soon as the tape is turned on. Hospitals are not generally the most comforting of places, notes Woodford. There are too many frightful procedures, too many strangers, too many alarms and beepers and TV sets, all creating a “Startle effect.” But lullabies and heartbeats are calming, even in the worst of situations, he says. More than 30, 000 of the tapes have been stolen from US hospitals since they were first introduced seven years ago, says Woodford, who now has begun selling the tapes at selected stores, including J.C. Penney stores in Utah. More than 4, 500 hospital and care facilities are now using the tapes. Nursing homes, he says, have found them helpful in calming down Alzheimer’s patients.” Elaine Jarvik, Deseret News.
Half an hour of music produced the same effect as 10 milligrams of Valium … Critical care unit of Baltimore’s St. Agnes Hospital. Aspire, Lisa Dionne, April 1995.
‘Music as Medicine” (Ensign) Last summer 18 year old Matt Tullis of Sandy, Utah, had already received his mission call to Belgium when he was in a violent car accident that killed two of his high school buddies and sent him to the University of Utah Medical Center in a serious coma due to massive head injuries. While his friends and family hovered outside his room in a shaken silence, the doctors gave him only a 25% chance to five. A bolt in his head monitored the pressure as his brain swelled. “We were told,” said Julie, Matt’s mother, “that if the pressure in his skull rose above 15 ICP’s or got as high as 30 for any length of time, it was very dangerous.” Medically, the doctors could get the pressure down to about 15, but they couldn’t do any better. So the lanky basketball player lay for two days without the pressure dropping below 15. Then his younger sister, Emily, and father, Howard, got an idea as they visited him for a few moments in intensive care. Because Matt loves church music, they started to sing “Because I Have Been Given Much.” Immediately, the monitor registered a dramatic drop in pressure, plunging from 15 down to 4. With the family crying and the nurses amazed, they put a tape in for him, Kenneth Cope’s “Greater Than Us All”, and his pressure continued around 8 or 9 for the next few hours, which was the critical time. “We felt that somewhere in his coma, he could hear that music and know that we were there and the Lord was there for him,” said Julie. After nineteen days in a coma and three months in the hospital, Matt is home recuperating, hoping he can go on that mission next year. P.S. Matt is fulfilling a mission to San Bernardino, Riverside. (according to the granddaughter of woman who wrote me said she saw two men in white seated at his side as he spoke in a Stake meeting there.)
The US Senate hearing on the effects of music on the health of the elderly in 1991, more doctors believe that certain types of music reduce stress and decrease healing time and the need for prescription medication. Music is being used to treat everyone from Alzheimer’s patients to premature newborns to prisoners. Music is a tool in the treatment and prevention of diseases, mental illness and physical disabilities. Maude Blair, Sacramento Bee July 26, 1995 G-1-3
Cheryl Davidsen, Mountain View, Alberta, Canada 403-653-2352 wrote “The Gentle Touch” to praise God and voice was restored.
Tom Haldane, had stroke 10 years ago, paralyzing his left side unable to walk and talk, but learned to play the saxophone again, and recovered. Nov 5, 1995 The Times Picayune, 3F2
Colorado State Univ; testing on Stroke victims measuring musical activity in their legs and timing of their strides as they walked to a rhythmic dance piece. Over four weeks significant improvement in stride-symmetry was seen when the patients walked to musical accompaniment. In almost every case Says Michael Thaut director of the center, “the timing of the strides improved with music. A 70 yr old stroke victim at Beth Abraham Hospital in New York City lost his ability to speak. One day, therapist Connie Tomaino played an old Jewish folk song on her accordion, the man hummed. She played it regularly and he began to sing. Before you knew it he was talking.
Alzheimer patients who do not know the year or their children’s names can remember the words to favorite songs. Clapping and singing, with none of the usual listlessness or disorientation common to their disease, they seem completely normal, as if the music has infused them with its own joy and coherence. …Stroke silenced members of the center’s orchestra will come to life, the chiming of struck bells, the throbbing of pounding drums expressing feelings that can no longer be conveyed in words. Utah State University, Sounds of Healing by Lynnette Harris, Fall 1995
Greenwalt Alzheimer Choir, which practices every week in New Orleans. Even though some of the singers can’t remember where they live or what day it is, even though they often have difficulty finding the -right page in their songbooks, they are able to recall the words to old songs and learn the words to new ones. We’re seeing bonding, less depression, their human spirit is still there. The Times-Picayune Dec 10, 1995 Sheila Stroup call 461-5889
“The playing of baroque or classical music can arrest the symptoms of dyslexia at least long enough to allow the individual to utilize or express other interest or abilities which he might not be able to do otherwise. In essence, music formats the brain for success in other areas. Contact: Carol: 2208 Carol Sue Ave, Terrytown, LA 70056 504-392-3299
Dr. Susumu Ohno, a geneticist at the Beckman Research Institute of the City of Hope in Duarte, California believes that the elements of nature have a unique series of organized identifying pitches. He assigned a musical pitch to the elements (do) cytosine, (re mi) adenine, (fa sol) guanine (la ti) thymine, that exist in creatures, thereby making melodies. All creatures have different melodies. When played before professional musician, they believed them to be melodies created by Bach, Brahms, Chopin and other masters because of their intricacies and organization. Even cancer cells have their own “melodies” The Body of Music Chapter 13 page 141 “Meaning and Medicine” Larry Dossey, MD Bantam
What Doctors Do For Fun — The Caduceus Jazz Ensemble
What are Springfield, Missouri doctors doing in their “spare” time? Playing big band music! To be more exact, 15 physicians and to medical administrators get together for a weekly evening practice. For many of them, this may be at the end of a 14 our workday. The genesis of this group was the need for some entertainment at the annual Smith-Glynn-Calloway Clinic employee’s Christmas party. Dr. Rod Geter and Dr. Joel Waxman came up with the idea of a band. Among 80 physicians on the clinic staff, there were enough musicians to form a 14 piece band. Dr. Mike Wooten, of the trumpet section, commented after the first performance: “the best thing we did was play real loud.” Other performances soon followed: One at a nursing home and another at a World War II block party benefit for the Heart Association. The group was initially conducted by Dr. Rod Geter until Dan Palen of Palen Music Store, agreed to become the musical director. Due to the nature of the medical practice and because band members cannot always be where they’re supposed to be at a specified time, there are backup players for many of the positions in the band. One of the complications of rehearsals is the beeping of pagers — an unavoidable interruption. Just what benefits are there for the members of the group? For one thing, it’s just plain fun to play the music of the big band era. In a medical community the size of Springfield, these doctors might otherwise not have the chance to be acquainted with each other if not through the common bond of their love for music.
VIOLENCEExamples of the violent effects of negative music
Clay Logan shot his mother 3 times to death and shot and stabbed his father listening to a song on his stereo called “The End” by the Doors. The song says: “The killer awoke before dawn, he put his boots on … And he came to a door … and he looked inside “Father?” “Yes son,”‘I want to kill you”. May 8 1996 The Times-Picayune. East Baton Rouge
“ROWDINESS AND RAUNCHY BECOMING A MAINSTAY IN THE RECORD BUSINESS” Los Angeles Time Warner Inc., is taking the rap for recording “Cop Killer” by Ice-T, a song some people argue invites bloodshed. But it’s hardly the only record label with rowdiness and raunchy in its repertoire. Salt Lake Tribune July 20, 1992
Kurt Cobain–The flannel-shirted singer’s woes were well-documented: heroin addiction, discomfort with celebrity, domestic spats, the near-fatal ingestion of drugs and alcohol just last month that left him in a coma. One of Nirvana’s last songs, recorded for “The Beavis and Butthead Experience” album, was tided “I Hate Myself and Want to Die”. Associated Press Oregonian, April 10, 1994 Larry McShane.
Gene Cook/Mik Jagger conversation:
Cook: “I have the opportunity to be with a lot of young people. Many say your music does not affect them adversely in any way. Others say it effects them in a very bad way. What is your opinion. What is your impact.” Jagger “Our music is calculated to drive the kids to sex. It’s not my fault what they do. It’s up to them. I’m just making a lot of money.” Cook: He was in Mexico making a profane and pornographic music video because the cost is 1/3 there. In addition it is easier to produce such videos there at the moment. He explained that though such videos with explicit sexual behavior is illegal on US national television, it soon will be, and they want to have the videos ready. Now not only audio pornography can be portrayed, but they can view it as well. He was making more money this way.” “Not married but had 3 children. Had one girl in Virginia, New York and England. Jagger: “It doesn’t matter what you do in life, there are no rules. There is no god. You can take whatever you want. It doesn’t matter.” Mik and his boys: “We are moving after the minds, and so are most of the new groups. When in 1969 piece Sympathy for the Devil caused injuries and deaths he said “something like that happens every time I play that song.”
Sexism and Racism
Salt Lake Tribune June 9, 1991 page B2 quoting Policeman Ron Stallworth who tracks Utah’s black gangs: “Women become sexual objects, bitches or whores (“Ho” to use the black street vernacular), to be used and abused and then discarded like garbage.” said Sgt. Stallworth. “Women are stereotyped as nags, money-grabbing teasers, sluts and otherwise inconsequential to the male except for sexual gratification.” Luther Campbell, leader of the rap group 2 Live Crew, said he does not believe sexist language does harm.
TESTIMONIALSTestimonials from people who have experienced the healing power of music
Letters from the class of Mrs. Paige Parsons
Dear Michael Ballam, I’m writing between my classes. I teach at West Lake Jr. High in West Valley. I teach Honors English and 8th grade Chapter I Reading. I wanted you to know every other Friday I play parts of your ‘Music and the Mind” tapes to improve and inform my students of the incredible results possible from listening to Bach, Handel and Mozart and other great composers from the time frame of the same. My students are asking their parents to buy them tapes from these composers … music for their birthdays, for Christmas presents etc. There are several students who have totally changed from rowdy, disinterested, failing students to interested, concerned, dedicated students getting B’s and some A’s. When I questioned one such young man who most drastically has changed himself, almost a personality change from obnoxious to just a delight, from an F to an A, his response was incredible. At first he said the change resulted from my class..what about my class? I asked. “The Michael Ballam tapes,” he said. “They changed how I looked at everything.” I have played your tapes so many times for others and used them to change my own fife so often. I have almost memorized them … God bless you for the strength and the righteousness you have to come forth with this priceless information said in such a fascinating intriguing way that it touches even the most rebellious. I am always so deeply touched by your ideas. Please send me the data on the research about music affecting student performances and grades, deviant behavior or any other information I can share with my students who are mostly eighth graders. This is such a crucial age to make a point with them. P.S. I have honor students coming from across the school (1500 students, its a big school) to borrow Handel’s Water Music for their Honors Science Class Test. Mrs. Paige Parsons 165 E 1200 S Bountiful, UT 84010
Your tapes have really made me turn my life around. I used to get D’s and F’s on my report card, Now after listening to your tapes I’m almost a strait A student well I thin you should keep on making the tapes and If you do I will look forward to listening to them good by and keep up the good work. P.S. I love your tapes Thank you Timothy L. Richins (This is the student that changed so drastically, Mrs. Parsons)
Letter from type teacher after Water Music discussion
“I am seeing much different things going on in my class. Every time the students are typing assignments there is classical music in the background. I am finding that the music of Handel, Haydn, Mozart Vivaldi Scarlatti and other Baroque composers work best. My students leave the room far less “Hyper” than is typical of 8th and 9th graders, their work is far more accurate and there is a sense of peace in the room while they are working. The skill level seems to be much better. I leave work inspired and ready to change hats for the other responsibilities of the day.”
Markay (Schreck) Kern
“Things became different in our house. When the music was playing, there was much less fighting among my children. Since I have five young children, that was a major accomplishment! The children started to develop an interest in music. My three-year-old son admires Brahms and Mozart especially, and loves all classical music.
“Once, when I put on something by Brahms, he folded his arms and said, “Mommy, this music makes me feel reverent.” I know my little son felt the Spirit in this music. I began to study music appreciation. The music began to affect me. I started to develop a sense of rhythm (Oh, I struggled with that)–I had more energy, I was motivated to try new things, and I discovered something else. Music started to break down the walls that I had built around my emotions.
Expressing emotion has always been very difficult for me. “It was Brahms who helped me to feel emotion once again, and to start healing. I know that Brahms had a poignant and sometimes unhappy life, and it is reflected in his music. Once I let myself feel that emotion, I was able to start healing myself, with the help of music.”
INSPIRATIONInspirational benefits of good music
Brahms: “I immediately feel vibrations that thrill my whole being. These are the Spirit illuminating the soul power within, and in this exalted state, I see clearly what is obscure in my ordinary moods: Then I feel capable of drawing inspiration from above, as Beethoven did … Straitway the ideas flow in upon me, directly from God, and not only do I see distinct themes in my mind’s eye but they are clothed in the right forms, harmonies and orchestration. Measure by measure, the finished product is revealed tome when I am in those rare, inspired moods.” “The powers from which all truly great composers like Mozart, Schubert, Bach and Beethoven drew their inspiration is the same power that enabled Jesus to work his miracles. It is the power that created our earth and the whole universe.” from “Talks with Great Composers” by Arthur M. Abell, published by Philosophical Library, NYC, NY, 212-727-7870
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