Puppy dreaming to Music to Calm your Canine Companion
It is Martin Luther King Day, and I woke up this morning thinking about his “I have a dream” speech. It inspired me to think about my real life dreams…
I have a dream that Through a Dog’s Ear music is heard by over a million dogs in 2011, and improves their lives and those of their people. Additionally, over a million dogs in shelters find their forever homes because TaDE music calmed and quieted them.
I believe in that dream so strongly that I am letting go of an identity I have been holding onto for 14 years to create the space for that dream to come to life.
On November 1, 1996 I opened the doors to Lisa Spector’s Music School. Over the past 14 years, I have been very blessed to receive the support of a wonderful community eager to add music to their lives and those of their children. The school grew out of my love of teaching. It began with one piano in one room where I was the sole piano teacher. Now 14 plus years later, the school offers lessons in piano, voice, flute, guitar, “Make Music” group classes for children, and concerts in the expanded concert room. What a dream it has been to see all of this develop and grow!
In 2003, my life would forever be changed when attending a weekend seminar taught by world renowned sound researcher, Joshua Leeds. In this seminar for teachers and healers, I learned about the psychoacoustic principles of resonance (tone) and entrainment (rhythm) and started applying them when teaching piano students at my music school. I became so adept at helping students with ADD relax and focus, as well as picking up the energy level of sluggish children, that I wondered how I ever taught without this knowledge.
This was so fascinating that I went back to another one of Joshua’s workshops to learn more. This time accompanied by a four month old yellow Labrador Retriever. He was wearing a jacket that said “Puppy in training for Guide Dogs for the Blind.” During that session, I started wondering if Joshua’s music, that was so successful in helping autistic children in neruo-developmental centers throughout the world, could also calm dogs and relieve their anxiety issues.
The rest of that story is now history, some of which can be read in the years of research that followed. Through a Dog’s Ear not only grew out of my love of music and dogs, but also out of my desire to improve my piano teaching at my music school. For that I am eternally grateful. It is now time to pass that legacy on to another dedicated music teacher that will continue to serve the musical needs of the community, while I devote myself full time to helping improve the lives of dogs and their people worldwide.
Combining my love of music and dogs into the creation of a music series has been more than a dream come true. In the past three years, I have been on the CBS Early Show, Martha Stewart Living Radio, presented at the Association of Pet Dog Trainers National Conference, and have recently become a pet blogger for Care2.com – an online community of nearly 15 million people making a difference in the areas of animal welfare and pets, healthy and green living, and human rights. Every blog I write lands in over a million inboxes and has the ability to make a difference in the lives of animals. I play canine concerts as fundraisers for non-profit animal organizations and Through a Dog’s Ear music has been featured on Animal Planet’s It’s Me or the Dog. And I am very actively involved in dog agility and canine musical freestyle with my two dogs, Sanchez and Gina.
I am being called to focus on and expand my work with Through a Dog’s Ear. In the past month, I have been in communication with dog trainers, behaviorists, and animal shelters in Turkey, Spain, Australia, Greece and throughout the U.S. Working globally is a great joy, especially with the huge advantage of social media.
The top of my 2011 Vision Board reads, “Lean forward into your life.” So, I am leaning further into Through a Dog’s Ear as well as my performing career while passing the conductor’s baton at Lisa Spector’s Music School to Kitty Rea, owner of Ms. Kitty’s Harmony Road — Moss Beach. The new name will be Ms. Kitty’s Harmony Road Half Moon Bay, effective January 31. Kitty’s teaching experience and enthusiasm for music education makes her the perfect person to carry on the legacy that I started.
While this seems like a personal choice, it feels more like it chose me. When I read how much TaDE (Through a Dog’s Ear) music has helped dogs with separation anxiety, sound phobias, fears, aggression issues, senior dogs, puppies, post and pre-surgery dogs, and has calmed and quieted dogs in shelters and foster homes, my life can’t help but lean further into what is calling me. What is equally powerful to me is hearing from people who have renewed their interest in classical music because of my recordings. I also plan to spend more time at my piano and performing, whether it be for humans or humans with their canines.
It’s been a great pleasure serving my local community over the last 14 plus years. My heart is filled with enormous gratitude for all that has transpired and for all that will continue to grow here. And, I look forward to my expanded cross-species work in a global community.
What is your dream for dogs? Thanks for clicking “comment” below and sharing your dreams.