About DrAlice

Dr. Alice Cash is one of the world’s few clinical musicologists. Based in Louisville, Kentucky, USA, she brings to her work over 40 years of professional experience as a college professor, clinical therapist, solo and chamber music performer and composer. Since 1990, Dr. Cash has been in the field of Music Medicine and conducted clinical research at the University of Louisville School of Medicine, under the guidance of Dr. Joel Elkes, Dr. Leah Dickstein, and Dr. Rif El-Mallakh. Her clinical work at the University of Louisville lead to her career in music medicine. In addition to her work with the University of Louisville, Dr. Cash lead the development of using music a hospital setting at Baptist East Hospital, Louisvile, KY. She has founded 3 companies: Healing Music Enterprises, Surgical Serenity Solutions and Crescent Hill Counseling.
"Tune Your Life with Music!"

Can music help the dreaded Root Canal experience?

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pre-root canalYesterday, I had to have a dreaded root canal on Tooth #4.  I had already been to the general dentist each week for past two week for a new crown and two fillings.  At the last visit to general dentist, she said that sensitivity I was experiencing on tooth #4 needed to be evaluated by an endodontist so I went to see him Monday. After taking a 3-D x-ray, he said that I definitely needed a root canal and then would need a new crown. I was really scared!  I don’t like pain and I feel like my mouth is already kind of a War Zone!

I scheduled it for the very next day because I can’t stand to have that sort of thing hanging over me.

The Music That I’ve Chosen for Dental Work

With all of the dental work that I’ve had recently, of course I’m using my Surgical Serenity Solutions playlists, streamed to my AirPods.  For the crown prep two weeks ago, I used the Lullaby playlist; it was perfect with soothing, familiar lullabies coming into my ears and bringing beautiful memories of when my children were little and so, so sweet.

The second procedure, to seat the crown and take care of two fillings, I listened to the Jazz playlist and that was great too.  That particular style of music takes me to my young adult years and I remember college scenes and experiences.

But when I found out on Monday that I needed a root canal, I was truly terrified. The Endodontist doesn’t offer nitrous oxide, which the general dentist does. I just wasn’t sure that I could manage the pain just with Novocain and my music. I believe that this music can calm me and keep me calm, but the jabs of the Novocain needle can’t be denied, despite the fact that they say “here comes a little pinch!”

Dr Cash and Dr Scott NortonAs it turned out, the tooth really was difficult because of calcified channels and a large cavity that was “hiding behind the crown.” Nevertheless, I put my AirPods in and this time I decided to listen to the Music for Memory Care playlist that I recorded several years ago and consisted of music that I played for patients in several different Memory Care units in our area.

It was a good choice because it literally took me back to the days when I was playing this music for patients who couldn’t remember where they were, what year it was, or even their name, but THIS particular set of well-known songs from the 1920’s, 1930’s and 1940’s struck a spark in them and they lit up with big smiles and often would sing along for a few bars!

You can hear samples of all five playlists at www.SurgicalSerenitySolutions.com/calm.

In Conclusion

Dental work is never any fun but you have to do it.  Tooth infections can spread throughout the body and make the body septic, so you must take really good care of your teeth and gums. I try to go at least twice a year for cleanings and checkups but nothing lasts forever.

My strong suggestion to you is that next time you go to the dentist, download one of our surgical playlists at www.SurgicalSerenitySolutions.com/calm and take your bluetooth AirPods or bluetooth headphones and stream your favorite playlist. It really worked beautifully for me!

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Will your hospital have music headphones for you?

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patient waits for surgery with headphones on

Young male patient listening to music pre-surgery

Having surgery is always stressful, but everyone knows now that music can make a big difference.  Will your hospital have music headphones for you? This is a questions that I get asked frequently and so I have a few suggestions as you prepare for your surgery.

Let me start by saying that in 2022, more hospitals than ever have adopted our Surgical Serenity Solutions headphones.  Still, there is a good chance that your hospital will not have music headphones for you. The good news is that research continues to be conducted and published that show the overwhelming positive benefits of patients have music before, during and after their surgical procedures or hospital-based diagnostic tests.  This also applies to the procedures conducted in Ambulatory Surgical Centers. And if your hospital does not have music headphones for you, you can buy them directly from us and have them shipped in a matter of days.

Dr and patient talk

Dr Leatherman was one of the first physicians in Louisville to use music in the operating room.

The first step is to talk with your surgeon or anesthesiologist about your desire to use music with your procedure

Today, the vast majority of surgeons and anesthesiologists have seen the research on the benefits of music with surgery and are in favor of the patient having music. But they have not had the opportunity to learn about the one company (so far) that has created headphones that are pre-loaded with soothing, steady, serene, and therapeutic music. Our music has been curated and sequenced by a clinical musicologist, and our process has received a U.S. patent and many accolades.

But doctors are busy and they don’t realize that a ready-to-go product exists. For this reason, I have written a brief white paper for the patient called “How to Talk with your Doctor about using music with surgery.”  To download this report, go to www.SurgicalSerenitySolutions.com/Talk2Dr. The report provides your doctor with research and dialogue between the patient and doctor in language that the doctor needs to hear in order to be positively persuaded.

The second step is to order your own pre-loaded headphones if the hospital doesn’t have them

When I first started this business, pre-loaded headphones for surgery didn’t exist.  By chance, one of our first customers was a physician in our city of Louisville, KY who was having a hip replacement and ordered them . To my great delight, she wrote me a personal letter afterwards saying what a positive experience it had been and assuring me that she would spread the word to her colleagues and patients. This was a great start for our business.

The third step is to read some of the research yourself so that you can speak with confidence on the subject

Dozens of powerful, persuasive research studies have been conducted on the use of music before, during and after surgery.  One of the most impressive and conclusive was a meta-analysis that was published in the British journal The Lancet.  Read this study here.

Hospitals have a vested interest in keeping patient satisfaction high

Have you noticed that when you go to the hospital for any reason, or even the doctors office nowadays, you’ll get a survey? Yes, medical professionals truly care that you have a positive experience at their hospital, surgery center, or private practice, but their reimbursement is also tied to positive patient ratings. Patients who have music headphones provided to them in the hospital tend to give higher patient satisfaction ratings. They know  that their hospital is going above and beyond the call of duty to give them the best experience possible. And if they’ve had surgery in the past, they can definitely feel the difference between having a “sonic cocoon” created for them of beautiful, relaxing music and have a anxiety-filled pre-surgery period where nurses and techs are talking with patients all around you and you are separated from other patients only by a curtain.

Many patients have reported that just hearing other patients conversing with staff and their own family members made then more frightened than they were when they arrived at the hospital.  Having these pre-loaded headphones blocks all of that out and puts the patient in their own “sonic cocoon.”  This is true both before, during and after the procedure.  The recovery area is also filled with patients just waking up from surgery and separated only by a curtain.

Think about and talk with your surgeon about your desire to use music during your procedure and how they hospital or YOU can make this happen!  Best wishes for a successful procedure!  And do let me know if you have any questions.

 

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Music and Cataract Surgery

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after the cataract surgery

Cataract Surgery with Serenity Headphones throughout

A new study came out today about the effectiveness of using music during cataract surgery. There have actually been quite a few studies over the last 10-20 years about music with cataract surgery because it is one of the top-10 performed surgeries around the world every day.  In order to understand cataract surgery better, take a look at what Healthgrades.com reports:

Every year about three million people in the United States have surgery to remove cataracts. Cataracts are common among  older people. Half of all Americans develop one by the time they’re 80 years old. A cataract causes the eye lens to become        cloudy. This causes vision problems, and surgery is the only way to remove a cataract. During the operation, the surgeon removes the lens of the eye and replaces it with an artificial one. This lets the person see more clearly. People who have cataract surgery can usually go home shortly after the procedure, without an overnight stay in the hospital. Cataract surgery costs $2,300 to $3,000. 

With the growing population of aging Baby Boomers, cataract surgery is being done all of over the world every day. As always, anxiety runs high with any surgery and having a completely natural tool like music is such an advantage to a cataract patient.

The Surgical Serenity Solution has been used with thousands of cataract procedures, (including the patient in the picture above.) Our playlists have proven to be completely effective at decreasing anxiety and pain perception. However we know that there are many kinds of calming, soothing music around the world.  This particular study was done in China and was reported in a reputable medical journal there.

The title of the study is:

Effect of slow tempo music on markers of anxiety during cataract surgery: Randomized control trial

This study was done in China at a large hospital. To read the abstract click here.  The purpose of the study was to objectively examine the effects of slow, steady music on patients having cataract surgery, and specifically on their anxiety level.

  1. Salivary alpha-amylase (sAA) levels were measured at the beginning and at the end of surgery.
  2. They also took the blood pressure of the patients 5 minutes before surgery and at the end of surgery, as well as at 4 or 5 other points during the procedure.

The music that they used was translated as “standard solo piano music.” Our original classical playlist uses classical pieces of 3-4 minutes apiece from major Western classical composers. Their conclusions were that the indications of lower anxiety, as measured by the sAA levels and blood pressure, indicate that listening to slow and steady piano music in the perioperative period makes a positive difference.

What is the best music for surgery, before, during and after?

The best music to use for the patient during the surgical procedure is purely instrumental music that has the tempo of the healthy, resting hearbeat. This music should be administered through cordless, noise-cancelling headphones.  Soothing and therapeutic music is also a very cost-effective intervention.  This music doesn’t cost the hospital much money and has absolutely no side effects.

We have already created these headphones for your! They are being used in hospitals around the world and new hospitals buy into our system every month.  If your hospital doesn’t have them, you can order them for yourself at www.SurgicalSerenitySolutions.com/patient-products.  To get these headphones into your hospital, surgery center or dental clinical, go to https://www.surgicalserenitysolutions.com/20-pre-loaded-headphones-for-hospitals/.

To read more research studies on the benefits of music with many different types of surgery, go to https://www.surgicalserenitysolutions.com/medical-research/

Surgery is a serious procedure and experience but can greatly improve the quality of life with traumatizing the patient or their loved ones.

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Do you like going to the dentist?

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dental patient wearing headphonesI ask you, tongue in cheek, do you like going to the dentist? Because of course no one likes going to the dentist.  Having a person that you don’t know very well, leaning over you, while you are laid back in a helpless position and with a drill or other noisy tools coming at you. Of course it’s awful!!

Recently I was told that after all of the fillings I’ve had, all of the crowns, Invisalign braces and a triple root canal in one tooth, now I need a tooth extraction!  I was truly horrified because I never had a moment of pain.  I didn’t realize that you could have a serious dental infection and feel no pain whatsoever.

But I definitely knew that I would have pain during and after a back molar extraction.  And I really hate pain! That’s one of the main reasons that I created Surgical Serenity Solutions, because I, personally, hate pain and don’t want to take opioids or other potentially addictive medications.

Going to the dentist is just one of those necessary evils I guess, and if you don’t go, you risk even more pain than if you do go!

I did learn to use nitrous oxide judiciously because when they remove the nitrous oxide, the brain fog goes away immediately, but nitrous, plus carefully chosen music is a really good combination, I think!

What does the research say about music and dentistry?

surgical headphones in dental surgery

I think it’s interesting to note that dentistry was one of the very first sub-specialties in the medical-dental field to use music through headphones on a regular basis.  I vividly remember going to the dentist in the late 1950’s in South Carolina (USA) and being given a large pair of headphones with 5 different channels on it as well as a channel of “white noise.”  I thought it was pretty cool and it definitely distracted me from worrying about the pain that might result from drilling in my mouth.

Later I learned that dentists were being taught to use “audio analgesia”  during their procedures to supplement and augment the effects of novocaine which lasted for a very long time.

A recent study, “Effectiveness of music interventions on dental anxiety,”

reports that “music listening significantly lowered levels of anxiety and stress of females during dental                              procedures. Authors of the study concluded that there was a strong physiological (increased                          secretory immunoglobulins level) response to music by females.”

And their recommendation?

“It is recommended that pre-recorded music be offered through

                 headphones during the dental procedure to adult patients to reduce their dental anxiety.”

My Experience

So, the day finally arrived for my tooth extraction and I had chosen a specific piece of music that I wanted to listen to during the extraction and to listen in conjunction with nitrous oxide.  I was concerned that my own playlists might not be loud enough so I chose  piece for large concert band, called “Folksong Suite” by Ralph Vaughn-Williams.

I learned my lesson about listening to free sites! I was listening to my chosen music on YouTube and found that every 3-4 minutes the music stopped in order to have a commercial!! I was so frustrated because the music then did not automatically re-start. There was drilling and pulling, and drilling and pulling because it was a large molar and had been in place for a long time.

Luckily I was coherent enough to switch the music to my classical playlist and just turn the volume up enough to block most of the sounds.   The procedure was over sooner than I expected and I got through it with very little trauma.

Needless to say, music through headphones is highly recommended when going to the dentist.  Even for a simple cleaning I take mine because now they use very high-speed tools that emit a loud and high-pitched sound which is disconcerting to me.

Every dentist that I’ve talked to is more than happy to let patients bring in their own headphones and music.  And remember to download the playlists at www.SurgicalSerenitySolutions.com/calm.

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Nursing and Music: a match made in Heaven

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The use of music in nursing has a long and rich history. No less than Clara Barton and Florence Nightingale were advocates. Not everyone can be a nurse and not everyone can be a musician. And definitely, not everyone can be a music therapist. All of these are noble callings but  everyone’s gifts and opportunities vary.  Nursing and music are a match made in Heaven.

This week has been National Nurses Week and I’ve been interacting with some very forward-thinking nurses.  These nurses recognize the healing and restorative benefits of music.  One nurse in particular, is searching for a way to use music in the ICU with patients who are struggling to regain their health. Some are struggling to regain consciousness.

Nurses and caregivers have probably been using music since the beginning of time.  It’s natural to want to comfort a patient in any way possible, but as busy as nurses are all day long, the intervention must be simple and efficient.  Nurses are allowed to sing and hum when patients are OK with it, but not every nurses has that gift.

Clara Barton was one nurse who believed in the power of music although she did not sing or play an instrument herself

Clara Barton Clara Barton founded the American Red Cross in the early 1880’s and was passionate about her mission to respond to anyone and everyone who might be in an emergency/crisis situation.  She worked tirelessly in New England trying to raise awareness of the dire needs of people and also trying to raise money to support her mission.  In the end she was quite successful and that’s why most of us have heard of the American Red Cross today.

This organization still responds to people all over the world who have undergone a natural disaster or other tragedy.

I’m proud to say that my grandmother, Julia Adelaide Fishel Adams worked for the American Red Cross and I grew up hearing about the life-saving work of this amazing organization.

Clara Barton was a believer in the power of music to change patient’s lives and bring them peace and comfort. She tended to soldiers  as they recovered from their battle wounds during the Civil War. Contemporaries called her “The Angel of the Battlefield.”

Florence Nightingale lived about 50 years earlier and was also a believer in the power of music

Florence NightingaleFlorence Nightingale, (1820-1910) was the nurse called the Lady with the Lamp. She was British and a famous nurse during the Crimean War. She was also a social reformer and considered to be the founder of modern nursing.  Florence Nightingale in particular is known internationally and many of her quotes are still remembered today. One of my favorites is :

“A human being does not cease to exist at death. It is change, not destruction, which takes place.”

In Notes on Nursing: What It Is And What It Is Not1, Florence Nightingale’s important book, she wrote:

The effect of music upon the sick has been scarcely at all noticed.  I will only remark here, that wind instruments, including the human voice, and stringed instruments, capable of continuous sound, have generally a beneficent effect–while the piano-forte, with such instruments as have no continuity of sound, has just the reverse. (the pianoforte was an historic instrument that followed the harpsichord and preceded the modern piano. It did not have a damper pedal and therefore was not able to sustain sound like the modern piano can do.)  The finest piano-forte playing will damage the sick, while an air, like “Home, sweet home,” or “Assisa a piè d’un salice,” on the most ordinary grinding organ, will sensibly soothe them–and this quite independent of association. (Florence Nightingale, 1898: Notes on Nursing)

I’m not sure I agree with this, but I find it very interesting to know that she believed this.

The first music that I found to be very effective in the ICU, as well as the perioperative period, happens to be soothing, calming piano music.  Music that has a steady tempo, the tempo of the healthy, resting heartbeat is best.

To hear samples of this music and all of our playlists, go to www.SurgicalSerenitySolutions.com/calm.  Each of these playlists is 50-60 minutes in length. There are five distinct genres to choose from: Classical, Jazz, New Age, Lullabies and Memory Care.

I am deeply grateful for the work of all nurses and excited to know that they are embracing the use of music in the ICU. Helping patients get through a very difficult time in their lives is so important.

 

 

 

 

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Surgical Serenity Solutions has a new and different market!

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Teenage angst

Maybe some soothing music would help

You just never know, do you?  This morning I got an email that I truly was not expecting.  Since hospitals became my target market, I expect to get emails, and orders from hospitals, surgery centers, and dental practices.  I do not expect to hear from juvenile detention centers.  But don’t get me wrong, I’m truly thrilled!

Soothing, serene, calming, and comforting music is ALWAYS good for people who are experiencing anxiety and emotional pain. We’ve all been teenagers and it can be wonderful, but can also be painful.  Teenagers can make some serious mistakes and of course, they can also do amazing and fantastic things. That’s the human condition.

And music affects everyone, even though musical taste may differ greatly between age groups and backgrounds.  Of course teenagers typically like very different types of music from grownups, it is an indisputable fact that calm, serene music tends to slow and calm a person of any age.

The facility that just ordered a large quantity of headphones is clearly aware of this and has maybe even read the study from a many years ago in which a city with high crime rates put speakers in a parking lot where drug deal often went down. The speakers broadcast Mozart and other classical music around the clock and crime rates went down significantly.

Music can be used to positively manipulate mood

There’s also a beautiful scene in the Movie “The Shawshank Redemption” in which the wrongly imprisoned man manages to get in the control booth at the prison yard and broadcasts a recording of a beautiful operatic aria. The prisoners who are out in the exercise yard immediately stop what they’re doing and start moving silently in slow motion. Slow, serene, and beautiful music does this to people!  Music has been used for thousands of years to manipulate the moods of crowds and individuals.

Mood music over the past thousand years

  • Music was played before soldiers went into battle to raise their energy level to a fever pitch and make them feel powerful.
  • Lovers often have “their song” that they associate with their early special moments and that they love to dance to, and put on for a romantic dinner.
  • Mothers sing to their newborn infants, even before birth they begin singing sweet and gently lullabies and continue singing these through childhood and beyond.
  • Music is a part of nearly every religious or spiritual community.  Chanting has been a part of rituals for thousands of years and helps people feel connected to each other as well as to a common cause.  Same with hymns and songs of praise. Although there are communities that don’t use instruments, the voice is always used for songs and chants.
  • Think about the “Pep Bands” that are used in high schools and colleges during sporting events. What would the game be without the stirring music of the pep band and the cheerleaders working the crowd into a frenzy?

 

My wish for the adolescents at this detention facility is that they will be able to find a place of peace within themselves so that they can learn new ways to solve their problems and find strength and abilities within themselves that they never knew that they had.

But the process will begin with them finding themselves in a quiet place and putting on the Serenity headphones just to see what this is all about. Sending my thoughts and prayers to each adolescent!

Want to get some of these headphones for your hospital, clinic, dental office or other facility? Go to www.SurgicalSerenitySolutions.com 

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Music and Cataract Surgery: more results to support the benefits of music

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listening to the calming, rhythmic entrainment music prior to surgery

Patient calms down before surgical procedure with music rather than benzodiazepines

A new study came out today about the effectiveness of using music during cataract surgery. There are  quite a few studies from  the last 10-20 years about music with cataract surgery because surgeons perform it around the world every day. It is one of the top 10 surgeries.

According to Healthgrades.com,

Every year about three million people in the United States have surgery to remove cataracts. Cataracts are common among older people. Half of all Americans develop one by the time they’re 80 years old. A cataract causes the eye lens to become cloudy. This causes vision problems, and surgery is the only way to remove a cataract. During the operation, the surgeon removes the lens of the eye and replaces it with an artificial one. This lets the person see more clearly. People who have cataract surgery can usually go home shortly after the procedure, without an overnight stay in the hospital. Cataract surgery costs $2,300 to $3,000. 

With the growing population of Baby Boomers, cataract surgery is being done all of over the world every day. As always, anxiety runs high with any surgery and having a completely natural tool like music is such an advantage to a cataract patient.

The Surgical Serenity Solution has been used with thousands of cataract procedures, (including the patient in the picture above.) Our playlists have proven to be completely effective at decreasing anxiety and pain perception. However we know that there are many kinds of calming, soothing music around the world.  This particular study was done in China and was reported in a reputable medical journal there.

The title of the study is:

Effect of slow tempo music on markers of anxiety during cataract surgery: Randomized control trial

This study was done in China at a large hospital there. The purpose of the study was to objectively examine the effects of slow, steady music on patients having cataract surgery, on their anxiety level. Salivary alpha-amylase (sAA) levels were measured at the beginning and at the end of surgery. They also took the blood pressure of the patients 5 minutes before surgery and at the end of surgery, as well as at 4 or 5 other points during the procedure.

The music that they used was translated as “standard solo piano music.” Our original classical playlist uses classical pieces of 3-4 minutes apiece from major Western classical composers. Their conclusions were that the indications of lower anxiety, as measured by the sAA levels and blood pressure, indicate that listening to slow and steady piano music in the perioperative period makes a positive difference.

Soothing and therapeutic music is also a very cost-effective intervention which doesn’t cost the hospital much money and has absolutely no side effects. To get these headphones into your hospital, surgery center or dental clinical, go to https://www.surgicalserenitysolutions.com/20-pre-loaded-headphones-for-hospitals/.

To read more research studies on the benefits of music with many different types of surgery, go to https://www.surgicalserenitysolutions.com/medical-research/

Surgery is a serious procedure and experience but can greatly improve the quality of life with traumatizing the patient or their loved ones.

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The beat of the healthy resting heart

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healthy resting heartbeat entrains to music through headphones

Patient enjoying serene music that entrains with healthy resting heartbeat

For patients having surgery, it is of the utmost important that their vital signs are stable.  The surgeon and anesthesiologist want to be sure that the patient’s heartbeat and breathing are slow and steady.  If nothing is done to assure this, there is a good chance that more anxiety medication will be needed to relax the patient.

However music could be used to accomplish the very same thing, with little or no medication.

Why don’t more surgeons and anesthesiologists do this?  Mainly because they don’t even know that it’s an option!  Surgical Serenity Solutions has been around since 2009 and our company has been growing steadily, but we’re still a very small fish in the pond of hospitals.

Most people go into surgery with lots of fear and trepidation.  Until recently, surgical patients mostly did not read up about the procedure in advance and just wanted to turn it all over to the doctors and get it over with.  Now, patients are much more eager and able to go online to reputable medical sites and get some accurate and helpful information about how to prepare for surgery.

Part of this new plethora of information is the fact that music for the patient during surgery can actually decrease the amount of medication that the patient would need to reduce anxiety and pain perception. And it’s not just surgery!

What usually happens with a patient about to go into surgery or a hospital-based test

The patient in the picture above is just recovering from a colonoscopy where she was sedated with propofol.  Normally, patients are given Valium or other benzodiazepines before they are taken back for the procedure but thanks to the soothing music on the pre-loaded headphones, she skipped the Valium entirely and was wide-awake and ready to go to breakfast about 30 minutes after this picture was taken!

As a clinical musicologist I knew that music for medical procedures needed to be a slow, steady tempo that would entrain or synchronize the tempo of the music to the tempo of the healthy, resting heartbeat.  Luckily, there is lots of music that has this slow, steady tempo.  But sequencing this music carefully so that it easily flows from one piece into the next is very important and requires musical knowledge and training.

Asian senior or elderly old lady woman patient use earphone while lie down and happy on bed in nursing hospital ward : healthy strong medical concept

Our five playlists in five different genres are loaded onto headphones that can accommodate a micro-SD card and delivered to hospitals in boxes of 12, 20, or 50.  Patients have a choice of which headphone playlist they can choose.  The genres are Classical, Jazz, New Age, Lullabies, or Memory Care.  To order these headphones for your hospitals, surgery center, or dental office, go to www.SurgicalSerenitySolutions.com/20-pre-loaded-headphones-for-hospitals/ 

Included with the headphones is a package of 50 pair of disposable earpiece covers.  We can get them to you oftentimes in less than a week and will replace any headphone that does not perform.  Currently, this has never happened!

The link between patient satisfaction and hospital reimbursement

Increasing patient satisfaction and decreasing the amount of anxiety and pain perception a patients experiences is such an important job! Most for-profit hospitals are reimbursed by Medicare according to patient satisfaction ratings.  For each regularly performed procedure, a set amount is reimbursed. But there is a star system and the stars are given according to patient satisfaction.

Don’t leave it up to chance.  In this time of opioid addiction and chemical dependency, let music help your patient heal and recover naturally.

Just go NOW to www.SurgicalSerenitySolutions.com/20-pre-loaded-headphones-for-hospitals/ 

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Healing Music awaits many Ukrainians at the Polish border

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The sight of Ukrainian refugees arriving at the border in Poland is heart-breaking, and yet I am so grateful for all of the Polish men and women who have welcomed them with open arms and open homes. I saw a  photo of a mother and toddler daughter, waiting long hours in a train station in Warsaw after arriving from Ukraine. Of course they’re being given food, shelter, and clothing, but what a beautiful gift live music is for them! Every day, thousands more people flee Ukraine and no one knows when this will end.

When I began seeing the news reports of Ukrainians fleeing and being met at the border by musicians playing familiar music for them, sometimes Ukrainian folksongs.  Here are some wonderful examples of that, just in case you haven’t seen any of them!

The first link connects to a man who is playing piano at the border and is playing Beatles tunes for the arriving refugees.

The second link is of a man who is not only playing familiar songs for arriving refugees but is also allowing them to play, if they know how.

 Compassion is a wonderful thing and music is one of many, many ways to express compassionate and true caring. Pray for peace.

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Music, Surgery, and Wanda Landowska: how ganglion cysts changed the path of her career

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Have you heard about Wanda Landowska? I wanted to honor Wanda Landowska on International Women’s Day, but that day got away from me.  Then I remembered that it’s Women’s History Month all of March!!  So let me tell you a little bit about Wanda Landowska…

She is the woman who singlehandedly revived the harpsichord as a performing instrument in the early 20th century.  The harpsichord had died out as a performing intrument in the 1700’s when the piano was invented. The piano was so much easier to maintain and it was easier to create emotion on the piano, which romantic repertoire required.  Not only that, but in the late 1700’s the harpsichord had become associated with the aristocracy. During the French Revolution people burned harpsichords for firewood and as a sign of their rebellion.

Wanda Landowska was Polish and while growing up in Poland, had never seen a harpsichord.  When she went off to college in Berlin in the late 1890’s, she saw her first harpsichord and knew that the harpsichord was the instrument that Bach had created his music for!

If you’ve been a subscriber for awhile, you’re probably aware that my main focus these days is music with surgery. But 30 years ago my primary focus was on Wanda Landowska and the Revival of the harpsichord.

How that transition came about has been told and recorded by me many times, so I’ll just jump to the chase.

When Wanda Landowska was a young adult, she was primarily a pianist and practiced long hours every day on typical Romantic era repertoire, such as Chopin, Schumann, and Brahms.  If you’re a pianist or a performing musician you know that this music is often filled with fortissimo chords and octaves and if you don’t have relatively large hands,  As a result, she began developing ganglion cysts in her wrists.

The cysts not only caused her great pain, but made it almost impossible to play the Romantic piano repertoire that she wanted to play.  After developing these cysts, she had to give her dream and actually changed her major to theory and composition.  Then she went to the famous Musical Instrument Museum.  That’s where she saw the beautiful harpsichords with their innerlids painted with beautiful designs and sometimes scenes from nature.  She knew at that moment that she would have a harpsichord and would re-introduce it to the world.  And that’s what she did.

When I first came across this information, it led me to a body of information about the musical problems of performing musicians.  Which led me to thinking about musical solutions to medical issues…like surgery.

What a journey these past 32 years have been!  If you’re not familiar with Wanda Landowska and would like to hear her play the harpsichord that she revived, go here:

https://youtu.be/g_LaA4FYFtM

In this wonderful video clip, Wanda herself tells the story of first seeing a harpsichord and knowing that she must play it.  You will also hear and see her playing it.

Of course she never mentions having the problem with ganglion cysts in her wrists, but I came across this information when I was researching her in the Bibliotheque Nationale in Paris, for my dissertation on her.

I hope you’ll enjoy this!

 

P.S. Because of Wanda Landowsk, I also play the harpsichord!

 

 

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