Monday, February 8, 2016

Music's Vibrational Effects #2...

 
Thanks for visiting musicfromthestart.com topics and conversations. Here I want to address music therapy issues and concepts as they relate to education, health and wellness.


This is another of my blog posts where I describe music therapy interactions I've had that are indicative of why music is so healing, meaningful, enriching and sometimes life changing! And, specific to the experience described below... spiritual.

This post describes a music therapy (MT) session with another hospice patient, an elderly woman who I have visited for approximately six months. The woman was raised in the south and has a southern Baptist background, telling me the first visit... “my favorite song is Amazing Grace...” Often the daughter, her husband and other family and friends visited. Everyone, including the patient would reminisce and sing church songs during our twice per month MT sessions. Matter of fact, I had never been in a situation where people visiting during music therapy, when singing, would sound so much like a church choir. All were very religious and many had beautiful voices with church choir experience.

This morning I received a call from our friend's hospice nurse that she was now actively dying, and that the family was requesting music therapy. “She is mostly non-responsive now.” When I arrived the daughter greeted me saying “lets sing mom off to heaven...” As I sat near the head of the bed, the daughter sat on the bed, towards the bottom, her husband between her and myself. Of course the first thought was “Amazing Grace...” We started singing, then I stopped everyone. I said “Mary (the daughter), take your mom's hands,” and said to her husband, put your left hand on my back and your right hand on your wife Mary's back... “now lets sing...” At this point everyone was “connected” to their mom. Again, the husband, who was singing, had his left hand on my back (chest cavity) and his right hand on his wife's back (chest cavity) as she held her mom's hands. The idea is that as we all sang, vibrations generated from our voices, as the daughter held her mom's hands, was transferred, to be felt by her mom through Mary's arms down to her finger tips as she held her mom's hands. And besides feeling the physical vibrations, her being able to feel and sense the spirit of the songs and her family's love and energy is significant. Through this experience the patient and family were comforted, the family expressing how very pleased they were, being able to personally comfort their dying mom with song.

Lets now look specifically at music and sound's vibrational aspect...

--- First of all, the smallest part of our universe, atoms, are made up of VIBRATING electrons.

--- Scientists know that our earth, vibrating on it's axis, produces an overtone or sound frequency which is (actually) 7.49 hz. The following description below is from: http://www.lunarplanner.com/Harmonics/planetary-harmonics.html

The 7.8 Hz. Schumann fundamental frequency is quite close to Earth's 7.5 Hz. circumference harmonic (calculated using the speed of light at Earth's surface)...” So vibrations from our earth are acting upon us at all times.

--- As rhythm consists of organized vibrations, know that our hearts beat rhythmically, we breath, walk and talk rhythmically...

--- And one of the oldest forms of music, Toning, which is thousands of years old, and even precedes sacred music, relies on the vibrational aspects of vocal production (not singing as we know it) to benefit individuals and groups. All cultures, except our western culture have used Toning for healing, grieving, praying, wellness, etc. See MT Toning 1, 2, 3 in Resource Center at the bottom left of my home page of musicfromthestart.com for a description of Toning.


So, "Why live music??"... To take advantage of the vibrational aspects of music and sound. Also, because we don't have to be a talented singer (as described above) individuals can vocalize or utilize vibrational sounds for health and wellness benefits personally and/or for others. To do what I did above??? Lets say you have an ill loved one... put on their favorite music and as you massage them or hold their hands sing or hum softly with the music, or sing alone as the family did above. The vibratory effects from your vocalizations resonating from your chest cavity, down your arms to your finger tips, as you gently massage them or hold their hand, will affect them! It's wonderful!!! You will both benefit.


In upcoming posts I will continue with other music therapy/health and wellness related blog posts.

My prescription this week??? Try this concept of experiencing physical vibrations as you vocalize. Go to the Toning info described above and “give it a whirl!” (MT Toning 1, 2, 3 in Resource Center at the bottom left of my home pg) At the very least it relieves head, neck and shoulder tension and is a wonderful, pro-active way to meditate, pray and to take care of yourself. Hmmmmmm................  
AND!!!! Please share with others, like us on
Facebook  and follow us on Twitter ... Thanks


Thursday, February 4, 2016

Why Guitar Competency??

 In the past I've done blog posts with the theme “Why Music?” For this post I'd like to speak to music therapy (MT) pros and students about playing guitar and musicianship and pose the question “Why Guitar Competency?”

Last year I wrote about a hospice family where the son told me that “over the past many months the only joy my mom has experienced was during the music therapy sessions...” The patient was a piano player who loved church music and popular music of “her day,” i.e, music from the 1930s-50s. I went on to say that if I was not a competent musician and proficient on guitar those times would not have been possible. Similarly, this past week, I realized that on Wednesday alone I had played on my guitar classical music by Matteo Carcassi, Let It Go from the hit movie Frozen, had to learn Needle And The Damage Done by Neil Young for a song writing project, classic hits by Frank Sinatra and Dean Martin, calypso music by Harry Belafonte, R&B music by Lionel Richie and more... To play so many diverse styles a certain level of experience and competency has to be achieved. The point is NOT to alarm you if, at this time, your repertoire and knowledge of various styles of music is limited or you are constrained on the guitar or piano. The point is that you are aware of your limitations and that, over time, you continuously work on expanding your knowledge, musicianship and repertoire. Know that I did not wake up one day with all of this covered. I've been playing guitar professionally my whole adult working career. That lets me now share with you the benefits of guitar competency.

If you haven't checked out the three CMTE guitar competency courses offered by The Spiegel Academy, don't hesitate.
 
My guitar courses (by David Putano, MT-BC) have been have been organized with an important philosophy in mind, that is, learning how to play the guitar as a rehearsal pianist plays. What I mean by that is when we experience a rehearsal pianist at a choir or theater rehearsal, they are able to play any style of music, with no shortcuts, as the composer intended. I have geared all of my guitar competency lessons and courses with this philosophy. Looking back on my music therapy career to date, I can't tell how important being a good musician, a professional musician has been. It has been instrumental (excuse the pun) in getting me jobs as well as adding greatly to job security.

When you purchase a guitar course from the Spiegel Academy you also receive a FREE, one year professional membership to guitarlplayikeapro.com, featuring 250 guitar lesson videos, with many music therapy clinical tips. Lessons are video based, able to be accessed 24/7.

And, anyone purchasing any other music therapy related CMTE course will receive a FREE three month professional to guitarplaylikeapro.com.

So, as you improve your guitar playing, benefit from a wide variety of pertinent, interesting and professional courses offered by The Spiegel Academy, receive CMTEs. Join us!




Saturday, November 7, 2015

Why Music??? (with low functioning, very sick individuals)?

Thanks for visiting musicfromthestart.com topics and conversations. Here I want to address music therapy issues and concepts as they relate to education, musicianship and health and wellness.

In the past I've done blog posts with the theme “Why Music?” For this post I'd like to speak to music therapy (MT) professionals and students about the importance of (live) music low functioning, very sick individuals. 
 
I will start this post with a description of a recent music therapy experience to make this point... Last week I visited an elderly hospice patient at a dementia, extended care facility. Because this female patient is sleeping more as she declines, I often visit just before lunch to be with her in the facility's dining room. When I arrived this day my patient was at a table with two other women and with 8-10 other residents at other tables. The room was quiet with no one talking. As I sat at my patient's table with my guitar she gave me a very subtle smile, acknowledging that me being there with music was good. When I started playing a few residents started singing with me. Knowing my patient and what music specifically the residents knew and enjoyed, I played on. Into the second, third song and beyond most of the residents were singing and my patient was smiling, tapping her foot and softly clapping after each piece. The room had 90% more energy in it than prior to the live music. And not so much because I was playing and singing but because most of the people in the room were singing and enthused, smiling, making positive and often lucid comments (remember these are individuals with advanced dementia).


As a clinical music therapist for 20+ years, I am reminded often how beneficial live music is for very sick, low functioning, even non-responsive people. For example, I often tell students and colleagues that with end stage dementia patients, enriching stimulation like their favorite music (presented live so repertoire, volume, tempo and mood can be tailored to their needs) can be more important now than when they were not as sick.

Why is live music so important now, when they are very sick? A few reasons... First, when an individual's health declines to the point of needing total care they are often with others who are in a similar state of declined health, e.g., those in a dedicated Alzheimer's facility or unit. Here, most are non-responsive and/or very confused. This situation often dictates that low level or very limited stimulation is prevalent. So here they are, sick, confused, not at home, living with strangers and functioning lower than any time in their lives. They have less opportunities to engage productively with others and be stimulated when, ironically, they need it the most. And second, with low level or very limited stimulation, individuals have little motivation to think, remember, talk, sing, smile and engage, all of which can be triggered by the live music that they know and love. I know it is often easier engaging higher functioning clients in music therapy but again, it is important and can be so enriching for those who are in poor health and despair.

My prescription this week??? Go out of your way to provide very sick, low functioning, even non-responsive individuals with live music, tailored to their needs and background. Positive stimulation is rare for them now, and they really need it. Remember that live music that we can surround them with is at the very least comforting and at most, spiritual.

And don't forget about Video Guitar Lessons for Music Therapy Students (and others of course). The new site is GUITARplayLIKEaPRO.com.

And musicfromthestart.com is still progressing nicely. Right now there are three offerings, i.e., two music albums available, David's Basics in Education and Lyrical Imagery and one educational lecture titled The Purposeful Use of Music From Pregnancy Through Toddlerhood (including Labor and Delivery). The second album, Lyrical Imagery, and the childbirth lecture are a free download for the time being.

As a reminder the main thrust of the music therapy/childbirth lecture is to support moms (and dads) as they put together their own music listening playlists or CDs to support rhythmic breathing, act as a positive diversion from pain and stress, etc., to be used during labor and delivery.
Also, I'm in the middle of recording my second music album. This is music for (early)
child development, autism and special needs. Another reminder, one song, “High 5,” from David's Basics in Education (music album #1) is still a free download for a limited time.
In upcoming posts I will continue with other music therapy/musicianship/health and wellness related blog posts.

Please share with your students, interns and colleagues, like us on Facebook  and follow us on Twitter ... Thanks

Friday, May 30, 2014

Why Musicianship???

Thanks for visiting musicfromthestart.com topics and conversations. Here I want to address music therapy issues and concepts as they relate to education, musicianship and health and wellness.


In the past I've done blog posts with the theme “Why Music?” For this post I'd like to speak to music therapy (MT) students about playing guitar and musicianship and pose the question “Why Musicianship?” Actually, it's for anyone wanting to raise their level of guitar playing and musicianship, including beginners, entertainers and music teachers.



In one of the guitarplaylikeapro.com opening videos I speak of a hospice family where the son told me that “over the past many months the only joy my mom has experienced was during the music therapy sessions...” The patient was a piano player who loved church music and popular music of “her day,” i.e, music from the 1930s-50s. In the video I went on to say that if I was not a competent musician those times would not have been possible. Similarly, this past week, I realized that on Wednesday alone I had played on my guitar classical music by Matteo Carcassi, Let It Go from the hit movie Frozen and had to learn Needle And The Damage Done by Neil Young for an song writing project (not to mention all the music styles in between that I played for other MT work that day). The point is NOT to alarm you if, at this time, your repertoire is small and/or you knowledge of various styles of music is limited. The point is that you are aware of your limitations and that, over time, you continuously work on expanding your knowledge and repertoire. Know that I did not wake up one day with all of this covered. I've been playing guitar professionally since 1980. But that lets me now share with you the benefits of an expanded repertoire, knowledge of various styles, etc...



Those benefits are:



Job Satisfaction. As a music therapist in private practice I love working with various populations. My hospice works lets me play wonderful popular and church music by the worlds best composers as well as being able to engage in song writing/recording projects with patients and families. Also my hospice work allows me to write music for clinical purposes such as pain management and relaxation. My Autism school work gives me the opportunity to write and record music with specific educational and developmental goals to complement what the teachers provide. And I love to write this music in the styles of today's popular music. My adolescent psychology work keeps me up on popular music as well as getting to play classic rock music. Those are some scenarios that I get a lot of satisfaction from, and that is just speaking about playing guitar. I'll blog another time regarding the interesting and exciting work that is involved when I and other music therapists engage in educational presentations, research, treatment team meetings, teaching, counseling, etc.



Job Security. Here, I'll make my point in two parts... First, the health care field is very “fluid” where things are change all the time. This happened to me, where my first job out of school that was at a regional medical center changed programming one day and dissolved our department. But because of my MT and music (guitar) experience up to that point I had no trouble working with “new” populations such as autism, hospice, etc. And second... recently I have been involved with a hospice case where a middle aged man with very fragile health wanted to engage in an involved song writing/recording project. He has “written many books of lyrics over the years and has always wanted to have someone put music to his song lyrics...” With each song lyric he gives me a well known artist's song to listen to to then write original music somewhat in that style. Some of the artists have been Johnny Cash, Pink Floyd, James Taylor, etc. This has been a very successful project for him prompting him to say that “this project is keeping me alive...” and the hospice RN characterizes our MT times as his “medicine.” So when this kind of report gets back to the treatment team, including the hospice doctors and administration, music therapy is looked on as being very valuable, and in some cases, essential. So again, being a competent musician and being familiar with many styles of music is very good for job security.



All of what is described above requires me to call on my music and clinical experience. Clinical experience will come with time but again, during that time, continuously work on expanding your (music) knowledge and repertoire.



 So, "Why musicianship??"... For job satisfaction and job security.

And don't forget about Video Guitar Lessons for Music Therapy Students (and others of course). 
The new site is GUITARplayLIKEaPRO.com.



And musicfromthestart.com is still progressing nicely. Right now there are three offerings, i.e., two music albums available, David's Basics in Education and Lyrical Imagery and one educational lecture titled The Purposeful Use of Music From Pregnancy Through Toddlerhood (including Labor and Delivery). The second album, Lyrical Imagery, and the childbirth lecture are a free download for the time being.
As a reminder the main thrust of the music therapy/childbirth lecture is to support moms (and dads) as they put together their own music listening playlists or CDs to support rhythmic breathing, act as a positive diversion from pain and stress, etc., to be used during labor and delivery.
Also, I'm looking forward to recording my second music album this year. This is music for child development, autism and special needs. As a reminder, one song, “High 5,” from David's Basics in Education (music album #1) is still a free download for a limited time.



In upcoming posts I will continue with other music therapy/musicianship/health and wellness related blog posts.

My prescription this week??? Grab your guitar, learn a song in a new genre for you and don't forget, GUITARplayLIKEaPRO.com is there for support.


Please share with your students, interns and colleagues, like us on Facebook  and follow us on Twitter ... Thanks

Monday, February 24, 2014

Augmented and diminished chord intervals... Ahh, very interesting...

  
Thanks for visiting musicfromthestart.com topics and conversations. Here I want to address music therapy issues and concepts as they relate to education, musicianship and health and wellness.




This is a new area for my blog space that has to do with musicianship, particularly for you guitar players who are music therapy students and professionals. Actually, it's for anyone wanting to raise their level of guitar playing and musicianship, including entertainers and music teachers.



Last week on GUITARplayLIKEaPRO.com I introduced augmented and diminished chords. I talked about how to play them on the guitar and I also talked about how the chords are spelled, particularly about their note intervals. Their intervals produce something interesting regarding the guitar. Both augmented and diminished chords have the same amount of (step) space between each note. For example, each note of an augmented chord, spelled 1-3-#5, has a major third between each note and similarly, each note of an diminished chord, spelled 1-b3-b5, bb7, has a minor third between each note. So what does that have to do with the guitar? Grab the augmented chord that is taught on GUITARplayLIKEaPRO.com (go to the Login/Videos tab then go to the Chords/Harmony category under the Professional Membership videos). With the augmented chord notice two things, first, if you move the chord up a major 3rd (the interval of each note in the chord) you have the same notes and chord. And second, any note in the chord can be the root. Check for yourself. Same goes for the diminished chord, except move that chord up or down a minor 3rd (the interval of each note in the chord) for the same notes and chord. Again, any note of this chord can be the root. Cool huh? That's why we (at least I) don't need many augmented and diminished chord forms to use on the guitar, because we can move them up and down the neck by major or minor 3rds.



I'm excited to report about my new offering, Video Guitar Lessons for Music Therapy Students (and others of course). The new site, GUITARplayLIKEaPRO.com is open!



And musicfromthestart.com is still progressing nicely. Right now there are three offerings, i.e., two music albums available, David's Basics in Education and Lyrical Imagery and one educational lecture titled The Purposeful Use of Music From Pregnancy Through Toddlerhood (including Labor and Delivery). The second album, Lyrical Imagery, and the childbirth lecture are a free download for the time being.
As a reminder the main thrust of the music therapy/childbirth lecture is to support moms (and dads) as they put together their own music listening playlists or CDs to support rhythmic breathing, act as a positive diversion from pain and stress, etc., to be used during labor and delivery.
Also, I'm looking forward to recording my second music album early this year. This is music for child development, autism and special needs. As a reminder, one song, “High 5,” from David's Basics in Education (music album #1) is still a free download for a limited time.




In upcoming posts I will continue with other music therapy/musicianship/health and wellness related blog posts.


My prescription this week??? Grab your guitar, go to GUITARplayLIKEaPRO.com, find some songs with augmented and diminished chords in them and have at it!

Please share with your students, interns and colleagues, like us on Facebook  and follow us on Twitter ... Thanks

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Why Music??? part 14 Cognitive Comprehension Speed, a Vital Consideration

Thanks for visiting musicfromthestart.com topics and conversations. Here I want to address music therapy issues and concepts as they relate to education, health and wellness.


This is part fourteen of my blog posts where I describe music therapy interactions I've had that are indicative of why music is so healing, meaningful, enriching and sometimes life changing!

This post describes a music therapy session that is fairly common where I have to take into account the client's cognitive comprehension (or processing) speed, i.e., through assessment, first identify how slow I need to speak to individuals for them to fully understand and then, very importantly, determine how slow I have to play the music to have them fully comprehend the experience.

I'll discuss this concept by describing sessions I have with a music therapy client named Freda. What a blessed privilege and honor to work with her. I say a blessed privileged because Freda is 104 years old! She sings beautifully and has her mental faculties relatively intact.
When I visit Freda she welcomes me with the cutest high pitched voice and a big smile. After a number of visits I know now what songs she knows the words to, and we enjoy singing and video recording the sessions. Very fun... when I video a song on my phone and we watch it she exclaims “look, we're on TV!”

When I play a song that I know she knows, I watch carefully how comfortable and with how much ease she is able to sing. When needed, I slow down when she has trouble getting some words out. It is common when singing with Freda (and those similar) that when a second or third verse comes up, that might not be as well known as the first verse, she slows down to remember or correctly sing the words. Being able to accompany and support her singing with precisely her needs in mind is the wonderful thing about live music and music therapy. I'll remind us that my favorite definition of music therapy is: using music to support and achieve non-musical goals. The primary goal is not to make beautiful music. The primary goals are to provide an opportunity for positive reminiscence, to be a positive diversion from stress and worry and to support hopefulness. The fact that we are making beautiful is simply “icing on the cake.”


These kind of experiences are so precious. Again, what an honor to experience live music with Freda and witness the precious responses that she has. Wow!!



So, "Why (live) music??"... To again be in the privileged position to experience live with others, i.e., supporting them, performing with them, witnessing and recording their responses and sharing these experiences with their family and others.


I'm excited to report about progress made on my new offering, Video Guitar Lessons for Music Therapy Students (and others of course). The new site, GUITARplayLIKEaPRO.com will open before my next blog post. And musicfromthestart.com is still progressing nicely. Right now there are three offerings, i.e., two music albums available, David's Basics in Education and Lyrical Imagery and one educational lecture titled The Purposeful Use of Music From Pregnancy Through Toddlerhood (including Labor and Delivery). The second album, Lyrical Imagery, and the childbirth lecture are a free download for the time being.
As a reminder the main thrust of the music therapy/childbirth lecture is to support moms (and dads) as they put together their own music listening playlists or CDs to support rhythmic breathing, act as a positive diversion from pain and stress, etc., to be used during labor and delivery.
Also, I'm looking forward to recording my second music album early this year. This is music for child development, autism and special needs. As a reminder, one song, “High 5,” from David's Basics in Education (music album #1) is still a free download for a limited time.




In upcoming posts I will continue with other music therapy/health and wellness related blog posts.



My prescription this week??? Sing and experience music with those you love and others!
 
AND!!!! Please share with others, like us on
Facebook  and follow us on Twitter ... Thanks