Education: Masters of Science, Institute of Textile Technology, Charlottesville VA Bachelors of Science, Auburn University, Auburn AL Professional Development: Mind and Body Medical Institute Courses, Department of Continuing Education, Harvard Medical School, Boston MA
In 1969, Terry Woodford started out making music for heartsick and impressionable teenagers in Muscle Shoals Alabama. During his career as a hit record producer, music publisher, recording engineer, songwriter, Woodford supplied music and songs for top acts such as The Commodores, Jimmy Buffet, The Temptations, Alabama, Hank Williams Jr., Wayne Newton, Barbara Mandrell, Mac McAnally, John Kay of Steppenwolf, The Supremes and many others. Terry served on the board of governors of the Nashville Chapter of the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences twice. He co-founded and taught courses for the first four year degree program in the country to teach the ins and outs of the music business at the University of North Alabama. Many of the song writers and students he mentored are well respected leaders in the record industry. One of his discoveries, Mac McAnally, was recently inducted into the Song writers Hall of Fame and won CMA's musician of the year six times. His former partners Clayton Ivey, Jimmy Johnson, Barry Beckette, Roger Hawkins and David Hood were inducted into the Musicians Hall of Fame in 2009.
Terry also served as Chairman of the Alabama Music Hall of Fame board for five years. As a result a four million dollar museum was constructed in Tuscumbia, Alabama to honor Alabama's music achievers.
Then in 1985 he ran into a crying need.
From ‘Rock & Roll’ to ‘Rock-a-Bye’
At the request of a daycare provider, Woodford took on a challenge to produce music in his Wishbone Recording Studio to help kids sleep at naptime. His idea was to record an actual human heart and use it as the rhythm of traditional nursery songs. Much to his surprise, when tested in a hospital newborn nursery, nurses reported 94% of crying babies were calmed to sleep by the music in less than two minutes.
Later that year, Woodford visited a cardiac intensive care unit where nurses had started playing his Heartbeat Lullabies to help infants and children get rest and sleep needed to heal from heart surgery. The intensive care nurses were anxious to show him how playing his simple lullabies with a heartbeat could miraculously calm a frightened upset baby in just a few seconds. The experience changed his life. In 1987 he left the music business to devote full time to developing and spreading the use of his heartbeat lullabies.
The music has proven to be a “God send” for thousands of care providers and millions of frazzled, sleep deprived parents . The research-backed recordings have now been used in over 8,000 hospitals and special care centers to calm infants, children and adults. Woodford's method to get babies to stop crying and sleep through the night has been played in over 3.4 million homes. It’s estimated that well over twenty million people either went to sleep to his heartbeat Lullabies or watched a child go to sleep to the recording. Fans may not remember the name of the CD or Woodford’s name, but they never forget it’s distinctive sound and how fast it works.
Crying is the primary trigger for infant abuse and shaken baby syndrome
Over one and a half million copies of his method to stop crying and get babies to sleep all night have been purchased by the Department of Defense, public health departments, hospitals, insurance companies and child abuse prevention organizations to give at-risk parents to stop the crying and help prevent infant abuse.
The music evolves to other animal species
For years, Woodford would roll his eyes when parents wrote him about how their baby’s Heartbeat Lullabies CD was also calming their dog to sleep. He just assumed when the baby stopped crying the dog got a break like everyone else in the family.
But in 2004, members of the American Boarding Kennels Association (ABKA) verified that parents were on to something. Over 90 kennels reported that playing Heartbeat Lullabies for anxious dogs reduced separation anxiety, diarrhea, aggression and excessive barking. That same year researchers reported calming aggressive male chimps to sleep by playing the CD at the Honolulu Zoo.
Woodford knew if he tried to market the baby lullaby CD to calm barking dogs, he would be setting himself up for ridicule and disbelief from skeptics. But when he saw the music calm 50 frightened barking dogs in less than two minutes in a Colorado humane society, he decided to go for it. “It would have been irresponsible not to share the dramatic successes animal care providers were having playing the CD for their upset dogs,” says Woodford. “When we played the Canine Lullabies CD stress levels were way low which makes the dogs a lot easier to adopt.” Says, Susan Friedenburg, Adoption Manager, Colorado Humane Society /SPCA Englewood.
“When I tout the benefits of playing the Canine Lullabies CD for an upset dog usually the first reaction I get is a smile or laughter,” Woodford says. “This is such a simple off-the-wall solution that most dog owners think I’m either naïve, a far out new ager, or a quack. But when they play the CD for an anxious barking dog, they are just as surprised and amazed as I was the first time I saw it work.”
Hundreds of humane societies, rescue shelters and animal clinics across America and Great Britain are discovering they can make their dogs more comfortable and more adoptable by playing the Canine Lullabies CD. Upon request the Canine Lullabies CDs are provided free to shelters, humane societies, and animal clinics to use in their facility.
In a recent evidenced based study 15 chronically ill people with Dementia and Alzheimer's were played Terry's Heartbeat Lullabies for 30 minutes, twice a week, for six weeks to reduce anxiety. The residents demented type behavior was dramatically reduced and their cognitive abilities were dramatically improved.
Woodford is a recognized therapeutic music expert – both in artistic creation and in marketing innovation. He speaks nationally to nurses, doctors, social workers, parents and other care providers on how to use music and why it works to help heal and calm frightened children, adults and other animals.
Woodford’s advice is widely sought by parents and he has been an informative and entertaining guest on national, regional and local media including CBS Up to the Minute, TNN, CBC (Journal Diary), Health Network’s “Ask the Pediatrician”, The 700 Club, BBC and others. He’s been interviewed in over 400 local TV news stories, TV talk shows, talk radio programs and newspapers in American and Canadian cities.