A Lifetime at the Piano

the intentional clinician podcast

A Lifetime at the Piano [Episode 22 of the Intentional Clinician Podcast]

Paul Krauss MA LPC tells a personal story of my grandfather Wally Krauss’ life at the piano. He features interviews with his father, brother, and some home recordings. Paul’s grandfather was an amateur pianist and organist who for 80 years shared his gift and talent with family, his many friends in various social circles, church groups, senior homes, and restaurants. Wally played piano daily into his 95th year of life.  John Krauss describes growing up with such a musical father, and discusses research results which show that playing the piano influences brain development and plasticity for both children and elderly. Paul discusses how a positive attitude and outlook on life can influence your overall well-being. Tim Krauss discusses his grandfather’s influence on his life and how he is working with Paul to carry the torch of creating and playing music as part of the family heritage. This is the second episode in a series about music. The first episode was my interview with musician Kelley Stolz (episode 17).

Concepts Discussed: Immigrating to the USA from Germany, Learning English, A Positive Attitude, Practicing, Piano Playing, Brain Plasticity, The Elderly Staying Active, Youtube, Reddit, Bandcamp, Storytelling, Family Culture, etc.

(Keep Scrolling for Piano and the Brain, an article, by John Krauss)

You can hear all of our recordings of Wally’s piano playing and much more at Happypiano1’s Youtube Channel:

Listen to more here: https://wallykrauss.bandcamp.com/

Tim’s music Here:
and his music videos:

Paul’s Music Here:

A new album will be released in 2019 featuring Tim and Paul called “Motel”

Featured Songs from Home Cassette & Video Recordings:
1. Ain’t Misbehavin As Performed by Wally Krauss
2. Selections from Bach As Performed by Wally Krauss
3. Selections from Bach As Performed by Wally Krauss
4. Till There was You As Performed by Wally Krauss
5. People Say As Performed by Wally Krauss
6. It Might as Well Be Spring As Performed by Wally Krauss
7.Cocktails for Two As Performed by Wally Krauss
8. Silent Night As Performed by Wally Krauss
9. Somebody Loves You As Performed by Wally Krauss
10 .The Christmas Song As Performed by Wally Krauss
11. Standchen As Performed by Wally Krauss
12. Bei Mir Bist Du Schon As Performed by Wally Krauss
13. I May Be Wrong As Performed by Wally Krauss
14. It Had to Be You As Performed by Wally Krauss
15. Blues In the Night As Performed by Wally Krauss
16. Till There Was You As Performed by Wally Krauss
17. Georgia on My Mind as Performed by Tim Carter
18. Rag Time Song Clip as Performed by Glen Coleman
19. Good Boy Young (From the album “Motel”- 2019) as Performed by Tim Krauss with Paul Krauss backing
20. Maple Leaf Rag As Performed by Wally Krauss
21. What are you doing for the Rest for Your Life? As Performed by Wally Krauss
22. Stars Fell on Alabama As Performed by Wally Krauss

23. Rudolph the Red-nosed Reindeer/ O Christmas Tree As Performed by Wally Krauss
24. I Got Nothing But Love As Performed by Wally Krauss
25. Stranger in Paradise As Performed by Wally Krauss
26. East of the Sun (and West of the Moon) As Performed by Wally Krauss
(Also featured: A News Clip from WILX-TV)

Paul Krauss MA LPC is the Clinical Director of Health for Life Counseling Grand Rapids: A Trauma-Informed Counseling Center in West Michigan. Paul is also a Private Practice Psychotherapist, host of the Intentional Clinician podcast, Behavioral Health Consultant, Clinical Trainer, and Counseling Supervisor.  Paul travels to train clinicians in multiple states. Paul is the creator of the National Violence Prevention Hotline (in progress)  as well as the Intentional Clinician Training Program for Counselors. Questions? Call the office at 616-200-4433.

For your Free 30 day trial of Simple Practice Electronic Health Records and to support this podcast, click this link: https://ter.li/appk

Piano and the Brain by John Krauss 

1) Piano instruction for children is far superior to computer instruction in dramatically enhancing the abstract reasoning skills necessary for learning math, science, and spatial-temporal reasoning.

2) Piano playing improves memory, bolsters self-esteem, & relieves stress. Piano students build good habits: focus, perseverance, diligence, & creativity; they develop patience, discipline, dedication, & confidence.

3) Music instruction is necessary for brain development: enhanced coordination, concentration, and memory.

4) Music training enhances a brain function that dies away. Studies show that a child’s brain develops to its full potential only with exposure to the necessary music enriching experiences. If not stimulated during early childhood, certain neuron connectors die.

5) Playing a musical instrument can reverse stress at the molecular level.

6) Scientists and therapists agree that playing piano positively affects the biology and behavior of seniors with memory loss. Senior piano players reported a decrease in depression, anxiety, and loneliness.

7) Early music training builds high brain function required for reading, math, science and engineering.

8) Piano instruction causes both sides of the brain to work simultaneously.

9) Lansing area consultants have observed new neuron connections in the brains of two patients

with brain damage; they attribute this to the consistent piano playing by the patients.

[1. U. of Cal., Irvine, ‘97; McGill U., Montreal; 3. U. of Cal.; 5. Loma Linda U.; 6. U. of Miami.; 7. Northwestern Univ., 2007; Dr. Jean Houston , 1988;

  1. Children’s Piano Forum ]


Benefits of music lessons

1.) Playing an instrument engages students’ visual, tactile, aural, and communication skills. This is valuable for students with developmental issues: dyslexia, learning disabilities, and ADD.

2.) Music students develop critical thinking skills, time-management, and attention to detail, plus it lends structure to their time spent outside of traditional schooling. Piano practice boosts cognitive and intellectual abilities, helping retain information from speeches and lectures.

3.) Music educators have observed that music lessons improve a student’s self-discipline, dexterity,

coordination, self-esteem, listening skills, creative abilities and personal expression.

4.) Music students achieve a higher GPA than do non-music students in the same school.

5.) Music students achieve higher SAT & ACT scores than non-musicians.

6.) Music enhances learning and creativity. Four and five-year-olds showed great improvement from the

effects of music on learning and creativity after just 20 days of teaching.

7.) Begin music lessons when your children are babies or toddlers when their brain is forming. If your child is older, begin lessons as soon as possible. Keep music a priority, for it will give students needed benefits when they are applying to colleges or choosing a vocation.

8.) Music enhances linguistic skills. Music, specifically song, is valuable for babies learning to recognize the tones that add up to spoken language.

9.) Sixty percent of music majors who apply to medical school are accepted, according to a study.

10.) 88% of Americans want instrumental music instruction in schools’ regular curriculum.

11.) The world’s top three nations of academic excellence have mandatory music requirements for their

students. Hungary, one of the poorest nations of the world, ranks highest in academic excellence. Every child in Hungary has mandatory music requirements for kindergarten through ninth grade. The first four hours of every day in Hungary are set aside for music study, orchestra and choir. In the afternoon, when students study math, language, and history, they are able to achieve high academic grades, because their brain has been formatted for orderly storage and retrieval of information.

12.) America spends 29 times more money on education than any other nation, yet ranks 14th out of the top 17 countries in academic excellence. In many U.S. schools, music has been replaced by competitive sports and computers. These two programs may have value and merit, but cannot replace music or its benefits.

13.) Students involved in extracurricular activities were far less likely to be involved with drugs. Secondary students in band or orchestra had the lowest current and lifetime use of all substances– alcohol, tobacco and illegal drugs.

14.) After learning eighth, quarter, half, and whole notes, second and third graders scored 100% higher than

their peers who were taught fractions using traditional methods.

[5. The College Board, ’97,’98; U.S. Dept. of Education, ’90; 6. D. Riggs, “Early Childhood Music”; 8. S. Trehub, U. of Toronto, ‘97; Gallup, 1997; 11. Riggs, “Early

Childhood Music”; 13. 1998 Texas Commission on Drug and Alcohol Abuse; 14. Neurological Research, ’99.]

Learn more about the Trauma-Informed Counseling Center of Grand Rapids

Learn more about Counseling and Therapy services at Health for Life Counseling Grand Rapids

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