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Dr. Miczak's Best Picks -
Friday, 23 March 2007
New Homepage Article....Coming Soon
Now Playing: Music's Healing Power Gets Amplified!

Here is a preview of the latest Homepage Article for!:

Music's Healing Power Gets Amplified!

Music does so much to lift the human spirit. Doctors have found a decrease in depression in those who play or passively listen to live music especially. Martin Gizzi of New Jersey Neuroscience Institute says that he has seen music decrease a patient’s need for medication such as sedatives. In Alzheimer’s patients especially, he said it can promote “clarity of thinking” while reducing irritability and promoting calm. One study has shown a decreased heart rate and blood pressure level for those who play or listen to a soothing instrument such as the guitar and harp.

Many purists wrestle with the question of amplification but when playing in larger venues, it becomes something for serious consideration. Does it detract or enhance the benefits seen in acoustic instruments? I now use a keyboard amp and multi-channel foot pedal for effects. It is a good thing that I do because some of the people I play for can not hear very well. Still, with proper placement of the speakers, they are able to enjoy the performance. I caught up with Bob Williams, owner of Music and Things where I purchased my new OS 150FCE Limited Edition Electric Autoharp. His is an online musician’s supply store with, “Instruments and supplies you need at a price you can afford.” Bob is himself a seasoned musician and did a fabulous job of tuning my electric Autoharp before shipping. He spoke of a Tennessee Autoharp artist who added a flanger to his electric instrument with beautiful effects. I’m exploring new territory myself by adding “colors” such as chorus, phase shifter and a bass/drum machine. So far the swirling of the phaser or phase shifter is by far the most favorite of my pedal effects. I added this effect during rehearsal the other night and everyone could hear the enhanced difference. Some said they couldn't believe how good the Autoharp sounded! Keep in mind, most people are not familiar with the Autoharp and unamplified, it can sometimes sound "brighter" than a mellow guitar or bass. However, that is the signature sound of the Autoharp. My goal is not to obscure it's uniqueness but to bring it out. That is too why a keyboard amp is preferable to a guitar amp. Guitar amps do not retain enough of the original sound quality of the Autoharp.

Mary Ann Johnston is editor of The Autoharp Quarterly and herself an avid Autoharp player. In fact we will be featuring her personal insights on playing the Autoharp right here in an upcoming issue. One of the biggest yearly events for Autoharp players of every distinction is the Mountain Laurel Autoharp Gathering in PA. The Autoharp Quarterly is the magazine for Autoharp enthusiasts with great instrument tips, songs and other artists to draw from. Dedicated artists like these are keeping this instrument alive. Now with the interest in everything Celtic and Old English from clothing to music, interest in traditional folk harp music is on the rise.

One of the other things I have added now that I am playing more is a strap. I chose the Slider Strap because it evenly distributes the instrument’s weight, (about 11 lbs) over my shoulders, allowing me to play longer and in total comfort. The inventor of the Slider Strap also makes similar design straps for Nickleharpas,(don't ask), banjos and guitars. It will improve your performance the first time you strap it on. For more information and pictures, visit the website links below. If you would like to know more about my music ministry and Autoharp performances or see the dates where I will be appearing, please check back here. Below are links to this article's featured companies.

Music & Things - Bob Williams-owner Music and Things

The Slider - Autoharp Strap Slider Autoharp / Guitar Straps

The Autoharp Quarterly - Mary Ann Johnston - Editor
The Autoharp Quarterly

Mel Bay Publications Inc. - Sheet Music Books and Instructional lessons for instruments of all kinds. (We are now reviewing their selection of Celtic and Scottish Music Books for the Autoharp).
Mel Bay Publications

Reverend Dr. Marie J. Miczak
Published Author-Editor
Ordained Ecumenical Minister
Harp Hymns Ministry

Posted by Author at 4:23 PM EDT
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Monday, 17 July 2006
The New York Philharmonic Orchestra
Mood:  cool
Now Playing: Opening Season of Concerts in the Parks

On Monday, July 10th at 8 pm, the curtain went up on the New York Philharmonic's Concerts in the Parks. It was a beautiful evening which opened the season with the New York Philharmonic Brass.

They opened with Fanfare from La Peri and went right into the Earl of Oxford's March which is from 15th century Englands's tripping of the colors. Departing from there we moved south to France with a three movement piece called Dances from the Danserye.

Actually we ventured all around the world and on to Italy with the Sonata pian e forte, Debussy's "The Girls with the Flaxen Hair" and "Golliwogg's Cake-Walk" which is a light ballroom dance made famous by the Castles.

That was the bridge to the more modern Jazz pieces as well as popular music done with Music for Shea featuring, "Take me Out to the Ballgame" and Cohen's "Yankee Doodle Dandy". The concert wrapped with examples of New Orleans blues and Berstein's "America" from West Side Story.

The orchestra did a fabulous encore from John Phillips Sussa's Pensylvannia Ave. March and a few others. What a delightful evening event! A very ecclectic mix of some of the best music the orchestra has to feature the brass section. We plan to again attend the next performance of Westfield Symphony Orchestra and the New York City Opera when they perform on September 27th at PNC Arts Center. Highly recommended!

Classically yours,

Dr. Marie J. Miczak

Posted by Author at 1:28 PM EDT
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Monday, 13 February 2006
On the Slopes!
Mood:  cool
Now Playing: Winter Olympics Noreaster Style

With more than 21 inches of fluffy, white snow dropped on us, we couldn't resist taking to the slopes with our Surfster Ice sled, Scott Goggles and Snow Board Gloves. We were all wearing our Dorfman-Pacific fur Bomber hats too!

What a beautiful day! Bright sunshine, clear skies and even a Kestrel Hawk gliding over the hills. He must have see MY Kestrel weather meter. We had a great day out but must admit the powder was very light so we didn't get much speed today. That's o.k. Better days!

Magda Miczak and Dr. Marie Miczak taking a break during a day of snow surfing. Photographed is the Surfster Ice. Hats by Dorfman-Pacific. Weather Meter around Dr. Miczak's neck is by Kestrel.

Posted by Author at 8:30 PM EST
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Friday, 13 January 2006
Ice Theatre Of New York's Winter 2006 Season!
Mood:  lyrical
Now Playing: Ivana Trump & Dick Button Honor Aja Zenova this Season

Link to Photo Album The BEST Ice Skating Events and Shows

Here is Dick Button, Moira North, Aja Zenova, Ivana Trump and David Liu at the Ice Theatre of New York's Home Season kick off on Ice at the the Sky Rink, Chelsea Piers, lower Manhattan. This was their 21st Anniversary Gala to benefit the troop.

Link to Photo Album The BEST Ice Skating Events and Shows

Click the links to be taken to the full gallery of the Winter Sports Special featuring clothing, ice skates and other exciting items.

May God bless,

Dr. Marie Miczak

Posted by Author at 6:34 PM EST
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Tuesday, 5 July 2005
Our Summer 2005 X-Training Sports Gallery is Here!
Mood:  chillin'
Now Playing: Athleta, Dorfman-Pacific Hats & HighGear Hit the Trail

Hey Gang!

A sizzling hot summer is no reason to stay home! The proper clothing, gear and equipment will make your time in the great outdoors even more fun than you can imagine. We are covering cycling, walking and hiking as ways to enjoy your summer while staying fit for the upcoming skating season.

So there is a whole world of adventure out there and with the right equipment, you'll discover its an adventure waiting to unfold!


Now get out there!

Dr. M.

Posted by Author at 4:39 PM EDT
Updated: Tuesday, 5 July 2005 4:41 PM EDT
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Monday, 29 November 2004
See Dr. Marie Miczak On CBS News and in More Magazine Online!
Now Playing: Video Clips from the CBS Early Show
Here is the CBS Early Show Broadcast with Dr. Marie Miczak who was phtographed and featured in More Magazine's Jan. 2005 Issue. A video clip of the program, Dr. Miczak's homepage and Figure Skating Guide were all included on the
CBS Early Show webpage

Reaching For More

From: CBS Early Show / NEW YORK, Nov. 29, 2004

'Reaching For More'

photo: CBS Early Show Nov. 29th
Rene Syler and Dr. Marie Miczak (Photo: CBS/The Early Show)

(CBS) Three years ago, at the age of 44, Dr. Marie Miczak decided to pursue her long-time dream, to learn how to ice skate.

"I enjoy the freedom of getting out and expressing myself. And, you know, the freedom of movement. I think it's the closest thing you're going to get to flight," she says.

The Early Show co-anchor Rene Syler decided to join her.

"I hadn't been on the ice since I was a kid. I use to love ice-skating, but stopped when my family moved. Now I missed it," says Syler. "So, earlier this year I laced up at the ripe young age of 41 and was shocked at how much just came flowing back to me once I hit the ice. Today I skate at least once a week."

The Early Show is pairing with More magazine to profile women in their 40s and older who are reaching for the things in life they still long to do.

"I think 40 is still a huge milestone for women. Forty might be the new 20, or maybe 50 is the new 30," says Peggy Northrop, editor-in-chief of More. "As you become more competent in your life, especially if you have kids and your kids have gotten a little bit older, you think, 'What happened to the fun in my life. If not now, when am I going to try all of the things I've been dreaming about over the years?'"

In the December-January issue, More profiles several women who had a life-changing event that spurred them on to try something they always wanted to do.

Northrop offers some tips on how women can pay attention and put fun back in their lives:

Identify Your Passions: Sometimes you may have to think back to what you liked to do as a kid. Think back to those times. Maybe you like to perform or you love to cook. That will help you get in touch with your passion.

Choose Something Doable: Just because you love to perform, you don't want to say, 'I'm going to do Broadway auditions.' You probably don't have time to do that. There may be a tap class at the gym you may devote an hour a week to. Make something you can achieve and feel success with.

Find A Partner: It makes you less likely to quit, and its fun to have someone to explore a new passion with.

Talk Or Write About It: You just need to brag on yourself. Talk to other people, or keep a practice log or diary. It will help you remind yourself of what a great experience you're having and help you take on new challenges.

(?MMIV, CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved.)

Posted by Author at 8:26 PM EST
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Sponsor Team Miczak for the 2005 MS 150 Mile Bicycle Tour
Now Playing: Make Dollar Donations to MS Online....
Team Miczak is now registered for the 2005 MS 150 Mile Bicycle Tour!

We are looking for company sponsors to donate money towards this worthy cause as well as product donations of cycling gear, supplies and training equipment. Our wish list includes:

1.) A Digital Camera with optical lens

2.) Cycling Clothing, jersey and chamois pants, women's small and medium.

3.) Camping equipment, mini tent, portable stove, freeze dried food.

4.) Training / Touring Equipment, road bicycles, panniers, cycle bags, etc.

Contact us if you'd like to help via email at or by calling toll free, 877-707-1970.

Click this link to make dollar donations via E-Pledge online for MS by typing in "Miczak-Marie" in the required fields: MS E-Pledge for Team Miczak

See you at the finish line!

Dr. Marie Miczak for
Team Miczak

Posted by Author at 7:39 AM EST
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Friday, 26 November 2004
Dr. Marie Miczak Appears on the CBS Early Show!
Mood:  caffeinated
Now Playing: Dr. Miczak Ice Skates with Rene Syler of CBS-November 29th
Tune into the CBS Early Show on Monday, November 29th starting at 7 am!

You'll be pleasantly surprised to see Dr. Marie Miczak and Rene Syler taking the ice at Chelsea Piers in New York City!


Dr. M.

Posted by Author at 12:42 PM EST
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Friday, 29 October 2004
New Online X-Training Photo Gallery is Now LIVE!
Now Playing: Cycling Gear for Fall

You've got to see this! Our new online photo gallery is up. Cycling for cross training equipment and reviews. Get the inside scoop on the best bicyles, helmets, accessories and nutritional supplements to make fall total touring a pleasure! Be sure to check out the current issue of Suite 101's Figure Skating Guide for Pedaling into Fall-Part 2.

Link to Photo Album X-Training Photo Gallery

Click Here to visit the Fashion Show BLOG!Cycling Gear Photo Gallery

Posted by Author at 11:47 PM EDT
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Thursday, 14 October 2004
Ice Theatre of New York's 2004 Winter Festival is Coming To Chelsea Piers
Mood:  cool
Now Playing: ITNY's 20th Anniversary Gala in NYC!

Hello Everyone,

Last night, I attended the Ice Theatre of NY's 20th Anniversary Gala at the Lighthouse on Chelsea Piers in NYC. This year honored director and founder, Moira North. I interviewed Paddy Kennedy who is head of marketing and development. Ms. Kennedy has been with the company for only 6 months but is making fantastic progess in getting media attention for upcoming programs. She envisions an international school, a touring company, apprentice program and a dedicated floor dance mistress for ITNY's future.

copyright Dr. Miczak

I spoke with Robin Wagner, Natalia Dubova and saw fashion designer Vera Wang who was last year's honoree. Dick Button who is a member of the Company's advisory board and was in attendance also.

Complete Gallery of Gala Pictures

PHOTO: Moira North, Founder and Director of Ice Theatre of New York was honored for 20 years of service.

The Ice Theatre of New York was founded in 1984 with the vision of developing ice skating as a performing art resembling "ice ballet" or modern dance on ice. They offer outreach programs such as their Lunchtime Concert Series at the rink at Rockefeller Plaza which is free to the public.

The ensemble did special performances drawing from a repertoire of over 60 choreographed pieces for the evening at the Sky Rink at Pier 61. This was followed by cocktails, a silent auction and an acrobatic performance by a talented couple from Cirque Du Soleil at the Lighthouse.

copyright Dr. Miczak

Some of those inspiring repetory numbers will be included at their Winter Festival which begins December 27th and runs through the 30th. There is even a matinee package which includes a performance and public skating session. I've been invited back to cover and partake of the Ice Theatre's Winter Festival. Look for my full article on ITNY at Suite 101's Figure Skating Guide in January 2005.

Click here to see the Ice Theatre of NY's full schedule of performances and programs:

For more pictures from this event visit my online gallery Link to Photo Album The BEST Ice Skating Events and Shows .
Until then...

Dr. Marie Miczak

Posted by Author at 12:27 PM EDT
Updated: Friday, 29 October 2004 7:50 PM EDT
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