Music Heartbeat Therapy

When Terry Woodford first conceived of the ‘Baby-Go-To-Sleep’ Heartbeat Music Therapy CD in 1985, he had no intention of comforting and calming any baby other than human preemies and fussy toddlers. But as this successful music industry executive discovered, babies, either human or canine, respond to his simple, repetitive classic lullabies in which the sound of a human heart beat is superimposed. And the response is striking. They relax and fall asleep within a few minutes of listening to the special mix.

Baby-Go-To-Sleep CDs have been played in over 8,400 hospitals and special care centers. More than 2.5 million frazzled parents of newborns can also bear witness to the miraculous effects of these harmonics. Independent clinical research has confirmed that playing the CD calms babies on life support and during painful and/or frightening medical procedures. Incessant crying is the primary trigger for abuse and ‘shaken-baby’ syndrome in children under three years of age. The number one reason dogs are relinquished by their owners to shelters is unacceptable behavior – inappropriate barking often tops the list.

Dogs bark and get upset for many of the same reasons that babies cry, along with separation anxiety and attempts at attract attention to themselves.

If you go to any pet store or ask your veterinarian for ways in which you can keep your new puppy from whining, you will likely be given a ticking clock for the pup and ear plugs for you. There are prescription medications that aid in treating the serious condition of separation anxiety but the answer to this problem does not lay solely in a bottle.

A mother in South Dakota sent Terry Woodford an e-mail that explained how her golden retriever puppy had been brought back to life after slipping into a coma following a serious operation by the love of her children and their ‘Baby-Go-To-Sleep’ CD. The grateful mother stated that the children decided to play their ‘sleep’ CD to the pup round the clock. After three days of being serenaded, the young retriever awakened and ran to the door to be let out.

After working with the medical community for years trying to determine why babies respond universally as they do to his special music/heartbeat mix, Terry fully believes that simple solutions can exist for complex problems, but people have a very hard time in accepting it. Like human babies, dogs seem to be attracted to the mathematical simplicity of his music CDs, the compassion in the singer’s voices, and the familiar human heartbeat sound. The basic principles of relaxation: simplicity, repetition, predictability, ordered structure and consistent tempo have been incorporated into his Canine Lullabies and Baby-Go-To-Sleep CDs.

Kenneling can be a very stressful time for a dog. Kennel workers had tried music therapy in the past, with variable results. Some touted classical music, smooth jazz oldies or talk radio as the answer. It was more likely that is the type of music that calmed the human rather than the dogs.

Terry set up some test kennels and it worked! Kennel workers also found it was not necessary to play the melodies 24/7 but rather for short periods of time were found to be most effective.

Why were the ‘Canine Lullabies’ more efficient in lulling the Labradors into tranquility? Science has shown that the sense of hearing is better developed in dogs and most other animals as compared to humans. Dogs are also better to focus in on a single sound than people. Think of the dog that suddenly gets up and runs to the kitchen when it hears the sound of the refrigerator door opening when they are sleeping in opposite side of the house while a TV is blaring in the room.

These dogs have learned to block out the extraneous noises of their environment. Noises they have become habituated to. Music is a mathematical relationship of sound through time. ‘Canine Lullabies’ are simple songs that attract babies and canines by their mathematical simplicity. Classical music has been rumored to increase the intelligence of babies but this has never been proven to be true. Rather than being simple and calming, classical music is complex, unpredictable and invigorating.

It is not only babies and dogs who have benefited from listening to these music therapy CDs. On April 29, 2004, the Honolulu Star-Bulletin reported that doctoral researcher Joe Ruszkowski, with the help of Dr. Arthur Harvey, had developed a pilot program to determine whether the playing the heartbeat music would calm the aggressive chimps housed at Honolulu Zoo. These chimpanzees had recently destroyed $50,000 viewing window and were also attacking each other. The heartbeat music CD was played for the primates during their most aggressive periods and within 15 minutes of hearing the music, some of the chimps were so calmed, that they fell asleep. Primary chimpanzee keeper, Greg Hamilton stated that he had never seen anything like this before.

Music heartbeat therapy has found applications relaxing residents of nursing homes, Alzheimer patients, ADHD children and in hospice situations. Terry Woodford never wanted to “sound weird”. He knew that the music in his soul was from a higher source and that it was meant to heal. Research and testing has shown that his lullabies are soothing the heart of all who care to listen. Learn more at or