In August 2020, Noah Plotkin was diagnosed with lymphoma. During his months of chemotherapy, he recorded many pieces of music and kept an extensive journal. In this podcast, Noah shares his experiences that have led him to heal.
I’m very thankful that I had the music element to heal as well as the open mind to try natural remedies that have no negative impact on your body.
Noah sees himself bringing the world together through music. He comes to Living Whole Online through a connection with International Integrators co-founders Maia Ibar and Tristan Martineau and others in the Ibar family.
I was very moved by the “Here We Go Magic” band that features Baptiste Ibar. There is something about that Ibar family…they understand magic. They have an incredible grip on the world and how to offer their genius to the world.
Noah was born and raised on Chicago’s North Shore into a loving family who appreciates and supports the arts as a vocation of which to be proud.
Noah’s father, Jonathan Plotkin, is also a facilitator in Living Whole Online. The two collaborate together, Jonathan with his art and Noah with his music.
People putting knowledge together through art is, I think, a miracle. Being able to create music on the spot the way my father can create art on the spot…you get into it and you can make music wherever you go.
At the age of four Noah began playing drums. However, his mother Robin is quite certain he was keeping time in utero during a Pat Metheny Group concert a month before he was born. Remarkably, beginning at age 13, Noah’s first private drum teacher was Paul Wertico – the Grammy Award winning drummer for the Pat Metheny Group – who was playing that very evening when Robin first felt Noah’s rhythmic movement.
If you put instruments in front of kids at a young age, those kids are going to grow up understanding rhythm and melody.
At the Berklee College of Music, Noah was quickly introduced to a wide range of percussion styles, techniques and musical expression through his studies with legendary musicians such as John Blackwell (Prince), Jamey Haddad (Paul Simon), Kenwood Dennard (Herbie Hancock, Whitney Houston), Skip Hadden (Weather Report) & Dave DiCenso (Duran Duran).
Throughout his life Noah has recognized the power of music to unite people of all ages and backgrounds to build strong and sustainable communities. He believes that music is a universal language that reaches across all cultural and demographic boundaries. It is in this spirit that Noah brings awareness of rhythmic music as a complimentary tool to enable people of all ages to create and maintain good health. Some of his work involves playing in senior residences and nursing homes, where he has had some profoundly moving experiences.
A majority of the people in nursing homes going through dementia, Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s would remember the words right away and we would sing the song, and everyone would be singing in unison…people who can’t say, “I love you” to their daughter or son sitting right next to them…it is like witnessing magic.
Noah’s recent experiences with cancer inspire him to share his insights in this podcast. He plans to create programs for Living Whole Online that help others with health challenges, including cancer.
Music just came out of me. I didn’t even think about it. It helped with pain…it helped with a lot of things. I’m glad I recorded all the music I recorded while I was going through cancer treatment. I also kept a journal of everything I ate, which helped me figure out what works and what doesn’t work.
Here are some of the themes that Noah Plotkin and Dr. Hayward explore during this conversation:
- How did Noah’s 97-year-old grandfather’s health improve when Noah played music for him?
- How did Noah begin studying music wellness facilitation?
- How is a drum a “grounded instrument”?
- How does drumming help nursing home residents?
- How did Noah’s grandmother inspire him when she played Music is Magic?
- What is collaboraction?
- How did having cancer influence Noah’s musical creativity?
- How did CBD and THC help Noah cope with pain and other cancer symptoms? How did they help him created the music, the art form that helped him heal?
- How did voice memos figure into Noah’s experience with cancer?
- What are two recordings that particularly helped him heal?
- What is a kitchen jam?
Music is so powerful. It’s the best medicine.
Dr. Kathryn Hayward A Conversation with Noah Plotkin