Mountain Views News     Logo: MVNews     Saturday, November 24, 2012

MVNews this week:  Page 9



 Mountain Views News Saturday, November 24, 2012 


 It is a well-known fact that music can play a major part in altering the mood of the human being. When I am feeling a little low on the energy level 
and I need a boost, all I have to do is tune in to one of my favorite rock and roll or bluegrass channels on Pandora, let it play away, and before I know 
it I am up and about, dancing in my living room and cleaning my house like a white tornado! On the other hand, if I am feeling a little stressed or 
edgy, I turn to my best known baroque buddies, Chopin and Mozart to calm my nerves and settle my soul by serenading me with beautiful sonnets 
and minuets on the piano, clarinet or violin. 

 Music inspires me in so many ways, but what does music do, if anything, for a dog? Numerous research studies have been conducted over the 
years, to determine how sounds might affect the feelings and behavior of the canine. Among the more scientifically important research studies is 
one that was performed by Belfast-based psychologist and animal behaviorist Dr. Deborah Wells in 2002. Dr. Wells undertook a research program to determine the influence of five types of 
auditory stimulation on the dog: human conversation, classical music, heavy metal music, pop music, and a silent control (no music at all). The results of Dr. Wells’ study clearly indicated 
that classical music had a marked soothing effect on dogs in animal shelters when compared to the other types of auditory stimulation. In the discussion section of her published research, 
Dr. Wells stated, “Classical music resulted in dogs spending more of their time resting than any of the other experimental conditions of auditory stimulation. This type of music also resulted 
in a significantly lower level of barking. 

 Research suggests that calming music may have a beneficial effect on humans, resulting in diminished agitation, improved mood and lower levels of stress. Although the specific effect 
of classical music on dogs remains unknown, the findings from this study suggests that it may, as in humans, have a calming influence.” She also observed that heavy metal music tended to 
agitate the dogs, which was mainly manifested by increased frequencies of standing, fretting and barking. Upon completion of the project, Dr. Wells stated, “Further work is still required to 
unravel the specific acoustic elements that dogs respond to.” Dr. Wells’ research results inspired a small group of American scientists & musicians to embark on a subsequent study of their 
own. Their mission was to take bioacoustics research to a higher level, where no man had gone before.

 In 2005, neurologist Susan Wagner initiated and directed the Bioacoustics Research & Development (BARD) project, and working closely with her associates Joshua Leeds (sound 
researcher) and Lisa Spector (concert pianist), she came up with some very interesting and enlightening results which she and Lisa Spector later documented in a book entitled Through 
a Dog’s Ear. Sound is a complex phenomenon, consisting of energy waves, the speed of which are measured in units called hertz 
(one wave cycle per second). The normal range of sound heard by the human is about 20-20,000 Hz. Although audible frequencies 
varies from one species to another, we know that most animals have a much higher range of perception than that of the human, and 
dogs can receive up to at least 50,000 Hz. Volume or loudness of sound is measured in decibels (dB). A whisper is measured at a 
range of about 30 dB’s and a normal conversation occurs at about 50 dB’s, while the average rock concert is measured in at around 
130. Perception of sound is what we call hearing. Dr. Wagner refers to the hearing side of sound as the science of psychoacoustics, 
which involves an individual’s psychological and physical orienting response to incoming Hz frequencies. In lay terms, it is the way 
one perceives what one hears, both biologically and mentally (and perhaps even spiritually).

 Although I prefer to refrain from using technical terminology in this “light-reading” weekly column, I describe these terms to 
help explain the overall point I wish to emphasize, which is the positive impact that calming, classical music can have on not only 
humans, but animals as well, particularly dogs. Interestingly enough, the final outcome and end results of Dr. Wagner’s 2005 study 
on how sounds affect the behavior of the dog, re-confirmed the findings of Dr. Wells’ research project back in 2002.

 In short, because of physical sound receptors and ability to interpret what is heard, a dog’s response to 
sound is much like that of a human, but perhaps more intense. Therefore, because of the way a dog hears and 
responds to sound, it is safe to assume that classical music is an excellent choice to bring relaxation and rest to 
our canine companions. Not that it took a scientific study to prove that point to me. I see the results in my own 
home on a regular basis when Tater goes from baying at the leaf blowing landscaper across the wash, to laying 
still on her pillow on the porch in a moment’s time, when I tune in to Bach or Beethoven on Pandora. Still, it 
is nice to know that even scientists will agree that canines do love their classical music, and I think it says a 
lot for those early European music making maniacs as well! After all, who doesn’t want to be loved by a dog?

Happy Tails

by Chris Leclerc


The Sierra Madre Farmer’s Market hours have changed to 3:00pm through 7:00pm every Wednesday 
in fall and winter. Vendors include Dry Dock which has fresh and wild caught fish, Rustic 
Loaf with artisan breads, Cutie Pie with fresh pies and much more!

For those interested in being a vendor contact Melissa Farwell with Raw Inspirations at 818-591-
8161 ext. 806.



Alverno became CIF Division 
5AA Champions After Defeating 
Pomona Catholic

Sierra Madre, CA (November 19, 2012) – For the first 
time in school history, the Alverno High School Varsity 
Volleyball can claim the title “CIF-SS Champions.” The 
Jaguars volleyball team brought home the title after 
defeating Pomona Catholic 25-15, 27-25, 25-22 in the 
Saturday, November 17 Division 5AA final at Cypress 

The Varsity Jaguars, league champions of the Horizon 
League, ended their season with a league record of 8-0 
and an overall record of 20-3-0 after their win on Saturday 
against Pomona Catholic. The Jaguars, who did not lose 
a set during the entire playoffs, are set to play Calvin 
Christian of Escondido on Tuesday, November 20 in the 
first round of the state playoffs. 

Varsity Jaguar members include seniors Raylene Acevedo, 
Jessica Hamilton, Sydney Hernandez-Barber, Alexandra 
Overstreet, and Lauren Tunzi; juniors Hayley Barretta, 
Rachel Cavender, Asia Chapa, and Taylor Valenzuela; 
sophomores Izaura Avitia, Madison Hernandez-Barber, 
Raine Orozco, Alexia Palomina, Alexandria Peterson; and 
freshman Natalie Hernandez-Barber. 

The Jaguars have enjoyed a highly successful season that 
included 55 sets played, 1,642 attacks, 631 kills, 1,215 
serves, and 964 digs. Seniors Jessica Hamilton, Alexandra 
Overstreet, and Sydney Hernandez-Barber lead the team in 
attacks, kills, serves, and digs throughout the season. Senior 
Lauren Tunzi, a strong defensive player, attacked and blocked more than 218 balls for the Jaguars. 
Finally, Asia Chapa rounds out the top team players with 104 attacks, 248 serves including 38 
aces, 136 digs, and an astounding 501 assists as the team setter. Although Hamilton, Overstreet, 
Hernandez-Barber, and Tunzi will be graduating, Chapa will be back on the Jaguar court next 

“For the first time in school history, Alverno can claim a CIF Championship in volleyball,” said 
Ann Gillick, Head of School. “We are so proud of everything these women have accomplished both 
on and off the court. Not only are each of them talented athletes but scholars, leaders, actors, and 
so much more. They are true examples of Alverno’s mission of empowering each young woman to 
be exactly the person she wants to be.” 

About Alverno High School

Alverno High School is a Catholic, private, college preparatory school for young women dedicated 
to preparing them to function in a society as informed, knowledgeable persons, who have the 
requisite skills to make and implement mature decisions about complex problems. Enlivened by 
the spirit of its Immaculate Heart Community sponsors, and mindful of the Franciscan roots of 
its founders, Alverno’s program—academic, spiritual, aesthetic, social, and physical—is shaped 
by the staff, trustees, and students in light of the world for which the students are being educated. 
Alverno’s mission is to empower each young woman to be exactly the person she wants to be 
and since 1960, Alverno has empowered more than 4,100 women to meet that goal. For more 
information about Alverno High School, please call 626-355-3463 or visit 

Back: Coach Chris Guzman, Alexia Palomino, Natalie Hernandez-Barber, Hayley Barretta, Lauren Tunzi, Coach Brent Fabbri, 
Raine Orozco, Rachel Cavender, Taylor Valenzuela, Izaura Avitia, and Coach Ricardo Dávila - Front: Madison Hernandez-
Barber, Alexandria Peterson, Asia Chapa, Jessica Hamilton, Sydney Hernandez-Barber, Alexandra Oversteet, and Raylene