TEDxUNLV 2014 Speaker




April 11, 2014 UNLV hosted TEDxUNLV Event

Judith Pinkerton is 1 of 15 speakers at TEDxUNLV. Her Tedx talk is titled:

Music Powers Potential: Building Mental Fitness

We need your help to spread the word about music’s ability to keep people in stress, anxiety, anger, depression or sadness, or significantly reduce these problem moods using different listening habits. Please share or post anywhere and everywhere. Pass it along to people, organizations, or groups that you think would be interested!

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Creating Healthy Lifestyles: Mental Fitness

FREE event Creating Healthy Lifestyles!

Join Judith, Amy Frost and guest speakers to experience Music 4 Life® programs which create healthy lifestyles.

Next free event is Sunday, January 26 and March 16, 3:00-5:00pm featuring Judith, Mikke Wade and Amy Frost.  RSVP by calling 702-889-2881 or register online.




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International Women’s Forum VIP Speaker

Judith Pinkerton was selected by the International Women’s Forum as a VIP Speaker with an all-expense paid trip to Montego Bay, Jamaica on May 31, 2013. She joined other prolific experts presenting cutting-edge information at this annual global conference focusing on “Music: an Instrument for Change.”

“The feedback for your session, Music & Your Health, has been overwhelmingly positive, and we are grateful for your considerable contribution to it. The insights you and your fellow panelists shared created an interesting and informative dialogue about the benefits of music, and how creative leaders are connecting people to music in more innovative ways than ever before. Your discussion could have continued for the whole afternoon, and I know a few of the participants wish it had! It was our distinct pleasure to have you with us, and we thank you for helping to shape the discussion and to inform the world’s women leaders.”
–  Hon. Deedee Corradini
IWF President, 2011-2013

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Healing Entertainment!

World-class percussionists join author, speaker and award-winning founder of Music 4 Life® Judith Pinkerton, presenting community drum circles and music medicine that heal audiences with significant stress reduction.

Groups numbering 5 to 75: drums and rhythm instruments are provided for interactive experiences in the drum circle, presented by trained drum circle facilitators, including world-class percussionists who have performed with Santana, Oprah, and Maya Angelou, to name a few.

For groups of all sizes, music medicine programs empower audiences to be responsible for their own health care by teaching user-friendly life skills for mental fitness. Presented with inspiring stories that motivate participants to live differently.

Click here to schedule a program

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Moving onto Solutions Wellness Campus

One of my business advisors taught me a lesson in co-branding today when he asked how long I’ve been using my trademarked company name: Music 4 Life®. The answer: 12 years. Then he asked how long I’ve been known in Las Vegas promoting and providing music therapy. The answer: 23 years.  Because you can google Music 4 Life® and find MANY people using the name (infringing on my registered trademark), he emphasized that my name needs to be co-branded with the business. So, Judith Pinkerton’s Music 4 Life® Health Club & Training Center on our building! Stay tuned with excitement building for Music 4 Lifers with our move onto Solutions Wellness Campus and Grand Opening on Sept. 12, 2012, Noon-1:30pm.


Complimentary lunch, refreshments, drum circle, ribbon cutting, tours and more!

2975 South Rainbow Blvd, Las Vegas, NV 89146


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Transforming Trauma

So who is the Archangel of Music? This question reigns in my mind having travelled through trauma the past two days.

It wasn’t until after my lead Drum Circle Facilitator Idris Hester shared his current story with me that I decided to come forth with Wednesday’s trauma. Pictures in my mind’s eye reveal frozen panic when I saw my dirty, torn violin case in front of me/my car in the middle of the road.

Fortunately, with God’s invisible cloak, twice, invaluable instruments were protected from harm within four days of each experience. Idris was driving from one location to another via the freeway with prized djembes left on top of his car and never falling to the ground, and my violin/bows surviving without a scratch (still in tune) under my car while driving/reversing/turning ~ 300 feet.

Miracles happen daily. THANK YOU GOD.  The music cannot be stopped.

Rather than purchase another violin case, Zadkiel was returned to the Jaeger case which I had purchased in Switzerland decades ago.  When queried by a family member about my violin’s name, I began reminiscing – then googling – to confirm my memory.  A book that held meaning for me at the time I brought Zadkiel into my life identified this archangel as charged with the responsibility of music. Made sense to me. At the time I had transitioned from retail management back into music, starting a talent agency to perform all the time to re-connect with my spirit. So I upgraded my violin and Zadkiel was born into my life.

But archangels’ responsibilities must get re-organized because every google search now results in labeling a different archangel in charge of music – Uriel? Sandalphon? Lucifer (before he fell out of heaven)?  Sounds like they have cross-training to accommodate for heavy workloads.  God knows they’re probably putting in a lot of overtime right now to save earth in this time of heavy doses of trials.

So what’s my personal perspective of all this?

Heaven is what we make of each moment. I’m not waiting to die to go there. I create it right now with peace of mind and living in the present moment, inviting God’s eternal presence to act through me with compassion, love, mercy, grace, charity, comfort, joy, forgiveness, transformation and gentleness. Not to say I am totally comfortable all of the time allowing free movement of all these God qualities, but hey – I’m just human having a “be-ing” experience where I am challenged daily with balancing do-ing with be-ing.

So, through sharing with a few chosen others and contemplating this week’s journey in music, meditation and prayer, I have stopped beating myself up for running over my violin two days ago, and instead embraced the miracle of the day, learned an invaluable life lesson, and moved on to living in the moment fully – without getting stuck in the past!

You too can shift when you need to by using all these methods including Music 4 Life’s Music Medicine life skills. Wouldn’t it be wonderful if you, too, could fluidly flow through all your emotions with self-regulation that targets optimal productivity, peace and joy? I invite you to join me on a constant path of self-discovery, awareness and empowerment as we journey together through the unfolding events of 2012.

More to be revealed …

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Judith Pinkerton Launches New Webinar Series

Current events and educational workshops are featured in webinars with key-note speaker Judith Pinkerton. Her perspective on music used as medicine has proved to be invaluable in helping participants transform life conditions.  The Music 4 Life® webinars are loaded with content and sometimes advertised only three days in advance for free presentations, so become a member of Music 4 Life to receive timely notifications.

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Part 4 (Final) – Nevada Music Therapy Licensure Journey

Welcome to my final blog on successful legislative advocacy, addressing our failures and successes with legislation. The following is a brief overview excerpted from upcoming presentations for the Online Conference for Music Therapy, February 18, 06:15 GMT and the Western Region Conference in Salt Lake City, March 23, 5pm.

Legislative Bills

As a result of teamwork, five music therapy bills were introduced to the Nevada Legislature between 2007-2011. Two passed, one failed, one was written into the successful bill, and one bill converted to the other successful bill.  It sounds complicated even though in the moment everything seems perfectly clear – or not.  Immersing ourselves into the state legislative process with courage and commitment to finding out how it works – or doesn’t work – allowed us to fully blend with the myriad of pathways to successful legislation.  I urge you to connect with your district’s legislators from both houses so that they come to know and trust you. Relationships are so important for successful legislation.

  • Familiarize legislators with music therapy that connects to their personal interests.
  • Introduce legislators to music therapy resources within their district that may be outside their personal interest, but connects them to constituents.
  • Follow up constantly with legislators who are interested in pursuing state recognition for music therapy. Remember – it’s not about getting a job, but rather providing greater access to services, protecting the public, avoiding confusion, and regulating service provision by requiring credentials.

Success depends on your backbone, not your wishbone.” — Unknown


Be willing to fail as you advocate for state recognition: we built success with final music therapy licensure passage from past failures. And remember – it’s easier to apologize if a mis-step is made: claim ignorance then move on.

“A successful man is one who can build a firm foundation with the bricks that others throw at him.” — Davi d Brinkley

A federal music therapy grant I submitted for $1.6 million was scored high and recommended for funding, but national disasters re-routed funding to other areas. Medicaid approved then rescinded music therapy provider approval. The military mental health network declined music therapy provider status due to lack of a state license. State recognition was divided between north and south for reimbursing music therapy for children with Autism. Senate Bill SB558 (2007) appeared dead but was actually added to Senate Bill SB579 for passage in the “nth hour.” Assembly Bill AB445 (2009) failed miserably.

“Failure is the opportunity to begin again more intelligently.” — Henry Ford

Music Therapy Successes in Nevada

  1. Senate Bill SB 579 for Music Therapy Equipment Statewide (2007) $109,590
  2. Fund for a Healthy Nevada music therapy programs (2008-10) $305,798
  3. University of Nevada, Las Vegas adding a music therapy degree program to their strategic plan with the first class taught (Fall, 2009)
  4. Senate Bill SB190 for Music Therapy State Licensure (2011)

Final Thoughts

If you don’t understand fully what state recognition means, I humbly share that I didn’t understand it either when I began the journey in 2004  nor when I scheduled two legislative events with only 30 days notice in 2007.  So *you* too can grow your personal advocacy journey, spreading your passion, to achieve state recognition! Your journey will be different than Nevada’s journey because your state has different governance, advocates, opposition, and funding. I accept the best for your path as we grow our music therapy profession together!

“The difference between a successful person and others is not a lack of strength, not a lack of knowledge, but rather a lack of will.” — Vince Lombardi

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Part 3 – Nevada Music Therapy Licensure Journey

Welcome to my third blog on successful legislative advocacy, addressing events and marketing tips. The following is a brief overview excerpted from upcoming presentations for the Online Conference for Music Therapy, February 18, 06:15 GMT and the Western Region Conference in Salt Lake City, March 23, 5pm.


Public events are necessary to educate, honor and celebrate the multi-facets of music therapy. Three Nevada Legislature events were successful over four years, along with regular music therapy public events scheduled in southern and northern Nevada for ten plus years.  Our biggest challenge: Nevada employs less than one dozen music therapists with extreme distances of 450 miles between densely populated areas in northern and southern Nevada.

Therefore, additional music therapists were needed with strong advocacy skills. The first legislative events were scheduled in the Governor’s Mansion and the State Legislature Building featuring music therapists in Reno and Las Vegas, Oregon and Washington D.C., Remo employees from California, and local music therapy clients demonstrating the benefits of music therapy through performance and drum circles. These February 2007 events created the template for other states’ advocacy efforts. Sponsors and participants included:

  • Nevada Arts Council
  • Remo, Inc.
  • WRAMTA – Western Region Chapter, American Music Therapy Association
  • AMTA – American Music Therapy Association
  • Omni-Present Sound Research and Development, Inc.
  • Center for Creative Therapeutic Arts
  • The Note-Ables
  • Marvin Picollo School

The legislative events were very successful even though not well-attended due to last-minute conflicts and not being close to a dense population area.

  • Key legislators attended early who received 1:1 attention from music therapists to learn more about the profession who then provided essential advocacy support for future successful bills.
  • University of Nevada, Las Vegas attended and finally listed a music therapy degree program on their strategic plan.
  • Key meetings occurred with the Department of Education and Health & Human Services which built relations for future legislative efforts.
  • Media coverage featured these events on the front page of the Capitol’s newspaper.
  • The most powerful Senator in Nevada sent an invitation during the event to present our funding request before the Senate Finance Committee scheduled within days of the event – which resulted in funding.

Testifying before the Senate is an event that can be successful using different approaches.

  • Spontaneous testimony and materials speaking from the heart.
  • Advance planning with music therapists and clients identified to speak on specific topics and/or perform.
  • Playing recorded music of a memorable performance which stimulated emotional response to pass a bill.

Local events serve to educate, honor and celebrate partnership achievements with heart-warming stories about music therapy’s effects.  These events can build partnerships, advocates, clientele and media relationships. If fund-raising is also the focus, then silent and live auctions, event tickets, raffles, etc. round out the successful event. An “event” can be a 1:1 on an airplane, a library educational seminar, a staff in-service, a concert, a fashion show, or a gourmet dinner. Your imagination is the limit to the possibilities!


Build relationships with media – radio, television, newspaper, magazine – for music therapy stories. This requires clients who are willing (comply with HIPPA law) to advocate for greater service access with written permissions telling heart-warming stories with photos and videos about music therapy’s effectiveness.

When marketing music therapy, avoid the appearance of trying to create new jobs. Focus on needs, problems and solutions. Here are some marketing tips when expanding your efforts beyond your current clients.

  • Focus on providing greater access to music therapy, protecting the public, ensuring music therapy providers are credentialed, and avoiding confusion about what music therapy is and is not.
  • Include statewide music therapy representation to attract statewide support, both urban and rural.
  • Create marketing materials with heart-warming statewide client interactions in pictures and brief stories.
  • Accumulate all population fact sheets from the American Music Therapy Association to share with VIPs who have specific interests.
  • Video example is optimally less than two minutes demonstrating before/after music therapy effects (not the actual intervention) with permission for use.
  • Use neutral contact information for a music therapy task force to avoid conflicts of interest (i.e. nvmusictherapytaskforce@gmail.com or your state music therapy association contact info).
  • Organize successful events showcasing music therapy and acknowledging supporters.
  • Register as an unpaid lobbyist to access legislative private office space and elevate the profile of music therapy.
  • Build positive media relations (i.e. invite a media personality to Emcee your event).
  • Print out the legislator directory with pictures and room to make notes for staff names, advocate assignments, etc., updating after each election. Don’t discard old directories as “retired” legislators may still be important advocates and your notes from previous interactions are important to reference.
  • Create a database of all legislators’ emails which needs updating after each election.
  • Send event invitations that include DVD invites or video emails to VIPs (i.e. legislators and their staff).

Listen to music therapist Patti Catalano’s interview with Judith on the Music 4 Life Radio Show podcast aired July 22, 2011 to learn more about the Washington State of Music Therapy. Patti is the Regional Project Manager for the American Music Therapy Association’s $400,000 Wilson Trust Puget Sound Music Therapy Project.

“Success is not the destination, it’s the journey.” — Unknown

Reference Judith’s January 5 blog post for the link to the advocacy personality quiz and read about the important collaborative efforts and support offered by AMTA and CBMT.


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Part 2 – Nevada Music Therapy Licensure Journey

Welcome to Judith’s second blog on successful legislative music therapy advocacy, addressing advocacy skills and communication pathways. The following is a brief overview excerpted from her upcoming presentations for the Online Conference for Music Therapy, February 18, 06:15 GMT and the Western Region Conference in Salt Lake City, March 23, 5pm.

Advocacy Skills

The successful legislative Advocate is well-armed with multi-faceted ways of communicating music therapy’s strengths. As a member or supporter of the State Task Force, s/he recognizes that one person alone does not possess all the required skills for a successful campaign, nor has the time to execute all supportive areas. Therefore, the well-rounded, cohesive Task Force comprises diverse skill sets to facilitate maneuvering successfully through many different target markets, including public and private sectors. When building your team, recruit people – music therapists and non-music therapists – with specific skills and willingness to volunteer, from a diverse pool of your colleagues, support staff, family, friends, media, business leaders, board of directors, caregivers and clients. Legislators like to see their constituents from all walks of life. The Task Force Chair is optimally a strong leader capable of melding many different personalities, communication styles, commitments, and expertise, as well as demonstrate his/her willingness to feature everyone else and allow others to lead, too. Here are some thoughts about skill areas needed for successful advocacy.

  • Crafting all correspondence, advocacy aka marketing materials (print, internet, video), and public speeches to be appropriate within each target market. (i.e. crucial meetings with 30-second to 3-minute overviews with legislators in hallways or social media for timely connections and squelching misinformation)
  • Connect meaningfully with legislators to create advocacy. (i.e. read their bios for information related to interest areas)
  • Build advocates who are state agency leaders, business leaders, clients and caregivers. (i.e. enthused parents want to shout to the world what is happening so file their written permission and story for that moment when media contacts you)

“Some people skate to the puck. I skate to where the puck is going to be.” — Wayne Gretzky

Communication Pathways

Timing is crucial with appropriate means of verbal and written communication methods. Find out what communication method works best for each person, work setting, or situation. As the legislative journey continues with increasing intensity, you may find that previously effective methods are no longer used and 1-20 word texts are optimal!

  • Develop good relations with your personal legislator and the legislator in your business’ district to build trust for that “final hour” when they may vote without time to read legislation updates. They just may trust your advice.
  • Your party line (Republican or Democrat) may suit you for special assignment when the power of persuasion is crucial.
  • Discover what time of day is best using which communication method for optimal connection.
  • Become friends with legislative staff as they are your best connection to their legislator.

Verbal communication happens in-person (first impression sticks), telephone, video conference, and possible public bathroom discussions. Written communications include letters, emails, eNews, texting, press releases, social media, and adaptable advocacy packets.

  • Be mindful and respectful of time.
  • In–person and video conferencing can be terrifying while testifying before legislators. Speak with humble confidence and respect (know protocol and listen). Take notes, be willing to admit not knowing the answer, and follow up asap being mindful of protocol.
  • Let your passion lead with a brief client story that interests legislator(s), cost effectiveness, etc.

Listen to music therapist Kat Fulton’s interview with Judith on the Music 4 Life Radio Show podcast aired June 10, 2011. Because Kat experienced loss of one communication method, she created and strengthened another method that is now the core of her business model that reaches ’round the world.

“Politics should be the part time job of every citizen.” – Dwight D. Eisenhower

[Judith notes that advocacy is the political process to influence public policy.]

Reference Judith’s January 5 blog post for the link to the advocacy personality quiz and read about the important collaborative efforts and support offered by AMTA and CBMT.

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