Monday, February 8, 2016

Music's Vibrational Effects #2...

Thanks for visiting 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:

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 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................  
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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 Monday alone I had played on my guitar classical music by Matteo Carcassi, Let It Go from the hit movie Frozen, Bruno Mars music, had to learn Needle And The Damage Done by Neil Young for a song writing project, played and sang classic hits by Frank Sinatra and Dean Martin, played calypso music by Harry Belafonte 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 Creative Clinician, 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 The Creative Clinician you also receive a FREE, one year professional membership to, featuring 250 guitar lesson videos, with many music therapy clinical tips. Lessons are video based, able to be accessed 24/7.

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