Letters from the class of Mrs. Paige Parsons
Dear Michael Ballam, I'm writing between my classes. I teach at West Lake Jr. High in West Valley. I teach Honors English and 8th grade Chapter I Reading. I wanted you to know every other Friday I play parts of your 'Music and the Mind" tapes to improve and inform my students of the incredible results possible from listening to Bach, Handel and Mozart and other great composers from the time frame of the same. My students are asking their parents to buy them tapes from these composers ... music for their birthdays, for Christmas presents etc. There are several students who have totally changed from rowdy, disinterested, failing students to interested, concerned, dedicated students getting B's and some A's. When I questioned one such young man who most drastically has changed himself, almost a personality change from obnoxious to just a delight, from an F to an A, his response was incredible. At first he said the change resulted from my class..what about my class? I asked. "The Michael Ballam tapes," he said. "They changed how I looked at everything." I have played your tapes so many times for others and used them to change my own fife so often. I have almost memorized them ... God bless you for the strength and the righteousness you have to come forth with this priceless information said in such a fascinating intriguing way that it touches even the most rebellious. I am always so deeply touched by your ideas. Please send me the data on the research about music affecting student performances and grades, deviant behavior or any other information I can share with my students who are mostly eighth graders. This is such a crucial age to make a point with them. P.S. I have honor students coming from across the school (1500 students, its a big school) to borrow Handel's Water Music for their Honors Science Class Test. Mrs. Paige Parsons 165 E 1200 S Bountiful, UT 84010
Your tapes have really made me turn my life around. I used to get D's and F's on my report card, Now after listening to your tapes I'm almost a strait A student well I thin you should keep on making the tapes and If you do I will look forward to listening to them good by and keep up the good work. P.S. I love your tapes Thank you Timothy L. Richins (This is the student that changed so drastically, Mrs. Parsons)
Letter from type teacher after Water Music discussion
"I am seeing much different things going on in my class. Every time the students are typing assignments there is classical music in the background. I am finding that the music of Handel, Haydn, Mozart Vivaldi Scarlatti and other Baroque composers work best. My students leave the room far less "Hyper" than is typical of 8th and 9th graders, their work is far more accurate and there is a sense of peace in the room while they are working. The skill level seems to be much better. I leave work inspired and ready to change hats for the other responsibilities of the day."
Markay (Schreck) Kern
"Things became different in our house. When the music was playing, there was much less fighting among my children. Since I have five young children, that was a major accomplishment! The children started to develop an interest in music. My three-year-old son admires Brahms and Mozart especially, and loves all classical music.
“Once, when I put on something by Brahms, he folded his arms and said, "Mommy, this music makes me feel reverent." I know my little son felt the Spirit in this music. I began to study music appreciation. The music began to affect me. I started to develop a sense of rhythm (Oh, I struggled with that)--I had more energy, I was motivated to try new things, and I discovered something else. Music started to break down the walls that I had built around my emotions.
Expressing emotion has always been very difficult for me. “It was Brahms who helped me to feel emotion once again, and to start healing. I know that Brahms had a poignant and sometimes unhappy life, and it is reflected in his music. Once I let myself feel that emotion, I was able to start healing myself, with the help of music.”