Music therapy as an addition to standard care helps people with schizophrenia to improve their global state, mental state (including negative symptoms) and social functioning if a sufficient number of music therapy sessions are provided by qualified music therapists. Further research should especially address the long-term effects of music therapy, dose-response relationships, as well as the relevance of outcomes measures in relation to music therapy. Music therapy is a therapeutic method that uses music experiences to help people with serious mental disorders to develop relationships and to address issues they may not be able to using words alone. Studies to date have examined the effects of music therapy as an add-on treatment to standard care. The results of these studies suggest that music therapy improves global state and may also improve mental state and functioning if a sufficient number of music therapy sessions are provided.– Music therapy for people with schizophrenia and schizophrenia-like disorders (Mössler K, Chen X, Heldal TO, Gold C)[1]

In conjunction with the research question of the effectiveness of music interventions on adolescents, evidence points to the music therapy technique of lyric analysis being an effective intervention for mental health professionals working with adolescents. Research establishes adolescence  40 to be a unique period in a person’s life requiring specific interventions to engage these clients in psychotherapy. In considering the significant impact music has on the life of an adolescent, lyric analysis tactfully recognizes the significance of an adolescent’s preferred music while utilizing the symbolic meaning behind the music to facilitate in-depth therapeutic discussion. -The Effectiveness of Music Interventions in Psychotherapy with Adolescent Clients (Hope Lauren Esala)[2]

The present study has found that music creates significant changes in systolic tension arterial and pulse oximeter values; significantly decreases pain, Faces Anxiety Scale, and state anxiety means scores and increases general comfort level. More research is needed on the effects of music offered by a trained music therapist. –The Effect of Music on Comfort, Anxiety and Pain in the Intensive Care Unit: A Case in Turkey (Hatice Çiftçi, MSc, RN, Gürsel Öztunç, PhD) [3]



According to a paper in the UK-based Journal of Advanced Nursing, listening to music can reduce chronic pain from a range of painful conditions, including osteoarthritis, disc problems, and rheumatoid arthritis, by up to 21%. [ref]


How to Get Great at Sight Reading Music

Sight reading new music can feel like a daunting task. But let’s face it, all music is new to us at one point. This is why getting great at sight reading can make the experience of learning new music by reading a more enjoyable one and less of a “homework” style activity.

So in an effort to make your next sight reading experience more enjoyable, there are several great tips and strategies in this post that will get you started on the right path.

  1. Familiarize yourself with a variety of rhythms. Start simple and increasingly change the difficulty of the rhythms you are reading.
  2. Memorize key signatures at-a-glance. IMPORTANT!
  3. Know your scales forward and backward. Literally forwards and backward.
  4. Practice playing without looking at your hands.
  5. Practice sight singing by singing the notes you are wanting to read.
  6. Take a minute to examine the piece you’re sight reading. Tap out the rhythm, read through the notes and follow the structure. Look for trouble spots that may trip you up when you’re reading.
  7. Mentally commit changes in key or time signature within the piece.
  8. Make markings on the paper (or on your tablet/iPad), if allowed.
  9. Sound the whole piece out in your head, recognizing patterns.
  10. Breathe, relax and keep going, even if you make a mistake.
  11. Use a pencil to make the note names of each note above in order to be able to focus more on the rhythmic changes.


When I began teaching music theory and piano lessons it dawned on me how poorly some students understand music and how it really works from the inside out. Many could play their instrument but they blindly stumbled through learning new pieces and had trouble with counting even simple rhythms when faced with musical excerpts that were not in the most basic of meters. -Leon Harrell, author of “How to Read Music”

Focus on rhythm

Rhythm is the most essential part of sight reading. If you play rhythm correctly but not pitch, at least you can stay in the right place. The opposite is not true.

If you don’t have a firm grasp of rhythm, this is where you should start. You can practice rhythm sight reading with any sheet music. Just ignore the pitches and only read the rhythms. Later you can go back through and practice reading the rhythms and pitches together.

Don’t stop when you make a mistake

So obvious, and yet surprisingly counter-instinctual. When we make a mistake, especially during an important performance, the temptation is strong to go back and fix it. But everyone knows this is impossible – time in music only moves forward. It’s done, shrug it off and move on. (If there’s a repeat, you’ll get a second chance! :))

Not only is it futile, but it’s actually counter-productive to stop and try to fix performance mistakes. You draw attention to an error your audience otherwise may not have noticed, and you make a second error by stopping time!

Learn how to plow through your mistakes rather than stopping to lament. Your judges will review you more favorably, you’ll better keep up with the ensemble if you’re not playing solo, and your audience will enjoy the music better uninterrupted.

Let the most difficult passage set your tempo

This tip I picked up years ago from a wise band director. It’s a smart way to set the tempo when you’re sight reading. (You’ve never heard the piece before, so you can’t use your memory of what it sounds like for reference.)

Of course you’re going to observe the composer’s tempo guidelines, but you’ll have room for interpretation as the performer. The most important thing when you’re choosing a tempo for sight reading is that it not prohibit you from getting through the piece successfully. And the most common tempo mistake made by inexperienced sight readers is to choose one that’s too fast.

The way to ensure that you don’t choose a tempo that’s too fast is to base it around the most difficult passage. While you’re looking over the music just before playing, find the part that looks most challenging. Finger through it on your instrument at the tempo you have in mind and be confident you can get through without making a slew of mistakes. If you don’t think you can, slow down the tempo a bit at a time until you have one that works.

Learn to look ahead

People are often surprised to learn that advanced sight readers aren’t looking at the notes they’re playing. Rather they already looked at them, and are always looking at least a few beats ahead of where they’re playing.

Think about it. You’re sight reading, so you’ve never seen this music before, save the brief moment you had to look it over before you started playing. If you’re just taking in the notes one at a time as you’re playing them, you’re setting yourself up for disaster. Imagine driving a car and only watching the spot of pavement that’s visible just over the hood.

You need to learn how to be reading one measure while playing the measure that came before it. The coordination is a bit tricky, but it’s well worth the time investment to learn this skill.

Don’t forget, at the end of the day it will be you that will need to put in the work with your sight reading practice. At first, it may seem challenging. But my promise to you is that if you stick with it and take these tips and strategies to heart while practicing that your skill will improve and sight reading will become simple and seamless for you.

  • – – –
Ref: Music Notes, Sight Reading Master.

The NotSorry Method

This doesn’t mean you’re a jerk… But let me illustrate.

A tired bird landed on a branch. The bird rested, enjoying the view from the branch and the protection it offered from dangerous animals. Just as the bird became used to the branch and the support and safety it offered, a strong wind started blowing, and the tree swayed with such intensity that it seemed the branch would snap in half.

But the bird was not worried for, it knew two important truths. The first truth – even without the branch it was able to fly, and thus remain safe through the power of its own two wings. The second truth it also knew that there are many other branches upon which it can temporarily rest.

In Sarah Knight’s book “The Life-Changing Magic of Not Giving A F*ck” this same scenario for how we can live our lives emerges by using what a Sarah calls the “NotSorry Method.”

The NotSorry Method Consists of four elements:

  • The differentiation between feelings and opinions.
  • Striking an artful and crafty balance between being polite (but not nice) and honest.
  • The key to keeping the conversation more neutral is to focus and the redirection of the central theme to the opinions of each person, not their feelings.
  • To sidestep hurt feelings, degrading the personal values of others, and loss of a personal relationship you make it about the difference in opinion.

This way you aren’t a jerk. But you don’t give a f*ck about their…OPINION. Continue reading.

As I write this, my mind is flooded with thoughts of how people may perceive what I’m writing. This is, to Sarah’s point in her book, not a bad thing — it’s actually exactly what she means because it’s a deliberate giving af*ck. The art of “not giving a f*ck” is really in deciding, on your own terms what to care about. The key here is in understanding the difference between deliberate caring and automatic, habit-based seeking for approval. While writing this, I should care how you, as the reader, are impacted by its application into your life. However, I definitely don’t care (give a f*ck) about your opinion about me; my style of writing, blog entry formatting, and/or what I think about this book. As stated in the book; “I need to tell you – honestly and politely – that I don’t share your opinion that something should be different about how I’m deciding to run my life.”

There is a key lesson in this opinion-based, non-feelings, NotSorry Method approach. That is, when we base our lives back into the responsibility of ourselves, our own opinions about how we operate should be the most important – not those of other people. Somehow we have drifted away from that formal responsibility for our lives and, in addition, have been told that being steadfast in our opinions and motivations is prideful, wrong, and even sinful.

Sarah states the following:

“If you f*ck-giving activity affects someone else, be honest and polite about your decision, try to make it about a difference of opinion, and 99 percent of the time, all will be well. But if your f*ck-giving affects you and only you, then why should you care about what other people think? Let them have their opinions about you. It may take a little getting used to, but you must stop giving a f*ck about what other people think.” 


We all have opinions. We all have feelings, too. The strategy going forward for the practitioner is to base the not caring and not judging by the opinions of others. Rather, live steadfast in the trust in your own wings, merits, and YOUR personal opinion.

Ref: Bird Story, Book Link

Diabetes: Injectable Insulin Treatment – Lose a Leg and Gain Possible Coma

by Thomas McGregor and Amy Gaines

Insulin Routines

  • Insulin is required for people with type 1 diabetes and sometimes necessary for people with type 2 diabetes.
  • The syringe is the most common form of insulin delivery, but there are other options, including insulin pens and pumps.
  • Insulin should be injected in the same general area of the body for consistency, but not the exact same place.
  • Insulin delivery should be timed with meals to effectively process the glucose entering your system.

With the help of your health care team, you can find an insulin routine that will keep your blood glucose near normal, help you feel good, and fit your lifestyle.

Type 1

People diagnosed with type 1 diabetes usually start with two injections of insulin per day of two different types of insulin and generally progress to three or four injections per day of insulin of different types. The types of insulin used to depend on their blood glucose levels. Studies have shown that three or four injections of insulin a day give the best blood glucose control and can prevent or delay the eye, kidney, and nerve damage caused by diabetes.

Type 2

Most people with type 2 diabetes may need one injection per day without any diabetes pills. Some may need a single injection of insulin in the evening (at supper or bedtime) along with diabetes pills. Sometimes diabetes pills stop working, and people with type 2 diabetes will start with two injections per day of two different types of insulin. They may progress to three or four injections of insulin per day.

Studies Concerning Pharmaceutical Treatment of Diabetes

Compiled by researchers from the U.K., the new study involved carefully scrutinizing the safety of insulin injections in order to gain a more thorough understanding of the treatment’s many possible side effects. Utilizing data from the U.K. General Practice Research Database, which included nearly 85,000 patients with Type II diabetes, researchers compared the side effects of insulin injections alone with four other common treatment protocols for the disease.

In the study the conclusion cited as follows: “The primary aim of diabetes management is the achievement and maintenance of normoglycemia. The importance of glucose control in reducing vascular outcomes is well known.” Something to notice about this statement is that the researchers are most interested in the management and maintenance of diabetes versus a cure. This results in the entire study being more about how to manage versus cure diabetes, which implies a continuation of the diabetic condition.

Myocardial infarction (MI), commonly known as a heart attack, occurs when blood flow decreases or stops to a part of the heart, causing damage to the heart muscle. The most common symptom is chest pain or discomfort which may travel into the shoulder, arm, back, neck, or jaw. Often it occurs in the center or left side of the chest and lasts for more than a few minutes. The discomfort may occasionally feel like heartburn. Other symptoms may include shortness of breath, nausea, feeling faint, a cold sweat, or feeling tired. About 30% of people have atypical symptoms. Women more often have atypical symptoms than men. Among those over 75 years old, about 5% have had an MI with little or no history of symptoms. An MI may cause heart failure, an irregular heartbeat, cardiogenic shock, or cardiac arrest. Metformin suppressed the liver into producing and releasing less sugar. 

Compared to metformin monotherapy, sulfonylurea monotherapy, metformin plus sulfonylurea combination therapy, and insulin plus metformin combination therapy, insulin monotherapy was found to increase the risk of both stroke and cancer by about 43 percent, and major adverse cardiac events by about 74 percent. And while the risk of myocardial infarction almost doubles while on insulin monotherapy, a risk of neuropathy more than doubles, according to the figures. Metformin is a hydrochloride (a chemical complex composed of an organic base (such as an alkaloid) in association with hydrogen chloride). Chemistry, a hydrochloride is an acid salt resulting, or regarded as resulting, from the reaction of hydrochloric acid with an organic base. An alternative name is chlorhydrate, which comes from French.

Endogenous means originating within the body, and exogenous means originating outside the body. Health professionals who treat people with diabetes often apply these terms to insulin: Endogenous insulin refers to the insulin the pancreas makes, and exogenous insulin refers to the insulin people inject or infuse via an insulin pump.

Sulfonylureas are a class of organic compounds used in medicine and agriculture. They are antidiabetic drugs widely used in the management of diabetes mellitus type 2. They act by increasing insulin release from the beta cells in the pancreas. A number of sulfonylureas are also used as herbicides (“weedkiller”) because they can interfere with plant biosynthesis of certain amino acids.

Being in a phenotypically different subgroup: Phenotypically is an observable physical or biochemical characteristic of an individual, as determined by both genetic makeup and environmental influences.  When you are placed in a subgroup, you are placed with a different or distinct group within a group; a subdivision of the main group.

Fact: 60% of the world’s type 2 diabetics live in Asia due to a high level of grains consumed in the typical Asian diet. 

In a CBS Miami report, takers of Metformin were willing to pay higher co-pays for a supplemental drug Invokana regardless of the increased risk of side effects. Same takers of the Metformin drug cited stomach and energy level issues when taking it. Invokana is an add-on in addition to Metformin and therein increases the risk of side effects. Additionally, Invokana (Johnson & Johnson) has had major litigation challenges since the side effects of the drug have become increasingly evident. In May 2017, the FDA issued another safety warning indicating that Invokana could increase the risk of leg and foot amputations. According to the FDA, between the launch of Invokana in March 2013 and June 6, 2014, the agency received at least 20 adverse event reports of users of SGLT2(The sodium/glucose cotransporter 2  is a protein that in humans is encoded by the SLC5A2(solute carrier family 5 (sodium/glucose cotransporter)) gene. SGLT2 is a member of the sodium glucose cotransporter family which are sodium-dependent glucose transport proteins. SGLT2 is the major cotransporter involved in glucose reabsorption in the kidney.) inhibitors, or kidney failure, suffering ketoacidosis. These resulted in hospitalization or the need for emergency room visits in every case. The FDA reported that it has continued to receive adverse event reports of similar problems since that time, and the agency is investigating the potential side effects of Invokana and related diabetes treatments. Although Invokana works by inhibiting kidney function, and several experts have suggested that the drug makers knew or should have known about the risk of kidney problems from Invokana, potential failure to warn claims are being reviewed for individuals who have suffered kidney failure after using the type 2 diabetes drug. In September 2015, the FDA issued a safety warning indicating that Invokana may increase the risk of bone fractures.


Victoza slows down digestion which “makes you feel fuller, longer” This does not treat the root cause, which is the decision on what you eat. What Victozaoza does is try to force you into not eating less by biochemical manipulation, not controlling what your lifestyle choices.

On May 17, 2015, in a Fox New report Dr. Mar Siegal cited that pharmaceuticals like Metformin and Janovia preserve a hormone called incretin. Dr. Siegal said that “Incretin is a hormone that is a precursor to insulin. Our body is trying to get rid of incretin all the time – that particular hormone and, Janovia keeps it around.” Wouldn’t seem logical that if the body is naturally attempting to get rid of the incretin in the body and, that taking a drug with noted side-effects that will keep the hormone around, is technically a toxic idea? Dr. Siegal went on to say that even if you aren’t that heavy but, are binge eating all the time that Janovia can help with that. Yes, you read that correctly. (Dr. Marc Siegel is an American physician, Fox News medical correspondent)

Bottom Line

These pharmaceutical drugs are by prescription only.

If you don’t want to change your lifestyle to something more healthy, you will still pay with the vast array of side-effects that these drugs hold in-store for you. Furthermore, stacking pharmaceuticals only increases your chances for drastic side-effects with the possibility of death.

The choice is yours.






How Music Paves the Way To Success

by Monica Zamora-Lawrence

Since I was a small child, I always had a desire for music. At a young age I began studying the piano. I became an advanced pianist for my age and felt a sense of peace when I played. In 2001, my family and I moved to Kansas to be closer to my mother’s side of the family. This is when my life started to change in ways I could never imagine.

I remember walking in to my new middle school, feeling an extreme amount of fear. Different state, different school, different people, and a completely different culture. I had no idea, once again, what I was doing. For a tween, that is a terrifying feeling! Especially if that tween was just as shy as I was.

The day I decided to join band, I found a special place of belonging. I found an amazing group of friends within that class. I found a different kind of confidence within myself as well. (Don’t get me wrong, I was still awkward, but it was a “band geek” awkward.) Transitioning in to a school was hard, but finding an instrument that could help me get through all the “new” a tween could handle, was something my soul was absolutely searching for.

Going in to high school, I still actively participated in band. I thought I had found a safe place for the last 4 years of my childhood, but I was wrong. There were people outside of band, and even in band, that became bullies towards me. I thought the nick-names that they had made up for me, were special for a moment, until I found out otherwise. “Big Red” is the one I remember the most, and it wasn’t until one of the bullies came up to me and explained the reason why they all called me that, that I realized I was actually being made fun of by a group that I thought I could call a second family. I was extremely hurt, embarrassed, and humiliated. I went home that evening and cried my eyes out. After I had let out all my sadness, I turned to my instrument. I went back to school the next day, and owned up to the nick-name “Big Red,” but this time, in a different way. Now I would no longer be known as the bigger girl with red hair…no. This time, I was going to focus on my music and show them the talented, unstoppable, I-don’t-care-what-you-think-of-me, “Big Red.” Eventually I became lead of my section, but soon found a different kind of calling.

Right next door to the band room, was a choir room. As I was walking past the choir room one day, I heard the most beautiful harmonies. Now, I knew I loved to sing, so I contemplated joining at first. Then I made my decision to be bold and just go after it! Well, I made it! And not only did I get an offer to join the choir, but several members of the high school show choir asked me to join them! And that’s when, I became a member of the most amazing group of people I have ever met. This group truly showed me the meaning of how a school group family really cares about each other. I found my voice, and I found out I could dance as well! Who knew?!

My junior year of high school, I began suffering from major depression and anxiety. I continued with schooling, and kept going without anyone ever knowing how much I was actually suffering. I kept turning to music. Always, turning to music. Every time I felt low, angry, bitter, etc., I turned to music. Any kind of music. There is always something out there that makes a person realize that others have either been there, or maybe have seen a loved one go through whatever is ailing them.

Over the summer, that year, I tried to take my own music away. I had ended on a path that I couldn’t see my way out of. I thought the music had died for me…I couldn’t sing the songs anymore. But when I woke up in the hospital, with all my friends and family around me, I felt foolish. How could I think the music ended? I had so many more symphonies to write in my life. So what did I do?! I got up, and shook it off. I declared that no matter how bad my depression and anxiety got to me, I would ALWAYS turn to music.

Ever since then, I have written many varieties of songs: hate, pain, loss, heartache, hope, friendship, break-ups….but above all, LOVE. This is the reason music is so important to us individually, and especially our youth. Music builds a person up, from beginning to end. Music is always in our souls. Even our hearts beat to their own drum. Music creates a path to a successful life, and a road to walk down to share every emotion with.

Now, I am a Certified Surgical Technologist with an Associates Degree in Applied Science, a part-time teacher in the Surgical Technology Lab, I work with mentally disabled consumers and mentor them through their ever day struggles, and I’m buying my own home! Every day I thank what music, and my teachers, have given me….

My own, personal, musical of a life!

So the next time you’re unsure of where to turn…turn on your favorite song and remember that you have plenty of time to create your own symphony for you life, and the building blocks of all the little ones’ lives. Let’s give them some hope for their precious future, and expand their minds to what wonderful things music can bring to their lives.