Ep. 11: A Lion Mom Roars: with America’s Got Talent Contestant Susan Pascale

October 8, 2019

Get Tiger Mom results without the Tiger Mom bite! In her article, “A Lion Mom Roars,” Susan Pascale discusses her methods for getting high-level results without sacrificing a child’s childhood or the parent-child relationship.  She explains how to have high expectations for excellence and ambition for your children and students – without the negativity that can go along with being a Tiger Mom (a term that because a household phrase with the publication of Amy Chua’s excellent book, “Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother”).


Joining us today is guest Susan Pascale, founder and director of the nationally-acclaimed Los Angeles Children’s Orchestra (LACO). LACO has performed on America’s Got Talent and at Carnegie Hall, where they set a world record as the youngest orchestra ever to perform there. Her Pascale Method approach to teaching is receiving international attention for its success with launching young children into music.


Listen to a genre of music you don’t typically listen to. Tune the car radio to a new station or attend a performance (that you wouldn’t otherwise attend) that a friend is involved in. Consider:

  • Jazz
  • Classical
  • Rock
  • Reggae
  • Hip-Hop
  • Sacred
  • Pop
  • Country
  • Folk
  • Blues

Trust your own instincts. Music is about communicating feelings and emotions. If that isn’t happening within a particular genre, try another.


How can listeners learn more about your work and connect with you?


We listen to the audio of The Los Angeles Children’s Orchestra (ages 8 to 13) on America’s Got Talent (Season 10). Do yourself a favor and watch the YouTube video  so you can enjoy the visuals (including choreography/violin players doing the splits while playing, etc.) – I had a huge smile on my face the whole time, and broke out laughing when the little boy winked at the end of the performance!

Additional Resources

Listener Improv

A special thank-you to listener Sarah in Lake Leelanau, Michigan, who shared this practical way her family enhances life with music: “We are a family who schools at home utilizing a curriculum that puts everything to music for easy memorization!” What a great idea – I didn’t know until getting Sarah’s message that there is actually a curriculum that puts everything to music – what a cool way to remember facts, and also enjoy all the benefits of singing that we heard about back in Ep. 4: Music Rewires the Brain. In episode 4, Maegan Morrow lists many benefits of singing that include strengthening the immune system; increasing lung capacity; natural anti-depressant; releases endorphins; relaxes us and reduces stress levels; expands vocabulary; increases neuroplasticity; and trains the ear, resulting in greater empathy when listening to others. Thank you, Sarah, for that Listener Improv!

Send me your Listener Improv, like Sarah, by sharing a practical way you use music to enhance YOUR life. Leave a comment below, comment on social media, or email me at mindy@mpetersonmusic.com. I would love to hear from you!



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5 responses to “Ep. 11: A Lion Mom Roars: with America’s Got Talent Contestant Susan Pascale”

  1. Good morning Mindy, thanks for the podcast. Your listener a few weeks ago that mentioned the toothbrush song resonated with me. We have a little one who dislikes her teeth being brushed. We have a fun little song we sing over and over and she’s catching on that toothbrushing isn’t so bad. She’s speech delayed and is even starting to try and sing the song with me. Learning more and more how
    Important music is as we see the ability to connect over music with our children daily in silly and serious ways.

  2. Hi Mindy, we use music in our house as a form of calming and connecting with our children. Just last night one of our ‘strong willed’ and highly energetic children were struggling with obedience and cooperating. I turned on Toby Mac (my daughters and I’s favorite artist) and told her to meet me on the couch. Before I suggested she meet me over music she was adamant she was going to see her mom. After the suggestion, she joined me on the couch, we turned on the music, she calmed down and relaxed, and we had a great conversation. We also have regular “jam sessions” on the way to school and at home where we sing and dance together. She does not appear to be musically gifted but it’s a place where we connect and I love that.

    • We are big fans of TobyMac, too! Thanks for pointing out that the benefits of music are not only for the musically gifted. A quote I love is “Use what talent you possess: the woods would be very silent if no birds sang except those that sang best.” (Henry van Dyke)