Dean Martin’s 100th Birthday!

Dean Martin would have celebrated 100 years on June 7th. His wit, humor, talent and style are renowned around the world. And his talent and fame still transcends the generations.

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Dean Martin with two of his Golddiggers, the Alberici Sisters, backstage at the MGM.

Some of you may already know I had the honor of working with Dean Martin as one of his “Golddiggers” for almost two decades. And yes, he was a cool as he appeared to be on television.

The Vegas Years

When The Golddiggers we were not making TV appearances with Dean, we were touring the world with our stage act. Some of our first gigs were at Caesars Palace in Las Vegas, where we opened for Petula Clark and then again for Steve Lawrence and Edie Gorme. I still remember how extremely protective Edie was of Steve when we were around. I don’t know what she was thinking but her reaction was pretty funny. After all, we weren’t those kind of gold diggers.

In the 1970’s, in between taping television shows, we were frequently head-liners with Bobby Goldsboro at the Thunderbird Hotel. The Golddiggers were also the opening act for Joan Rivers and regulars at the MGM Grand with Dean.

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The “king of cool” was always charming and generous in sharing his funny banter with us.

 

Vegas was very hip and glamorous in those days. In the 1980’s Dean Martin and The Golddiggers became a regular act at Bally’s Las Vegas, breaking box office records. More than just work partners, like a family we shared special occasions like birthdays and Christmas together, even some heartbreaking times.

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Celebrating Dean’s birthday about 32 Years ago! Dean Martin and The Golddiggers at Bally’s, circa 1985 – 86. From left to right: Patti Gribow, Maria (Alberici) Lauren, Dean Martin, Robyn Whatley and Linda (Alberici) Eichberg

 

Dean’s Softer Side

Dean was sensitive and caring. When we were performing at Bally’s in the 1980’s, I had a medical emergency and had to be hospitalized. Dean was so sweet; he surprised my mom and my husband, who had to fly in and stay with me in Vegas, by paying their hotel bill. He also called and sent me the most beautiful red roses, two dozen! He was a gentleman, a class act all the way. The Golddiggers were too, what pros! Twenty minutes before show time they found out I was on my way to the hospital. In that short time they were able to re-choreograph the show and cover my solo’s. No one in the audience was the wiser.

Dean Martin Ann Margret Collage

The phrasing and delivery of Dean’s quips are so clear in my mind. He had the perfect comedic timing!

 

The Dean Martin Show Years

We put together some television clips of songs from The Dean Martin Show along with some of our fondest photo memories. I hope our heartfelt birthday tribute to Dean brings a smile to your face! Enjoy a look back at a sweet time in television history.

 

Happy 100th birthday Dean!

Love, Linda and “Your Golddiggers”!

Dean Martin & The Golddiggers backstage at the MGM with the Alberici Sisters

Dean Martin and The Golddiggers, circa 1975

 

Read about our adventures with Dean Martin, The Golddiggers and the ‘Legends of Las Vegas’ in our book Beyond Our Wildest Dreams, available on Amazon!

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© All rights reserved

Not Our Usual Family Project – Let’s Shoot A Music Video!

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In Memory of Harry Jarvis

This past year, a virtual stranger came into our lives and poured his time and talent into a project for my niece because of his love for the entertainment industry!

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Harry Jarvis, a  videographer from Nashville, approached my niece, Marianna, a talented singer/songwriter and asked if he could shoot a music video of her song “Lady Luck”.

Harry had heard her song about Las Vegas and he also read excerpts of the book, Beyond Our Wildest Dreams, written by my me and my sister, Maria. A good portion of our book is about our experiences working with the Rat Pack and the entertainment legends of Las Vegas. Marianna’s song about the current ‘Sin City’, as well as our stories from the past, inspired Harry to come up with a concept and financing to produce the music video.

Here I am backstage with my sister and Frank Sinatra in 1977.

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Photo from our tour with Frank Sinatra and Dean Martin when my sister Maria and I were members of the famous girl group, “The Golddiggers”

Harry Jarvis had a great sense of humor, as you will see by the outtakes he added at the end of the video. It was fun doing this project with him. I was amazed by what he could create with a camera, lap top and green screen. His imagination was huge!

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Harry Jarvis

With insatiable curiosity to hear about our adventures in Las Vegas with the ‘Stars’, Harry could listen to our stories for hours if we let him. More than once, my sister and I had to snap him out of the spell our tales of the Vegas glory days cast on him, so he could get back to work and finish the project on time.

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Lady Luck

Marianna’s music video was homegrown. It was mostly shot at my home and featured friends and family with a special appearance by the ‘Alberici Sisters’. It was a party every night after the day’s filming was over! Unfortunately, not too long after we shot the video, Harry suddenly passed away from a massive heart attack. This is the last edit he sent us.

Harry was like an angel disguised as a stranger. He became our friend and left us much to quickly. It was shocking and sad. We connected with Harry on many levels. My sister Maria had the opportunity to answer questions he had about Christianity and Jesus. I have to think, in the grand scheme of things, maybe our meeting was not as much about making the video but perhaps more about sharing the gospel? We’ll never know. God bless you and keep you, Harry. Rest in peace.

Grateful for the the time we had together. May his love and passion live on.

~ Linda

Don’t forget to show hospitality to strangers, for some who have done this have entertained angels without realizing it! – Hebrews 13:2 (NLT)

Read stories about vintage Las Vegas in Beyond Our Wildest Dreams by Alberici Sisters on  Amazon

© All rights reserved

Music Does a Mind and Body Good

THE POWER OF MUSIC

Music has the power to stir our emotions, to move us to dance, cry or be still in wonder. Think about how adeptly a movie’s music sound track adds to its drama and helps to lift you into the movie’s emotional highs and lows. Music can affect the body and mind in very powerful ways. Scientific evidence has shown that music can change our mood or help us concentrate. It is even used to heal. Hospitals are beginning to use music therapy to help with pain management and to help ease stress and muscle tension. ¹

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Music and the Brain – Body Connection

Music can help your mood by stimulating the brain which affects changes in other bodily functions like breathing and heart rate. Some people listen to music to help them focus, re-energize or to help them relax. Listening to music with strong beats results in brainwaves resonating in sync with the beats of the music, which gives one more concentration and alert thinking. It doesn’t matter what your taste in music is, enjoying your favorite music could help your mood, according to a 2011 Canadian study, published in Nature Neuroscience. ²

Studies have also found that the beats per minute, the speed of a piece of music, can determine what music is best for performing certain tasks. For instance, to stimulate learning listen to music with 50 to 80 beats per minute, such as Mirrors by Justin Timberlake. This tempo has a calming effect on the mind that is conducive to logical thought, allowing the brain to learn and remember new facts, according to psychologist, Dr. Emma Grey

When selecting music for the fitness classes I teach, I match the music to the tempo of the workout. It helps participants get better results. A study at Brunel University in West London has shown that music can increase endurance by as much as 15 per cent and help lower the perception of effort during a workout.

Music and Wellness

Listening to music can stimulate reactivate speech centers of the brain, prompt memory and improve gait and coordination.  Gait training that uses music, significantly improves balance, coordination and walking speed for people with Parkinson’s. Patients who participated in music therapy improved their ability to do such tasks as cut food and get dressed, and said they were less likely to experience the  freezing-up of muscles that occurs with Parkinson’s. ³

Music can help promote positive focus and it is used as therapy in dealing with mental health conditions. Researchers at McGill University in Montreal showed that listening to pleasurable music of any kind triggered the release of the feel‑good chemical dopamine. It’s no wonder that I love music and singing; it’s a good kind of high!

“Music acts like a magic key, to which the most tightly closed heart opens.” – Maria von Trapp

My sister, Maria, and I sing with a big band. We love to get people dancing and in a good mood with music.

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The Alberici Sisters

We’re grateful for music and for the wonderful musicians in our life.

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We recently paid tribute to Frank Sinatra’s 100th birthday in a show and a fan captured a song on video! Enjoy “Fly Me To the Moon.”

You can read stories about when Maria and I performed with Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin and friends in our book, Beyond Our Wildest Dreams!

Keep a song in your heart, Linda

“My heart , O God, is steadfast; I will sing and make music with all my soul.” – Psalm 108:1

 

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BEYOND OUR WILDEST DREAMS is available on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and Alibis.

Footnotes:

1. http://stress.about.com/od/tensiontamers/a/music_therapy.htm

2. http://www.wwu.edu/wwura/1301.pdf

3. Mind-Body-Spirit News June 01, 2007 by Shirley Archer, JD, MA  & http://www.webmd.com/parkinsons-disease/news/20000620/music-helps-parkinsons-patients

*This blog is dedicated to my dear friend, Joanne, who is bravely living with Parkinson’s. 

© All rights reserved

Grateful Life Quotes From Frank Sinatra

Frank Sinatra was born on December 12, 1915. He had a birthday this week and it got me thinking about him. In the summer of 1977 I had the privilege of touring with Frank Sinatra and Dean Martin. Frank was one of the most unusual men I have ever met, he was in a class of his own.

Happy birthday Frank Sinatra!

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Ava Gardner and Frank Sinatra share birthday cake

“I’m for decency — period. I’m for anything and everything that bodes love and consideration for my fellow man.” ~ Frank Sinatra, 1962

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Traveling Buddies – Dean Martin and Frank Sinatra

“If you don’t know the guy on the other side of the world, love him anyway because he’s just like you. He has the same dreams, the same hopes and fears. It’s one world, pal. We’re all neighbors.” – Frank Sinatra, 1962

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Fun times with Frank and his pal Dean

When Frank Sinatra accepted the Jean Hersholt Humanitarian Award, he had this to say:

“I’ve been thinking about why you have to get famous to get an award for helping other people. If your name is John Doe, and you work night and day doing things for your helpless neighbors, what you get for your effort is tired. So, Mr. and Mrs. Doe, and all of you who give of yourselves, to those who carry too big a burden to make it on their own, I want you to reach out and take your share of this. Because if I have earned it, so too have you.” – Frank Sinatra

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“If power doesn’t mean that you have the opportunity to work with the people that you love , then you haven’t really got any.” – Frank Sinatra

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“My greatest teacher was not a vocal coach, not the work of other singers, but the way Tommy Dorsey breathed and phrased on the trombone.” ~ FRANK SINATRA, quoted in Music: A Book of Quotations 

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“People often remark that I’m pretty lucky. Luck is only important in so far as getting the chance to sell yourself at the right moment. After that, you’ve got to have talent and know how to use it.” – Frank Sinatra

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“I love all those girls the same as they love me. I get thousands of letters a week from girls who love me…. Every time I sing a song, I make love to them. I’m a boudoir singer.” ~ FRANK SINATRA, quoted in His Way: An Unauthorized Biography of Frank Sinatra

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On the set of the Dean Martin Variety Show, Frank and Dean with the Dingaling Sisters

“Whatever else has been said about me personally is unimportant. When I sing, I believe. I’m honest.” ~ FRANK SINATRA, quoted in And I Quote

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“Don’t hide your scars. They make you who you are.” – Frank Sinatra

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“A friend is never an imposition.” ~ Frank Sinatra

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Good Friends – Frank, Sammy and Dean

“I’m not one of those complicated, mixed-up cats. I’m not looking for the secret to life…. I just go on from day to day, taking what comes.” – Frank Sinatra 

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Sinatra family, the early years

“I would like to be remembered as a man who had a wonderful time living life, a man who had good friends, fine family – and I don’t think I could ask for anything more than that, actually.” ~ Frank Sinatra

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Frank loved to laugh and he loved his friends. When we toured together, he traveled with a large entourage of people. Among them were some of the best musicians in the world. Sinatra was a pretty intense guy to work with because he demanded excellence in his music. I’m extremely grateful to have watched and learned from his musical genius and to have met some of the members of his family. It was a blessing.

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Backstage with Frank Sinatra and The Golddiggers, that’s me on the top right.

In our book “Beyond Our Wildest Dreams”, my sister Maria and I share stories about our time with Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin and The Golddiggers. We also give insight into what is was like to work with the ‘Stars’ on Dean’s TV Show, The Tonight Show and more. Dozens of musicians and entertainers contributed to the book. Read the inside stories from people who were there.

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BEYOND OUR WILDEST DREAMS by The Alberici Sisters is available on:

Amazon & Barnes and Noble

For more info visit – www.BeyondOurWildestDreams.com

With gratitude to God,

~ Linda

“I will be fully satisfied with the richest of foods; with singing lips my mouth will praise you”. – Psalm 63 :5

 

© All rights reserved. Content within this blog may not be use without expressed written permission. 

THAT’S WHEN THE MUSIC TAKES ME

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Music lifts the spirit and adds beauty to everyday life and we could all use more of that!

David Tame, a musicologist and author of the book, The Secret Power of Music explains that almost every function of the physical body can be affected by musical tones. The roots of the auditory nerves are more widely distributed and possess more extensive connections than those of any other nerves in the body. Investigation has shown that music affects digestion, internal secretions, circulation, nutrition, respiration, and even the neural networks of the brain.

“God is no distant deity out of touch with the earthly sphere of life, but one who is made known in the beauty of nature and expressed in music and the arts.” – Robert E. Webber, Who Gets To Narrate The World

 

I am grateful to God for the music in my life.

A few weeks ago, I had the pleasure of hearing my nephew, Jeremy Eichberg, sing with the LA Jewish Symphony. He was the tenor soloist and his voice soared. The classical selections were masterfully performed by the soloists, orchestra and choir. The harmonies resonated in my spirit.

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Dip Vertigo (Jeremy Eichberg)

I have also experienced Jeremy in a completely different forum, as Dip Vertigo, djin at drum n bass events. That’s an energizing experience! Dip is entertaining, whether singing opera or rocking edm stages. Catch him at the House of Blues-Sunset Strip.  He’s hitting the main stage, Tuesday, May 27, 7:30. He’ll be spinning his best dnb bangers and multiple genres through the night.

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Erin Eichberg

I am very proud of all my nieces and nephews, but this month was Erin’s turn to shine! She graduated CSUN with a Bachelors Degree in Deaf Studies. Erin was able to accomplished all this while juggling the demands of motherhood. She not only graduated but did it in grand style with Summa Cum Laude Honors. She is an amazing woman with a heart of gold.

Erin discovered her passion for deaf studies when she was singing and acting in the national touring company of the Tony Award winning musical Big River. In this critically acclaimed revival, all dialogue and lyrics in the production were both spoken or sung and signed, making the production equally accessible to hearing and deaf audiences. It was a very powerful and moving show.

“I think music in itself is healing. It’s an explosive expression of humanity. It’s something we are all touched by. No matter what culture we’re from, everyone loves music.” – Billy Joel

 

My sister Maria Lauren and I will be dishing up our own musical fare Upstairs at Vitello’s in Studio City, along with the swingin’ LA Winds Jazz Band. The Great American Songbook will be presented with a flair and a sound that is uniquely “The Alberici Sisters.”

alberici-sisters-maria-lauren-linda-eichberg-vitello'sThe musical evening will be seasoned with stories from our book, “Beyond Our Wildest Dreams” and our days performing with “The Golddiggers” on the Dean Martin Show, as well as performing with Bob Hope, Steve & Eydie, Jay Leno, Jerry Vale, Louis Prima, the Rat Pack and more!

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Marianna Riccio

We are thrilled to have special guests, vocal artist, Dave Berges joining us, along with my niece, singer-songwriter, Marianna Riccio.  It’s party time, Sunday, June 1st!

“What we play is life”! – Louis Armstrong

For more info and tickets:

http://www.vitellosjazz.com/event/showstoppers-the-alberici-sisters-and-the-la-winds-jazz-band/

 

Many Blessings, Linda

“The Lord’s blessing is our greatest wealth; all our works adds nothing to it.” – Proverbs 10:22

 

Refrences:
The Secret Power of Music: The Transformation of Self and Society through Musical Energy by David Tame

Who Gets to Narrate the World?: Contending for the Christian Story in an Age of Rivals by Robert E. Webber

Big River: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Big_River_(musical)

Beyond Our Wildest Dreams by The Alberici Sisters, Maria Lauren and Linda EichbergBeyond-Our-Wildest-Dreams-Alberici-Sisters-book

Available on Amazon & Barnes and Noble

© copyright, may not be used without expressed written permission.

Keeping the Holidays CHEER–FULL and STRESS–LESS

“It’s the most wonderful time of the year”… or not. The holidays can be overwhelming or stressful for some people. Many people struggle with juggling all the extras that come along with the holidays. I also have to work at finding balance and staying focused on what’s most important. Here are some simple reminders that will help you have the most cheerful of holidays.

Dishing Up the Holiday CHEER

C – Come together! Community is important for the individual. Develop stronger relationships and start new ones. Get together with people who bring you joy and build you up in your purpose and faith. 

H – Help others! Express thankfulness for what you have by giving to others in your own unique way. Simple acts of kindness become bigger when you do them together with a group of like-minded people. Show gratitude to people who have been a blessing in your life; bless them back.

E – Enjoy! See through the eyes of a child and get in touch with your inner child. Enjoy the holidays by expressing your own brand of cheer! Be creative. Be positive. Have fun!

E – Examine! Do some soul searching. Don’t let ‘sin’ or ‘missing the mark’ get in the way of your peace and joy. Facing relatives or friends that you are holding a grudge against or you have wronged, can be a big cause of anxiety. If someone or something comes to mind that needs your attention or repentance, take care of it!

R – Reflect, Renew and Refresh! Reflect on God’s goodness. Renew family traditions. Refresh your mind and let go of worries. Refresh your body with exercise, healthy food and by getting enough rest. Don’t over do it with too many holiday preparations. Be realistic about your time, finances and energy.

What Does Holiday Cheer Look Like?

The sweetest, most wonderful act of love this holiday season came from the cheerful and generous heart of my grand niece, Riley. Here is the short version of the story, in the words of her mom, my niece Erin…

“One night before bed last August she said she wanted to grow her hair for kids who don’t have any. She woke up today and said she couldn’t wait any longer because the sooner she cuts it, the sooner another child will have it. So, this afternoon she had 10 inches cut to donate to Locks Of Love! She was very nervous, but also very excited. I could not be prouder of my baby girl who did something very grown up today. Such a mitzvah during this season of giving!”

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Riley’s special Hanukkah gift – donating her beautiful long hair to “Locks of Love”

♥ I am so proud of Riley and her unique example of cheerful giving! ♥

“Assuredly, I say to you, whoever does not receive the kingdom of God as a little child will by no means enter it.” (Jesus in Luke 18:17 & Mark 10:15)

Counting My Blessings

This season brought many precious moments with family and friends. There were several birthday celebrations, including my own BIG birthday! My mother even flew in from back East for the occasion.

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“A Cheerful Heart Is A Continual Feast”!

Celebrating both Hanukkah and Christmas is tradition in my family. So is going to see a Christmas show with friends. A few days ago we saw “Dave Koz and Friends Christmas Tour 2013.” The show was fantastic! There was a nice mix of jazz, blues, classical and gospel music. The show featured both Hanukkah and Christmas songs. Along with Dave Koz, the other stars of the show were: Oleta Adams, Jonathan Butler and Keiko Matsui.

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At a high point in the show Jonathan Butler had us sing a phrase from one of his songs to the people on our right and on or left. It was fun to break the ice with strangers and see their faces begin to light up. It was a little awkward at first but after awhile you could see the stress melting away.

I am filled with these words we sang together with the entertainers and the audience that night.

“Forget all you problems, forget all your worries, God will make a way. Forget all you problems, forget all your worries, it’s a brand new day”!

God did make a way for all of us through His Son, Jesus. For me, Christmas time is a time of joyful and grateful reflection of my Savior’s birth and all the blessings he brings. Yes, it is the most wonderful time of the year when Jesus is the reason for the season!

I wish you and yours a Merry Christmas filled with love and  a very healthy and happy New Year. ~ Linda

Brand-New-Day-photo-copyright-Linda-Eichberg

Bible Verses for Relieving Stress

“Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.” – Jesus (in John 14:27)

“And he said to his disciples, ‘Therefore I tell you, do not be anxious about your life, what you will eat, nor about your body, what you will put on. For life is more than food, and the body more than clothing. Consider the ravens: they neither sow nor reap, they have neither storehouse nor barn, and yet God feeds them. Of how much more value are you than the birds! And which of you by being anxious can add a single hour to his span of life? If then you are not able to do as small a thing as that, why are you anxious about the rest'”? – Luke 12:22-26 ESV

“Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.” – Matthew 6:34

“But the worries of this life, the temptation of wealth, and many other evil desires keep the teaching from growing and producing fruit in their lives.” – Mark 4:19 NCV

“Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.” – Philippians 4:6-8

“An anxious heart weighs a man down, but a kind word cheers him up.” – Proverbs 12:25.

“I sought the LORD, and he heard me, and delivered me from all my fears.”  -Psalm 34:4

“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.” – Matthew 11:28-30

“So we say with confidence, ‘The Lord is my helper; I will not be afraid. What can man do to me’”? – Hebrews 13:6

“What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us? He who did not spare his own Son but gave him up for us all, how will he not also with him graciously give us all things? Who shall bring any charge against God’s elect? It is God who justifies. Who is to condemn? Christ Jesus is the one who died—more than that, who was raised—who is at the right hand of God, who indeed is interceding for us. Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or danger, or sword”? – Romans 8:31-35 ESV

“You, dear children have overcome them, because the One who is in you is greater than the one who is in the world.” – 1 John 4:4

“Humble yourselves, therefore, under God’s mighty hand, that he may lift you up in due time. Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you.” – 1 Peter 5:6-7

“Because of the Lord’s great love we are not consumed, for his compassions never fail. They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness.” – Lamentations 3: 22-23

“There is no fear in love, but perfect love casts out fear. For fear has to do with punishment, and whoever fears has not been perfected in love.” -1 John 4:18 ESV

“Why are you downcast, O my soul? Why so disturbed within me? Put your hope in God, for I will yet praise him, my Savior and my God.” – Psalm 42:5

“Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make your paths straight. Do not be wise in your own eyes; fear the LORD and shun evil. This will bring health to your body and nourishment to your bones.” – Proverbs 3:5-8

“Anxiety in a man’s heart weighs him down, but a good word makes him glad.” – Proverbs 12:25 ESV

“… Those who seek the Lord lack no good thing.” – Psalm 34:10

“When God our Savior revealed his kindness and love, he saved us, not because of the righteous things we had done, but because of his mercy. He washed away our sins, giving us a new birth and new life through the Holy Spirit. He generously poured out the Spirit upon us through Jesus Christ our Savior. Because of his grace he declared us righteous and gave us confidence that we will inherit eternal life.” – Titus 3:4-7

” Since we have been made right with God by our faith, we have peace with God. This happened through our Lord Jesus Christ, who through our faith has brought us into that blessing of God’s grace that we now enjoy. And we are happy because of the hope we have of sharing God’s glory.” – Romans 5: 1-2

“Your word is a lamp for my feet, a light on my path.” – Psalm 119:105

“… God is light; in him there is no darkness at all.” – 1 John 1:5

“And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.” – Romans 8:28

“And my God will meet all your needs according to his glorious riches in Christ Jesus.” – Philippians 4:19

“Neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.” – Romans 8:39

“By standing firm you will gain life.” – Luke 21:19

“I can do everything through him who gives me strength.” – Philippians 4:13

“Commit to the LORD whatever you do, and your plans will succeed.” – Proverbs 16:3

“Seek first God’s kingdom and what God wants. Then all your other needs will be met as well.” – Matthew 6:33 NCV

“…put your hope in the LORD both now and forevermore.” – Psalm 131:1

“May the God of hope fill you waith all joy and peace.” – Romans 15:13

All materials contained within this blog are copyrighted and may not be used without expressed written permission.

Singing Your Way To Health

Learning to walk gracefully in each season of life can be a challenge. Just when I settle comfortably into one season, unexpected change comes and once again I have to adjust and fit ‘new shoes’ for the occasion. It is my faith and trust in God that enables me to move forward and accept the challenges that each new season brings. Sometimes it’s two steps forward and one step back; nevertheless, there is grace and gratitude in every season.

Season For Singing

October has been a great month for break through and revelation. I had several opportunities to sing with my sister and the LA Winds Jazz Band at some very nice venues. It was an awesome blessing to be able to enjoy the fruits of our collective labor and our regular rehearsals. Not every artist gets the opportunity to put their work on its feet so when I do, I am very grateful. I even had the chance to sing for the Compassion First fund raising banquet. [1] A wonderful cause and good occasion to give back the gifts and talents I was given.

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Alberici Sisters: Linda Eichberg & Maria Lauren with LA Winds Jazz Band

REASONS TO SING

Even if you are not a professional or an aspiring professional, singing for fun has many positive health benefits. Singing can be practiced by anyone, regardless of age or expertise. 

  • Singing Reduces Stress and Has the Health Benefits of Yoga

Singing eases stress, clears the mind, and focuses on breathing. This calming effect is as beneficial to our health as yoga. “Song is a form of regular, controlled breathing, since breathing out occurs on the song phrases and inhaling takes place between these,” says Dr Björn Vickhoff, “It gives you pretty much the same effect as yoga breathing. It helps you relax, and there are indications that it does provide a heart benefit.” [2]

  • Singing Improves Breathing and Respiratory Conditions 

The deep full breathing that is encouraged by singing and yoga can train our lungs to breathe more efficiently. I encourage my students to use diaphragmatic breathing as well as lateral breathing into the sides of the waist and also into the back. Expand these areas while breathing in. The Alternate Nostril Breath or Sinus Clearing Breath* in yoga, is also wonderful for opening the sinuses. My students and I sometimes get relief within minutes!

  • Singing Provides Both Physical and Psychological Benefits

“Singing has physical benefits because it is an aerobic activity that increases oxygenation in the blood stream and exercises major muscle groups in the upper body, even when sitting. Singing has psychological benefits because of its normally positive effect in reducing stress levels through the action of the endocrine system which is linked to our sense of emotional well-being. Psychological benefits are also evident when people sing together as well as alone because of the increased sense of community, belonging and shared endeavour.” [3 ]

  • Singing Boosts the Immune System and Helps With Chronic Pain

A study at Cardiff University in 2012 found lung cancer patients who sang in a choir had a greater expiratory capacity than those who didn’t. Singing has also been shown to boost our immune system and according to a report published in the Journal of Music Therapy in 2004, it helped patients cope with chronic pain. [4 ]

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Photo: Linda Eichberg

  • Singing Will Prolong Life and Promote Heart Health

“According to the findings of a joint Harvard and Yale study, choral singing increased the life expectancy of the population of New Haven, Connecticut. The report concluded that this was because singing promoted both a healthy heart and an enhanced mental state.” [5 ]

  • Singing Can Lower Your Blood Pressure and Help You Relax

“You may have heard the heartwarming news story about a woman in Boston whose blood pressure shot up just before knee-replacement surgery. When drugs alone weren’t enough, she began singing her favorite hymns, softly at first, then with more passion. Her blood pressure dropped enough for the procedure, which went off without a hitch. Now, we’re not suggesting you trade blood pressure treatments for a few verses of “Amazing Grace,” but try adding singing to your routine. It releases pent-up emotions, boosts relaxation, and reminds you of happy times, all of which help when stress and blood pressure spike.” [6]

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  • Singing is Good Therapy!

Singing changes the brain and releases endorphins, the ‘feel good’ hormone. It is both calming and energizing. It soothes your nerves and elevates your spirit. [7]

Breath Control

I have found this creating exercise great for opening the sinuses before singing and expanding lung capacity.

* Instructions for Alternate Nostril Breath (Sinus Clearing Breath)

Like in singing it is important that your face, jaw and tongue are relaxed for this yoga breathing exercise. Find a comfortable position. Using your right hand, place your right thumb on the right nostril. Breathe in deeply through the left nostril. Close the left nostril with the first finger and exhale through the right nostril. Breathe in deeply through the right nostril. Close the right nostril with the thumb; exhale through the left. Continue alternating sides. Make sure your breaths are full, starting under the ribs, and then moving into the sides of the waist and back.

Whether you are singing alone in the car, in church, or with a group, keep on singing your way to good health. Can’t wait for Sunday to sing!

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~ With a song in my heart, Linda

 

“Praise the Lord! For it is good to sing praises to our God; For it is pleasant, and praise is beautiful.” Psalm 147:1

 

Refrences:

(1) Compassion First helps survivors of sexual trafficking. http://www.compassionfirst.org/

(2) Dr Björn Vickhoff, led a study at the University of Gothenburg, Sweden into music and wellbeing. http://www.telegraph.co.uk/health/10168914/All-together-now-singing-is-good-for-your-body-and-soul.html

(3) Professor Graham Welch, Chair of Music Education at the Institute of Education, University of London. Professor Graham has studied developmental and medical aspects of singing for 30 years. – http://www.sing2beatbreastcancer.com/?page_id=27 -PsycNET http://psycnet.apa.org/psycinfo/2013-26499-001/

(4) All Together Now: Singing is Good for Your Body and Soul – http://www.telegraph.co.uk/health/10168914/All-together-now-singing-is-good-for-your-body-and-soul.html

(5) Singing: Boosting Health and Morale – http://www.yoga-abode.com/wellbeing/singing_for_wellbeing

(6) Dr. Mehmet C. Oz, MD, and Michael F. Roizen, MD http://www.enhansenments.com/writings/ (7) Singing Changes Your Brain – http://ideas.time.com/2013/08/16/singing-changes-your-brain/

(7) Singing Changes Your Brain – http://ideas.time.com/2013/08/16/singing-changes-your-brain/

DISCLAIMER: This is a personal blog, reflecting my personal opinions and its contents are not intended to offer personal medical advice. This blog does not necessarily reflect the opinions of my employers. You should seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. All content is copyrighted. Photo credit is given when know but some photos of unknown origin may appear on this blog. Please contact me if you have additional information about photo credits.

Life Like Jazz – The Gratitude Life

“It is jazz music that called me to be a musician and I have always sang the songs that moved me the most.” – Harry Connick, Jr.

The month of April was Jazz Appreciation Month in honor of jazz as an original American art form and I have been spending time basking in some fine jazz music. Not that I need an excuse to appreciate or sing jazz, I love it. Give me a jazz song with a sultry sax, a funky bass or marvelous piano solo and I’m transported along with the artists!

I relish the unexpected twists and turns in jazz. It’s free and adventurous. I remember discovering Al Jarreau and his music many years ago and thinking, “he can do that with his voice, awesome.” His vocal acrobatics fascinated me but Al also has tremendous pop crossover appeal.

Ella Fitzgerald has a stamina for riffing that is incredible. Her recording of “How High the Moon” from the highly acclaimed “Ella in Berlin” album is considered one of the best jazz scat solos ever. Her “One Note Samba” live scat is pure genius!

Dianne Reeves is another favorite jazz singer of mine, amazingly talented, her vocal artistry shades and colors her songs beautifully.

“In memory everything seems to happen to music.” ~ Tennessee Williams

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David Sanborn

Music recreates the feelings that marked significant moments in my life. The album, “A Change of Heart” from 1987 brings back bitter sweet memories and emotions. I loved that David Sanborn album. Besides David’s smokin’ hot sax and the R&B jazz fusion, “Chicago Song” was my favorite cut off the album. Another reason this album stands out in my mind is because it was playing a lot during a difficult time for me and it helped lift my spirits.

After the disappointment and pain of having two miscarriages, one of them being a life threatening ectopic pregnancy, I turned in a different direction and put together and performed my first solo show at the “Gardenia” in Hollywood. The show was very well received, a dream come true, but as fate would have it God chose that time for me to finally become pregnant with my beautiful daughter, Lindsay. I abandoned my musical dreams for a while for a new vision of raising a family, a very joyful prospect.

Improvising Life

That particular season of life taught me to be flexible, improvise and go with the flow. It also taught me to be alert and ready. Life, like jazz is unpredictable but when I seek God, He provides the grace and strength for all life’s ups and downs.

As a child, when I got stuck or out of tune, my parents would say, “change the channel.” In other words, we create our own internal ‘radio station’ by the music we make in our heart. What music is playing in the soundtrack of your life?

“Only play what you hear. If you don’t hear anything, don’t play anything.” – Chick Corea

The bible says, “Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks.” Life is a continual prayer and my life is a prayer of thanksgiving set to music. I’m a Christian so there’s a lot of praise music playing in my heart for the gift of Jesus and his amazing grace but there’s jazz too, and friends and family, whose wisdom guides me and keeps me grounded.

“It’s taken me all my life to learn what not to play.” – Dizzy Gillespie

Gratitude for the New Generation of Jazz

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Esperanza Spalding

“Jazz is reborn” with the stellar Esperanza Spalding. I don’t know  of any young ladies that can play a stand up bass the way she does. Love her raw, earthy vocals. She is positively energizing! Her uniqueness is a treasure.

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Dirty Loops

Dirty Loops is a favorite young jazz fusion band of mine. They created a cool new sound but you can hear their roots to the jazz greats that came before them. They do an amazing job reinventing, “Rolling in the Deep.”

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Jane Monheit

With a voice is as smooth as silk, Jane Monheit with Les Paul Trio does a fantastic job with this standard, “East of the Sun (West of the Moon).” I had the good fortune to hear her perform live recently in Hollywood, a very sweet and talented lady.

A play list with links to the music of the artists I mentioned will be at the end of the blog. There are some outrageous improvisational grooves on it! Be sure to check it out!

“I hate straight singing. I have to change a tune to my own way of doing it. That’s all I know.” – Billie Holliday

This Moment in Music

In addition to being a wife, mom, a fitness instructor… today, I am glad to be singing with the LA Winds Jazz Band along with my sister Maria Lauren. Our group consists of men and woman of all ages from their twenties into their sixties. We’re a diverse group of musicians with a mutual passion for jazz, big band swing and a desire to support music education.

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Alberici Sisters: Linda Eichberg & Maria Lauren

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Marianna Riccio

Maria’s daughter, singer-songwriter, Marianna Riccio also lends her dynamic vocals to the group from time to time.

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A friend of ours helped put together this short Youtube. It’s a fun collection of video clips from some of our performances starting with a Dean Martin Show TV Special, taped in the late 1970’s (a parody of the ‘Roaring Twenties’), to our recent performance at the Thousand Oaks Civic Arts Plaza with the Pierce Jazz Band under the direction of John Mitchell.

Life is like jazz with interesting and unpredictable changes. Some chords are dissonant and some ring true. Whether we’re taking chances or playing it safe, it’s all music to God ears when gratitude for His infinite and wonderful love prevails.

Stay jazzy with a song in your heart to God. ~ Linda Eichberg

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Link to a play list of the jazz greats noted in this blog. (Click on the playlist tab to see the separate artists & titles.) Enjoy!

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My prayer for you:

“Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.” – 1Thessalonians 5: 16-18

“Let us then approach God’s throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.” Hebrews 4:16

“Sing to the Lord with grateful praise; make music to our God on the harp.” Psalm 147: 7

DISCLAIMER: This is a personal blog, reflecting my personal opinions and its contents are not intended to offer personal advice. All content is copyrighted. Photo credit is given when know but some photos of unknown origin may appear on this blog. Please contact me if you have additional information about photo credits.