The Dr. Chartrand Story


"Saved From a Lifetime of Underachievement" Dr. Max Stanley Chartrand story reads like a classic. He was born in 1948 in Oregon timber country, life beginning in a one-room logging shack until age 3 when a childhood illness left him severely hearing impaired. By mid-adulthood he was profoundly deaf. A lifelong hearing aid user and in recent decades, a surgically-implanted cochlear implant user, he has relied upon assistive technology and coping strategies for everyday communication. age 10, when it came time to choose a musical instrument, he chose the Clarinet and later added saxophones and other instruments. "Whether playing in jazz bands, in the pit band of All- School Shows, or symphony orchestras, one would always see my trademark plumber's rack of horns in front of me," recalls Dr. Chartrand.

He went on to play First Clarinet in the Denver All-City Band, and Colorado All-State Bands and Orchestras. "At that time, those elite performing groups rivaled the best of professional groups of today. Since music has been pretty well dismantled in public schools throughout the United States, we rarely see this kind of prodigious level of achievement in young people todayŚnot that the potential for young people today is any less than it once was, but because those in charge of public education today refuse to give today's children in the United States the same opportunities to cognitively develop at the same level as generations had before them. The research is conclusive on the incredible power of music in developing children's neurological skills. At the same time, nations such as Japan and various other Asian countries, where music is core curriculum from age five onward are at the top of the world in math and science. As a result, they have many child prodigy stories like mine to tell."

By age 14, Dr. Chartrand had developed a reputation as a regional performer and led a prominent jazz band that performed up and down the Front Range of Colorado. He arranged much of the music for the annual All-School Shows at Rishel Junior High and Denver South High School, and wrote music for other venues, as well. During college he played with several concert orchestras, including the Denver Symphony Orchestra, the Brico Symphony, Community Arts Symphony, and many others. He also continued with his popular music group "The Blue Max" until the early-to-mid 1970s, when his deafness became so profound he could no longer hear well enough to play with other musicians. When asked, years later, how he could play without adequate hearing, he replied, "I guess someone forgot to tell me I couldn't do it. We tell kids today that they cannot do something, and in the process we stop them from reaching their full potential. They will find a way if we encourage them."

During early adulthood, advancing deafness prompted him to go back to school to change fields to the health professions, where he has served for more than three decades as a recognized leader in research and education. Defying the academic fate of the deaf, he went on to earn two Bachelors degrees, two Masters, and two Doctorates, some of these with Honors. It is entirely possible that no other profoundly deaf individual has achieved as much academically.

The family dance band circa 1961In 1994 he was awarded the worldwide Joel S. Wernick excellence in Education Award. His extensive work is published in hundreds of journals and thousands of websites in several languages. As a professor of Behavioral & Health Sciences, his past students comprise MAs, MDs, PhDs, and Department Chairs at colleges the world over. He also Chaired numerous Doctoral Research Committees where research is conducted toward resolving important health challenges to human development, such as learning disabilities in children, dementias in older adults, neuropathies, diabetes mellitus type 2, Parkinson's Disease, depression, and the newer polypharmacy-inspired pathologies, etc.

"Heavy metals and developmentally-delaying toxins coupled with high fructose sweetener, high caffeine, over-processed diet are holding our kids back, and few are paying attention, opting instead into making American children the most drugged kids in the world," laments Dr. Chartrand.

"A growing cadre of concerned professionals are out to change this inexcusable paradigm. Getting our children healthy and back on track should be the primary goal of every parent, professional, and agency charged with children's care." feels it a travesty to define children by their handicaps, and feels handicaps can make one stronger if he or she are encouraged to reach past the challenges to achieve their full potential. As a father of eight children, grandfather to 15 grandchildren, and lifelong educator, he promotes music education as the panacea in raising the academic standards of American school children.

"Music is the stimulus that grows corpus collosums in children with learning disabilities, makes so-called average kids smarter, and propels the smart kids into becoming geniuses," asserts Dr. Chartrand.

"The intergenerations are bound together in values and vision when older musicians mentor young aspiring musicians. Our current education system consigns U.S. children to the bottom of the world's Math & Science Survey, ignoring the power of music to provide them the cognitive, neurological, and sociological advantages that are obtained ONLY through the development of musical skills. The research is solid and long-standing, yet virtually ignored."

Finally, Dr. Chartrand offers this bit of insight:"Yes, there are many avoidable reasons why so many of today's children are not developing and achieving to their full potential. There are reasons that today's "A" students in many nations are, on average, about where "C" students were just a generation ago. Or why scores on college entrance exams are only about 50% of what they were when America was on top of the academic world. However, in these seminars parents, children, educators can see how many if not most of these barriers can be overcome. Hence, overcoming the challenges faced by today's children and youth require involved parents, dynamic schools with music education as core curriculum, changes in children's diet and lifestyle, the dismantling of the current dangerous pharmacological regime that compromises and disregards the more effective treatment modalities. Most of all, it requires youth that are happy, thriving...and successful."