Wednesday, July 27, 2011


Let's include 4 lovely employees, whom I had not previously met,at Arc/Pride for kids!

7 Days to Better Brain Power with Music! Day 5

Day 5 --      Join a choir or band, or take group lessons   

Some of the greatest benefits of music making include the social activity of group classes and performances.  A 1999 study showed people who participated in group keyboard lessons experienced significantly decreased feelings of depression, anxiety and loneliness, and showed an increase in human growth hormone (hGH).  hGH has been linked to positive effects such as increased energy levels,  reduced chance of osteoporosis, improved muscle mass, and fewer aches and pains.

Another study indicated that those who took part in a choir group did much better in a variety of social, behavioral, quality of life and mental health measures than did the control group who did not take part in musical instruction.  The choir participants reported better overall health including fewer doctor visits, fewer falls, fewer hip fractures, lower levels of depression, less loneliness and better morale, AND increased activity levels.  Wow – that church choir is looking more inviting now isn’t it?

523 - I'm past the halfway point!!

Thanks to an invitation to present for the HomeCare Southwest staff meeting this morning, I am over half way to my goal of 1000!  What an awesome group today -- There were RNs, OTs, PTs, and even a future music therapist and her mom.  I presented info about music therapy and led several experientials - including an egg shaker pass and relaxation music.  I shared with everyone the definition of music therapy and the fascinating way music affects brain power.  One young man shared with me how he used to write songs and played several instruments, but now that he was a dad and full-time home health employee, he had not written any music in a number of years.  I think he's probably going to pick up his guitar tonight and hopefully re-kindle the musical spark that I am sure still lives within. 

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Wednesday, July 20, 2011


Jane, Mike, Mary, Stephanie, Lucy, Carey and Cam, all business owners and members of Greater Vancouver WA Chamber of Commerce, all heard about music therapy today at the Leads and Needs meeting at Beaches Restaurant.  Such a great event offering wonderful networking opportunities!
One man came up to me afterward and shared with me that he has Asperger's Syndrome and has found music to be tremendously valuable as an outlet for his creativity, but also for social and communication skills.  Another man said that he is amazed at the power of music to evoke memories -- "I hear a song from high school and I'm immediately back there!!" 

Monday, July 18, 2011

San Diego Oncologist on Today Show

Check out this segment on the Today Show about an oncologist who uses songwriting in his work with cancer patients:

Friday, July 15, 2011


It's been getting more and more challenging to find people to talk to about music therapy, but I found some listeners yesterday at a local therapy center that works with children with autism.  Their wonderful staff and parents were very receptive to my short music therapy intro . . .  that added 9 people.
Then I spent some time at a local hospital and spoke to 10 nurses and administrative staff about music therapy and how it works in the hospital setting. . .  everyone said, "Awesome"  and "We need that here"  and "can you work with staff as well as patients??"  I loved it!! 
There was one new person at my mastermind meeting today who also asked me about music therapy, and so I filled him in on the miracles that can happen through the healing power of music.
Almost half way to 1000! 

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

7 Days to Better Brain Power with Music! - Day 4

Hands down, this is my favorite way to boost brain power!!  I have always loved to sing, and my earliest memories of singing date back to kindergarten when I sang in a church choir in Corvallis, Oregon.  I have sung in numerous school, church, college, community and professional choirs over the years and have loved every single one of them.  There's just nothing like the human voice for making fantastic music.  So, day 4 of my 7 days to better brain power with music is, of course,  . . .

4.            Sing!

Singing is good for you!  No wonder we like to sing in the shower or in the car with the radio on.  It makes us feel good, and may help us live longer.

Here are just a few benefits of singing:   improved immune function, deeper breathing (which has a calming effect), improved muscle tone in the intercostals and diaphragm, reduced muscle tension and improved posture.  Singing can also clear your sinus cavities, reduce the amount of stress hormones in your bloodstream, and generally help make you healthier and happier!  So sing “as if no one is listening” and begin reaping the benefits!  Who cares if you don’t sound like Pavarotti?   Just sing!  Come on, let’s hear it --  La, la, la, la . . .

Tuesday, July 12, 2011


At the Partnerships in Aging networking meeting this morning at CDM Services, we all had the chance to talk a bit about our businesses.  While I had already met most of the people in attendance at the meeting, there were 5 new faces.  So I shared about music therapy and its power in boosting brain function.  Afterwards, a man who is a mental health intern told me he wrote a school paper about music therapy after he heard me speak at a previous meeting!  Cool!

Monday, July 11, 2011


My daughter and I spent the afternoon discovering hidden gems in downtown Vancouver, including eating lunch at Mint Tea.  We had a great time and enjoyed talking to shopkeepers about music therapy and also about food allergies (her passion).  So I add to my list Chris of Arnada Naturals Grocery Store (1705 Broadway) and Gail of Enchanted Tea Room (502 Washington).  Both have wonderful stories to tell about their passions - please check them out and tell them UpBeat Music Therapy sent you!

7 Days to Better Brain Power with Music - Day 3

How are you doing with your brain power boosting?  Music can be a wonderful way to improve your brain functioning --  You have already learned that listening to music you like can lift your mood and encourage you to relax!  And that learning a new musical instrument at any age really stimulates your brain to make new neural connections and increase brain plasticity.  

Today, I encourage you to get up and move!!  Read on --

Better Brain Power with Music -- Day 3      Move to the music.

Everyone's constantly telling us that exercise should be an important part of our daily routine.  Regular exercise keeps the body fit, lifts mood and wards off illness.  Did you know that exercise also keeps the brain active by stimulating growth of new neurons in the brain, boosting brain power?  

But exercise alone can be boring and unmotivating.  Ever wonder why  aerobic studios have upbeat, uplifting music playing during their classes?  Because music is motivating and keeps you going long after you would have stopped without musical stimulation.  So load some dance music on your iPod and get moving  - dancing, walking, or whatever you like.  For example,  I love Lady Gaga’s “Just Dance” – it’s sure to get me going!  Not a Lady Gaga fan?  Try Motown or even some good old 1970s disco!