Las Vegas woman combines music with therapy

The light bulb moment came in an Alaska hospital 32 years ago.

Judith Pinkerton’s then-husband was recovering from emergency back surgery. He was also battling high blood pressure.


Pinkerton, a classically trained, professional violinist who also ran her own talent agency, found that her playing helped him sleep at night, reducing the need for medication.

While he was hospitalized, Pinkerton recorded her playing on cassette and gave it to him on a Walkman.

One day at noon, he partook in a listening session a half-hour before a visit from a nurse.


“She came in, read his vital signs and whipped around and said, ‘What’s he listening to?’ ” Pinkerton recalls, her voice approximating the nurse’s mix of surprise and mild agitation. “And I said, ‘Me.’ She said, ‘This is impossible. I’m supposed to be giving him medication and he doesn’t need it.’

“She went over to the medical records and scratched out that medication had been used, that music had brought his high blood pressure into normal range. I was like, ‘Wow, I want to do that for the rest of my life.’”

With that, a pioneering career was born.

‘The healing power of music’