New Jersey Stage
New Jersey Stage on social media

This article is from our magazine. To view it in its original format, click here

INSIDE MUSIC: Your dentist or doctor may be a closet musician

By Rosemary Conte

originally published: 10/23/2017

INSIDE MUSIC: Your dentist or  doctor may be a closet musicianMany people hate to go to the dentist. I like going to the dentist. I look forward to my visits because my dentist, John Mamoun, is also a pianist and composer of 21st century “classical” music. There’s always a little time to chat about music---like his newest composition; his performance on YouTube; that he reads; or that I’ll be a guest singer in an upcoming concert and I hope he’ll come.

I recently had a root canal. I was wide awake and didn’t feel a thing. My dentist is gentle. And I like that, as musicians do, he works on weekends. It’s convenient for me.

During the root canal, I was focused on the sound of the drill. It was musical. The modulating tones sounded like a female singing. Would I have perceived the sound of the drill the same way with a non-musical dentist? Maybe not. The energy in the room would be different. Beyond the surface of our awareness we are influenced by the energy field of anyone around us.

I call my dentist Dr. John.  I’ve never asked him if he’s heard the work of the other Dr. John who’s one of my favorite artists and whose given name is Malcolm John Rebennack. I wonder if my Dr. John would like the other Dr. John’s New Orleans jazz/blues/gospel piano and singing style. I’m going to suggest he give a listen to Rebennack.

Recently, dentist Dr. John gave me his new book of custom arrangements of classical pieces and his own compositions. I gave him my CD, But Beautiful. He listened to my recording, likes it, and made some interesting comments about it. We are worlds apart in every way--- except that we both have musical souls. When musicians come together differences fall away. 

The article continues after this ad


In contrast, I gave my CD to my pulmonologist last year. He’s the man whose business is keeping his patients breathing. He doesn’t play music. And he never listened to my CD. He told me so. Since breathing is the foundation of singing, you’d think that even if he isn’t a music fan, he might be curious as to how his long-time patient who is prone to bronchial asthma breathes when she sings!

I’ve had associations with many musical NJ physicians. Where I live, in Monmouth County, there’s Maria Choy, my former neurologist and voice student; Robert Lillie, podiatrist and bass player; Richard Therkelsen, my chiropractor, guitarist, singer and occasional voice student; and Arthur Topilow, oncologist and jazz pianist, to name just a few.  I believe that as we go through life, we’ll wind up attracting birds of a feather, often at the most unexpected time, place, and circumstance---thanks to the universal law that similar energies find each other.

Physicians are smart. Good at math. And music is mathematical. By now, anyone who reads is aware that listening to and studying music in childhood develops the same parts of the brain used for math and science. That can begin in the womb when the fetus hears ambient musical sounds, and when parents sing to the baby in the belly. 

Don’t we all know musicians with day jobs in the computer science industry and who use the latest digital technology on their gigs? It’s no accident that many children who had music lessons growing up become computer engineers; physicians; and research scientists in every field while continuing to enjoy playing music.

Above is my dentist’s performance of his composition, “Rodeo Music,” followed by a video from the Symphony of Science below. The track “We Are All Connected” features the singing of  Neil deGrasse Tyson, Stephen Hawking, Carl Sagan, Richard Feynman, and Bill Nye…I kid you not…with a little help from their friend AutoTune. The piece is a tribute to great minds of science, and intended to spread scientific knowledge and philosophy through music. If Albert Einstein were alive, he might have joined them on violin. 

Rosemary Conte is a jazz singer, voice coach, freelance writer and hypnosis therapist. Reach her at or

For more by this author, click here

BergenPAC Presents 14th Annual Englewood Idol
(ENGLEWOOD, NJ) -- Talented teen vocalists who either live or attend school in Englewood will once again grace the stage of bergenPAC on Friday, January 11, at 7:00pm for the 14th annual Englewood Idol competition, which features nine contestants from the city’s high school programs: Dwight Morrow High School, The Dwight-Englewood School and the AcademiesatEnglewood. This year’s contestants are Genesis Capellan, Maggie Colquitt, Donna Gad, Savannah George, Lena Graf, Angelica Munoz, Lamyra Newton, Patricia Parker and Auhjen Upshaw.
Susan Werner To Perform At Minstrel Acoustic Concert Series
(MORRISTOWN, NJ) -- Susan Werner will headline at the Minstrel Acoustic Concert Series on Friday, January 4,  2019 at 7:30pm at the Morristown Unitarian Fellowship, 21 Normandy Heights Rd, Morristown. Zoe Mulford will open. The event is part of the Minstrel Acoustic Concert Series, sponsored by The Folk Project each Friday evening at the Fellowship. Admission is $10.00 per adult at the door. Children 12 and under are free. 
Experiment 34 To Hold CD Release At Asbury Lanes
(ASBURY PARK, NJ) -- Experiment 34 will celebrate the release of their debut full-length album, "What Dying Feels Like," on Saturday, February 16 at Asbury Lanes. E34 are a hard, heavy, aggressive mix of punk, funk, rap, metal and psychedelic rock with an inventive chemistry and explosive bond to which audiences of all kinds react well. Tickets for the CD release show are $15 at the door and $12 in advanced. Admission will include a free copy of the CD. 
Daniil Trifonov performs Schumann's Piano Concerto in NJSO debut
(NEWARK, NJ) -- Daniil Trifonov, Musical America’s 2019 Artist of the Year, performs Schumann’s Piano Concerto in his NJSO debut, January 25–27, in the final program of the New Jersey Symphony Orchestra’s 2019 Winter Festival, “Music Speaks.” Music Director Xian Zhang conducts the program, which also features Strauss’ Also sprach Zarathustra and the NJSO premiere of Scriabin’s Poem of Ecstasy. Performances take place on January 25 at 8:00pm at NJPAC in Newark, January 26 at 8:00pm at State Theatre New Jersey in New Brunswick and January 27 at 3:00pm at Mayo Performing Arts Center in Morristown.
Audible and NJPAC Present "Jazz in the Key of Ellison"
(NEWARK, NJ) -- The New Jersey Performing Arts Center (NJPAC) and Audible have announced the first three national performance dates of “Jazz in the Key of Ellison,” celebrating the musical world of the esteemed African-American novelist, critic and scholar Ralph Ellison and his remarkable collection of jazz recordings.

Melissa Etheridge LIVE! at the State Theatre
The lobby of the State Theatre in New Brunswick, NJ, is buzzing with activity this Friday, November 30, 2018 evening as rock music fans ready themselves for a special Holiday Show by singer/songwriter Melissa Etheridge!
Join The Greater South Jersey Chorus For "A Winter's Night" (Or Afternoon)
The holidays bring many special things and, for me, one of the best is the music. It sets a mood, invokes memories, soothes the soul and provides a seasonal soundtrack for my life.
An Interview with Chip Davis Of Mannheim Steamroller Christmas
You can experience the magic of the holidays — Steamroller-style — when Mannheim Steamroller Christmas by Chip Davis makes a tour stop this Thursday, December 6, 2018, at New Brunswick, NJ’s historic State Theatre.
Max Weinberg’s Jukebox LIVE! at the Grunin Center
Something is different about tonight’s November 18, 2018 concert at Toms River, NJ’s Grunin Center for the Arts starring Max Weinberg, celebrated drummer from Bruce Springsteen’s E Street Band!
PHOTOS: Matt O'Ree Band at The Stone Pony in Asbury Park
(ASBURY PARK, NJ) -- The Matt O'Ree Band returned to The Stone Pony in Asbury Park on Friday, November 16 and photographer Estelle Massry of Coucou Photography was on hand to take some photos.  David Bryan from Bon Jovi was one of the special guests that night.

Event calendar
Monday, Dec 17, 2018


THE NEPTUNES @ Lobby Bar at Hard Rock Hotel and Casino Atlantic City, Atlantic City - 7:00pm

Holiday Express Benefit Concert @ Count Basie Center For The Arts, Red Bank - 7:30pm

View all events


For more on our awards, click here

New Jersey Stage © 2018 by Wine Time Media, LLC | PO Box 140, Spring Lake, NJ 07762 (732) 280-7625 |

Images used on this site have been sent to us from publicists, artists, and PR firms.
If there is a problem with the rights to any image, please contact us and we will look into the matter.