Annotated Bibliography & Suggested Reading

This referenced and annotated bibliography from Songs Science & Spiritis a resource list of some of the books that have been instrumental in Heather’s personal journey. In some cases book cover and personal comments are included.

Music & Music Therapy

Atkins, Kathleen, Lifting Spirits with Music, a music program for seniors in long-term care settings that can be used by community volunteers, Atkins Kathleen, © Kathleen Sharon Atkins M.A. Music/Gerontology,1998

Kathy Atkins was one of my first teachers, igniting me with ideas that led to story~songs; teaching me about special seniors. Her influence goes far beyond her book.

Leeds, Joshua, The Power of Sound, Healing Arts Press, 2001

“An indispensable guidebook to a new awareness of sound, and an exceptional resource for personal and professional use. Educators, therapists, and anyone with ears will find Joshua Leed’s work inspiring and practical as they endeavor to promote learning, performance, and wellbeing.” Shiela Smith Allen, MA, OTR, BPC

MacTavish, Heather, Creating New Rhythms with Old Songs, A rollicking musical resource for individuals, groups and gatherings, 2003

“Heather MacTavish has transformed challenges into unique rhythmic abilities for herself and others. She is not only the pioneer in the field of rhythm empowerment for special needs populations; she gave it life. She not only does the work, she is the work.” Arthur Hull, Drum Circle Spirit

A resource guide for vintage songs. Simply the Best!

MacTavish, Heather, Songs Science & Spirit, Musical keys to open special doors of ability , 2011

Songs Science & Spirit provides riveting, poignant, and entertaining stories of other individuals breakthroughs, challenges and the explorations using drum circle facilitation, rhythm-based learning, and song –all interwoven with wisdom and insight.” Robert Lawrence Friedman, The Healing Power of the Drum

Ortiz, John M. The Tao of Music, Sound Psychology, Weisler Books, 1997

“uses behavioral, cognitive and effective psychological techniques incorporated with toning, chanting, affirmations, and visualization to help deal with issues such as chronic pain, lack of self esteem...”

Taylor, Dale B, Biomedical Foundations of Music as Therapy. St Louis, MO: MMB Music, Inc., 1997

Songs, Science & Spirit has over twenty references from Dr. Taylor’s work which are essential to an understanding of how music and the mind relate.

Tomaino ACMT-BC, Concetta M, ed., Clinical Applications of Music in Neurologic Rehabilitation. MMB Music, Inc., 1998

“Provides several clinical examples of the effective application of music in helping individuals to cope with and recover from the loss of neurologic function as well as an overview as to how music may influence brain function.”

Drumming & Drum Circles

Friedman, Robert Lawrence, M.A., The Healing Power of the Drum, A psychotherapist explores the healing power of rhythm. White Cliffs Media, 2000.

“This breakthrough book examines the use of hand drums in treating at-risk adolescents, stressed-out employees, Vietnam veterans, Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, Multiple Sclerosis, and more.”

One of Heather’s personal favourites, and she claims a minimal amount of bias. See pages 70-74 for biographical information about Heather and her health challenges which include Parkinson’s disease.

Hull, Arthur, Drum Circle Spirit – Facilitating Human Potential Through Rhythm, White Cliffs Media, 1998

"Recognized as the father of the modern drum circle movement, Arthur Hull provides the only comprehensive manual (including drumming cds, facilitation exercises, and so forth) on how to facilitate."

Although the drum is his tool of choice, the skills he teaches have universal applications. He is one of the great teachers of my life.

Hull, Arthur, Drum Circle Facilitation – Building Community Through Rhythm. Village Music Circles, 2007

“Arthur’s extraordinary wisdom, captivating style, unsurpassed talent, brilliant sense of humor and uncompromising commitment doesn’t even begin to match his unparalled knack for inspiring leaders and teaching the art of community drum circle facilitation.”

Arthur’s first facilitation book (along with a week-long Playshop in Hawaii) gave me the basic training needed to develop programs with seniors and individuals with challenges. His second book is another staple in my toolbox, offering language and foundation for actions of accomplishment and skill refinement.

Chaos & Constructivism

Carter, Rita, Mapping the Mind, University of California Press, 1998

Mapping the Mind charts how human behaviour and culture have been molded by the landscape of the brain. It shows how our personalities reflect the biological mechanisms underlying thought and emotion and how behavioural eccentricities may be traced to abnormalities in the geography of an individual brain.”

Hock, Dee, Birth of the Chaordic Age San Francisco: Berrett-Koehler Publishers Inc., 1999

“It is filled with concepts, ideas and philosophy that challenge our fundamental beliefs about money, organizations, leadership, management, the human spirit and our relationship to the natural world.”

I was introduced to Chaos theory, by Don Davidson at the 1999 Village Music Circles Hawaii Playshop. Don used passages from Birth of the Chaordic Age as metaphors for drum circle facilitation skill building. I left Hawaii, clutching his only copy of the recently released book, stunned and gratified. This is a book that has profoundly shaped my world.

Wheatley, Margaret J, Leadership and the new Science, Discovering Order in a Chaotic World, Koehler Publishers, 1999

“Sheds new light on paradoxes that trouble people most: stability and change; freedom and control, structure and creativity. Provides an easy-to-read, single source summary of a wide range of new science discoveries.”

Neurology & Neuroscience

LeDoux, Joseph, The Emotional Brain, The Mysterious Underpinnings of Emotional Life. New York: Touchstone Simon & Schuster, 1998

“a superb guide to that ultimate frontier in understanding our emotional life, the brain.”

LeDoux, Joseph, Synaptic Self, How Our Brains Become Who We Are, Viking, 2002

“Synapses, the spaces between neurons, are the channels through which we think, act, imagine, feel, and remember. …Joseph LeDoux tells a groundbreaking and profound story: how the brain, and particularly its synapses, creates and maintains personality.” Daniel. L. Schacter

Ornstein, Robert, The Right Mind, Making Sense of the Hemispheres, Harcourt Brace & Company, 1997

“A central argument of The Right Mind is that while facts (what we might think of as text) are stored and processed in the left hemisphere, the right mind sets the context and makes sense of it all.”

Ramachandran, V. S., M.D., Ph.D., & Blakeslee, Sandra, Phantoms in the Brain, Probing the Mysteries of the Human Mind, William Morrow & Company, 1998

“One of the most original and accessible neurology books of our generation” - Oliver Sacks, M.D.

This book has almost more post-its than pages. It is funny, informative, and filled with innovative ideas and approaches to help individuals dealing with a wide variety of neurological disorders. I learned about how to use mirrors to allow those who do not have disabilities to enter and experience a very different world.

Ramachandran, V. S., M.D., Ph.D., A Brief Tour of Human Consciousness, From Imposter Poodles to Purple Numbers. New York: PI Press, 2004

“An unusually clever neuroscientist explains baffling cases in neurology and neuropsychiatry and concludes that brain science can now resolve many of the age-old quandaries of philosophers. A thought-provoking, wonderful read.”

Ratey, John J., M.D., A User’s Guide to the Brain. New York: used by permission of Pantheon Books, a division of Random House, Inc. © 2001

“An introduction to neuroscience which sticks to a man-on-the-street vocabulary.” The New Yorker

This book is at the top of my list. It is top-Ratey’d. I recommend it to anyone interested in the brain and its functions.

Restak, Richard M.D., The Secret Life of the Brain, The National Academies Press, 2001

“A fascinating biography of the human brain Restak excels at making difficult material accessible. The illustrations are both beautiful and accurate.”

Robbins, Jim, A Symphony in the Brain, The Evolution of the New Brain Wave Biofeedback, Atlantic Monthly Press, 2000

“Jim Robbins chronicles the history, struggles, and promise of neurofeedback, a method for normalizing and enhancing brain functioning.”

This companion book to the PBS series provides complex information in a manner that is stimulating and easy to understand.I practiced neurofeedback with Carol Cokinos through the special ed. Department of the College of Marin for close to a year. As an old hand at biofeedback, I was charged with new neuro-possibilities and continue to use new neuro-skills. The book is readable and informative.

Schacter, Daniel, The Seven Sins of Memory, How the Mind Forgets and Remembers, Houghton Mifflin Company, 2001

“…A fascinating journey through paths of memory, its open avenues and blind alleys. With sparkling prose and lively narratives, he challenges us to reconceive apparent defects of memory as crucial assets in successfully sustaining a sharp and productive mind.”

Segal, Lynn, The Dream of Reality: Heinz Von Foerster’s Constructivism. Springer-Verlag New York, Inc., 2001

Springer, Sally P. & Deutsch, Georg, Left Brain Right Brain, Perspectives from Cognitive Neuroscience, W.H. Freeman & Company, 1981, 1985, 1989, 1993, 1998

Spirituality & Service

Albom, Mitch, The Five People You Meet in Heaven, a fable about the unseen connections in life. Hyperion Press, 2003

“This is the fable you will devour when you fall in love. This is the tale you will keep by your side when you are lost. This is the story you will turn to again and again, because it possesses the rare magic to let you see yourself and the world anew. This book is a gift to the soul.” Amy Tan

Arrien, Angeles, The Second Half of Life, Sounds True, Inc. Boulder, CO 80306, 2005

“Woven beautifully from symbol, reflection, poetry, narrative, and astute analysis, Angeles Arrien offers the pilgrim who has entered middle age a fascinating landscape of adventure and awakening.” John O’Donohue

Bauby, Jean-Dominique, The Diving Bell and the Butterfly, A Memoir of Life and Death, Vintage, 1997

“A wistful, poetic, ironic and whimsically affirmative testament by a man who refused to die in spirit.” – The New York Times.

After a stroke at age forty-nine which left him completely and permanently paralyzed (a victim of “locked-in syndrome”) the author dictated this book by blinking. This book has great power for me; especially when he wrote of being left for long periods of time or treated by those who are absent in spirit.

Coelho, Paulo, Veronika Decides to Die, Perennial, 2001.

“In this deceptively unadorned tale, narrated in a charmingly ironic style, Paulo Coelho plumbs the profoundest depths of mores, madness, and meaning.”

This book helped to breathe the life back into me while I was in a hospital in Europe. It is a discovery of life, after a decision of death, filled with rich perspectives of an extraordinary array of people living in a psychiatric hospital, struggling with issues of the soul and meaning of life.

Herrick, Robert, The Master of the Inn, Charles Scribner’s Sons, 1908

This jewel of a book is timeless in spirit and attitude. It serves as my reminder of the profound effects which can ripple out from acts of kindness, acceptance of others, and personal reflections.

Houston, Jean, The Search for the Beloved, Journeys in Mythology & Sacred Psychology Jeremy P. Tarcher/Putnam, New York 1987

“A classic volume on developing human potential by a beloved master teacher of our time.”

Nouwen, Henri, Wounded Healer, Ministry in Contemporary Society, New York Doubleday, 1979

Ram Dass & Gorman, Paul, How Can I Help? , stories and reflections on service. Alfred A. Knopf, 1985

I found How Can I Help? early in my studies which provided a core set of insights about being of service to others.

Ram Dass, Still Here, Riverhead Books, 2001


Nisker, Wes “Scoop”, Crazy Wisdom, Berkeley: Ten Speed Press, 1990

“A rich and subtle tradition, universal and yet elusive, is fully explored in this very special book. Written in the unique voice of a Buddhist, social activist, and satirist, it is a delight to read.”

Vorhaus, John, The Comic Toolbox, How to be Funny Even if You’re Not. Los Angeles: Silman-James Press, 1994

“Comedy is not magic, not inspiration, not “a gift.” Mostly, it’s simple rules and structures – the logic of the illogical – tools that anyone can use.”

Health & Biology

Juhan, Deane, Job’s Body, A Handbook for Bodywork, 2nd Edition. Station Hill Barrytown, Ltd., 1998

“This fascinating text offers everything a health practitioner, massage therapist, exercise instructor, or student of human potential could hope for: an information-packed reference on the workings of the body and mind...”

Tierno, Philip M, Secret Life of Germs. Pocket Books, 2001

“An authoritative and highly readable overview of the fascinating world of infectious microorganisms.”

Aging & Dementia

Castleman et al, There’s Still a Person in There, The Complete Guide to Treating and Coping with Alzheimer’s, G.P. Putnam’s Sons, 1999

“confronts the fears and misconceptions we hold about Alzheimer’s with stirring profiles and thorough explanations of modern medical advances.”

Haight, Barbara, Gibson, Faith, eds. Burnside’s Working with Older Adults, Group Process and Techniques, Fourth Edition, Barry Bortnick, Boston: Jones and Bartlett Publishers, 2005

“By combining interdisciplinary theory and practice, this book introduces students to group work theories, and explains how to modify general theory to meet the needs of older adults, including those who are contending with particular physical and cognitive disabilities.”

Chapter 16 titled “Music and Other Arts Activities in the Lives of Older Adults”, written by Barry Bortnick, is an excellent source for guidance when working with seniors. Included in this section is a reference to the story~song method.


Gladwell, Malcolm, The Tipping Point, How Little Things Can Make a Big Difference. Little, Brown and Company, 2000.

“A fascinating book that makes you see the world in a different way.” — Fortune “TheTipping Point is that magic moment when an idea, trend or social behavior crosses a threshold, tips, and spreads like wildfire.”

Shekerjian, Denise, Uncommon Genius, How Great ideas are born, Penguin Press, 1990

“searching look into the essence of creativity, forty winners of the coveted MacArthur Foundation Fellowship…provide a glimpse inside their own experience of the creative process.”

This book contains interviews and stories of genius and “geniosity.” The concepts of the individuals interviewed in this book have been my great and lasting teachers in the art of perspective.

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