In The News...

"Therapist Turns to Musical Sounds"

by Lynn Collier
Southwest View, Las Vegas,
Nevada June 24, 1998

Judith Pinkerton sits in her new office surrounded by musical instruments.

It's here she manages the musical diets of teen-agers.

Most of her young clients listen to rap or hard rock music. The back beats found in these types of music add stresses to their bodies and match their angry moods, she said.

For four years Pinkerton has been practicing music therapy. Her ides are explained in her 1996 book "The Sound of Healing."

Pinkerton believes music can calm, motivate and even relieve minor physical problems, such as headaches or stomach cramps.

In her book she said musical components such as tempo, rhythm, melody, harmony and intensity affects the listener's emotions.

These elements help her categorize music as unsettling, energizing or anger.

By building a program of music for her clients, Pinkerton matches their mood and through a sequence of different music brings them to other emotions.

The sequence typically goes through unsettling, soothing and then energizing music. That takes her client through the same emotional range.

Her 195-page book tells the reader what music fits into each category. For instance, Counting Crows' "Perfect Blue Buildings" is described as unsettling. Kenny G's "Sentimental" is in the soothing category, and Elton John's "The Circle of Life" is considered energizing.

Pinkerton said these categories can fit into any type of music - country, classical, pop or jazz.

For two years Pinkerton has specialized in working with teenagers. She works with girls staying at Henderson's Regina Hall, a residential group home for troubled girls ages 12 to 17, and state juvenile offenders.

Pinkerton works with Reflections Counseling therapist Cheryl Cornelius, who shares her office.