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Caregiving a Baby through Music & Dance–a Grandparent’s Perspective & Relevant Research

In September of 2016, I ecstatically added to the burgeoning class of baby-boomers becoming grandparents. There are 70 million Americans a year joining the ranks. Caregiving my granddaughter during the workweek is a bit of heaven, and much comfort to her parents. It’s also longevity enhancing for me: the Berlin Aging Study found that grandparents who provided non-custodial childcare died at a rate 37% lower than for grandparents who did not provide childcare, and even non-grandparents benefited if they did caregiving .

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Jack London’s Semi-Autobiographical Story

This is a rather indirect oral history entry–it’s a peek at American writer Jack London’s novel The Valley of the Moon (1913), a semi-autobiographical love drama. His historic glimpse of turn-of-the-20th-century California is compelling. London’s language, especially the slang of the day, is riveting, so too is his strong female character. It’s an important story that speaks to hope and resilience in the face of hardships. My family’s home, way-of-life, and region of land they came to know and explore is depicted in this extraordinary tale, perhaps that’s the true reason I adapted it for the screen. Here’s the logline and synopsis for the screenplay: Read more

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The Power of Music

Music is a profound pleasure, even for babies–why?  As neurologist, Oliver Sacks, explained:  “music occupies more areas of our brain than language does—humans are a musical species”!  Indeed, researchers at MIT recently discovered a distinct region for music, apart from language, in the auditory processing area. Beyond the sharing of similar sound signatures that would integrate language and music processes, music perception resides alone.

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with Sue Doherty