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MUSIC : She Whistles While She Works

TAKE HEART, aspiring musicians. You needn’t own or study an instrument. Just whistle. “It’s the universal language and good for the soul,” says Marge Carlson, also known professionally as “America’s Sweetheart of Bird Song.” She has been whistling--duplicating the first music ever heard by human ears--professionally, as a concert performer and recording artist, since the age of 10. She’s whistled for Johnny Carson, and last April, she whistled for 160,000 at the Hoosier Dome in Indianapolis.

Her formal training began at age 9 at the Agnes Woodward School of Whistling. Woodward, who was considered tops in the field, taught such pupils as John Wayne, Bing Crosby and Pat Boone. Carlson now owns and operates the school--renamed the California School of Artistic Whistling--teaching students ranging in age from 5 to 85 from all over the country (private lessons run $35 per hour).

Carlson also whistles to plants. One of her albums, “On Wings of Song,” which contains popular and gospel whistling with orchestral accompaniment, is part of a plant-nutrient company’s kit, Sonic Bloom ($60). Years of experimentation have revealed that certain sounds played during plant-feeding seem to promote growth.

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Marge Carlson’s tapes are available at music stores. For information regarding lessons, concerts, tapes and the plant-health kit, write Carlson at P.O. Box 7373, Fullerton 92634; or telephone (714) 525-7778.


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