Posts categorized “Music and Healing”



How Music Affects the Growth of Plants

Music is so powerful it can affect the growth of plants! Dorothy Retallack, a graduate student in Denver, Colorado, placed plants in five greenhouses with different types of music playing    All the greenhouses had identical soil, light and water conditions.
1. The plants in the greenhouse with classical and Indian music thrived, were green and healthy, and had many flowers. They leaned toward the music, just like they grow toward the sun.
2. The plants where country/western music was playing grew the same as those with no music – at a moderate rate, with a normal amount of flowers.
3. The plants that were exposed to loud acid rock music had stunted growth, with no flowers – in fact, many plants withered and died.  They turned away from the rock music.

Does Rock Music Cause Erratic Behavior?

After performing this experiment, Ms. Retallack commented, “If rock music has an adverse effect on plants, is the rock music listened to so long and so often by the younger generation partly responsible for their erratic, chaotic behavior?  Could the discordant sounds we hear these days be the reason humanity is growing neurotic?”

Ancients Knew Beautiful Harmonious Music Was Beneficial for Plants.

Another study by Dr. T.C. Singh of the Botany Department at Annamalai University, India, had similar results. He found that the plants exposed to classical music grew at twice their normal rate, and that later generations of the seeds from the stimulated plants also were larger and had more lush foliage.  If different types of music had this effect on plants, imagine how music can influence human beings!  Ancients intuitively knew this even before there was controlled research. They believed the finest flowers would grow near the temples, where beautiful, harmonious music was played.

From book, Music, Healing and Harmony.


Create Your Own Spiritual Place.

Anything beautiful, whether visual art, music, nature, flowers, or love can be sacred and remind us of the awesomeness of life. Even when a piece of music isn’t formally labeled as religious, it may bring us to a spiritual place.

Use Your Favorite Piece of Music and Something Beautiful.

Try an experiment. Put on a favorite piece of music – something so beautiful it instills in you a sense of awe. The music can be classical, popular, religious, folk song – whatever appeals to you. Then look around and choose something beautiful to observe intently. For instance, focus on the center of a flower.

Focus on the Music and the Beautiful Object.

Breathe deeply, and concentrate on both the visual and auditory experience. Try to imagine how this beautiful flower was created, at the same time being aware of different harmonies, rhythm patterns, and the tone and timbre (color) in the music. Bring your attention back to the flower’s center — its colors, shape and structure. Continue shifting between the music and the flower, eventually merging your reactions to each.  You will be filled with a sense of awe and wonder, feeling at one with the universe.
Listen to some relaxing harp music.



Musical Hallucinations (also Known as “Earworms”)

Advertisers, film and television producers love to use catchy tunes that will stay in listeners’ ears and brains and instantly make you think of a certain product or show.  But if a tune or jingle gets stuck in your head and annoys you, that is what Oliver Sacks, author of Musicophilia, refers to as a “brainworm.”  The best way to get an irritating tune out of your head is to listen to or perform other music.

The hearing part of your brain never shuts down, even when you’re under an anaesthetic or sleeping.  Sometimes the music that the surgeon had playing while performing your surgery, for example, will become embedded in your brain.  Later you will be humming or hearing that tune, and wondering why. You have a “brainworm!”

Musicians, you can use this to your advantage when memorizing a piece of music.  Record the piece yourself or get a good recording of it.  Put the music on as you’re going to bed and when you’re sitting down to relax.  This will automatically speed up the memorization.  You can also read the music visually, experience the feel of fine motor and muscle coordination, hear the music you’re producing, and take in the music by ear only.

Choose your listening music carefully, even when you’re not consciously aware of it.  If you’re going to have a “brainworm,” it might just as well be enjoyable!

“Music, Healing and Harmony” by Sally Fletcher


Our Own Vibrations (brain waves, heartbeat, breath) Get In Sync With Music.

Everything in existence – atoms, molecules, cells, the entire universe – and, yes, music – is in a state of continuous vibration. Everything vibrates at a particular frequency. We have the power to manipulate and control energy through the vibrations of music. With music, rhythm, pulse, melody, pitch, harmony and different instruments all contribute to this universal energy. If you want to relax and slow down, listen or play slower harmonic music. If you need a little more energy, brighter, happier music will help to speed up your metabolism.

Music Sets the Mood in Movies or Television Shows.

The next time you watch a movie or television show, pay close attention to the music playing in the background. The choice of music is very deliberate, designed to evoke a certain mood or emotion. I often have someone come up to me after I play a certain piece and ask what movie it was from. The music brings back memories of the movie; they’re woven together in the person’s mind.

Choose Music That Matches The State of Being You Desire.

Would you like more energy; do you want to relax, to meditate, to learn something new, to get in touch with nature? Often the music you enjoy and choose is subconsciously what you need anyway!

Suggestions for Choosing Your Music

*For Energy and to Clear Your Head – 125-130 beats per minute
Louder music with a quick beat and higher pitch helps to rev up your brain and metabolism – getting you in sync with the music.

*For Learning, Concentration and Motivation – 115-120 beats per minute
Listen to music that is moderate in tempo, dynamics and pitch, and has no lyrics. Great for studying and focusing.

   *For Relaxation – 60-80 beats per minute
Slow-tempo, soothing, mellow music entices you to slow down. Perfect for getting to sleep, getting ready to meditate, unwinding.

If you’re in the mood to relax, listen to some soothing harp music.



All About Vibration

The definition of “vibrate” is to move backward and forward, to oscillate, to shake, to quiver. Everything is in a constant state of vibration, from the tiny electron to the vast universe. To understand the concept of vibration, hold one arm straight out in front of you, completely still. You may not notice the movement of that arm, but under a microscope you would see that the electrons that make up the arm are moving (vibrating) at the rate of approximately 186,300 miles per second. By shaking your arm you increase the frequency (speed) of the vibration.

Your Thoughts Are Also Vibrations.

When you have certain beliefs and thoughts, your brain sends off electromagnetic waves. Your body soon is resonating to the same vibrations. Some people have rigid auras (fields of energy) and don’t exchange energy freely. Those who have energy fields that are more resonant and harmonious find it easier to interact with others. This is why you are attracted to some people and not others.

The Vibration of Music Has a Profound Effect on Your State of Being.

Music produces a wide range of frequencies from low to high. The timbre and tonal quality vary widely, depending upon the instrument. The pulse or rhythm can vary from extremely slow to very fast. All this has an extreme effect on your aura or state of being.

Your Choice of Thoughts, Companions and Music Affect Your Well Being.

Trust your intuition if you are getting bad vibes from certain music or individuals (or groups). Simply change what you’re listening to or performing. Avoid people who seem to disturb your aura or energy, and choose those you feel in harmony with. There are times when you can’t control either the music or your companions. For those times simply breathe deeply and imagine a protective aura surrounding you.

Try absorbing some good vibrations as you listen to classical harp music.




Lullabies Establish a Soothing Connection With the outside World.

A baby’s first awareness of the world is huge and frightening. The swaying rhythm of a lullaby is close to the infant’s own heartbeat, and the quiet harmony is a relief from the rest of the world. A simple, repeating melody is a source of comfort.

There’s an ancient part of the brain in the limbic system which is responsible for the emotional responses to music. When the emotional part of the brain is stimulated by music, this decreases the arousal level, which decreases pain levels.

Child Care Worker Used Harp Music to Get Children to Sleep.

Carol McKenna of San Rafael, California, cared for dozens of foster children over her lifetime. She used two of my harp CDs, Healing from the Harp and Soothing Lullabies from the Harp, to calm the children for naps and bedtime. The children learned to associate sleep time with the music, and it made getting to sleep easier. Occasionally, if Carol forgot to play the music, the children would ask her to play it to get them to sleep.

Relaxing Music Calms the Nervous System, Slows Breathing and Heart Rate.

Playing soft background music or singing a lullaby before bed or during naps makes falling asleep easier and quicker. It also improves sleep duration and the quality of sleep.

Music is everywhere. It is felt in bird song, rain drops, harp strings, and drum beats. Music is a gift which we can share and enjoy. Helping babies sleep better is a beautiful way to take advantage of the gift of music.

Listen to samples of soothing harp music.




1. Make a worry list. Put the list in an imaginary balloon and release it. (Don’t worry, you can get it back in the morning if you still want it!)

2. Curl your toes up then relax them.

3. Establish a ritual, so your brain and body knows it’s time to sleep. It might be washing your face, brushing your teeth, 5-10 minutes of yoga or other stretching, listening to your favorite relaxing music. A good example of relaxing music is  Serenity from the Harp. You can also find this CD at

4. Avoid alcohol or caffeine for several hours before bedtime – 3 hours for alcohol and up to 12 hours for caffeine.

5.  Choose a regular waking time and bed time. Even on the weekends, try to keep the routine at least approximately the same.

6.  Roll your eyes upward for a few seconds, then relax them.

7. Do some slow deep breaths. Count as you inhale and exhale – any number you choose.

Do you have some tips for sleeping better? Please let me know.



The Organ Seems to Express The Full Range of Human Sentiments.

The pipe organ has been called the king of musical instruments because it takes up all the sounds of creation. The organ has a wide expressive range, from piano to a thundering fortissimo. The largest pipes (the lowest) can make the floors of a church or hall shake, while the smallest pipes (the highest) can sound like a delicate bird.  It seems to echo and express the fullness of human sentiments, from joy to sadness, from praise to lamentation. Differences in the shape of pipes enable the organ  to imitate many other instruments, which creates a wide variety of sounds (timbres).

The Almost Endless Possibilities of the Organ Remind Us of the Magnificence of God.

Beautiful organ music, like all music of quality, seems to transcend the human sphere, and evokes the divine. The endless range of timbre and variety of sounds of the organ seems to remind us of the immensity and the magnificence of God.

“The Lost Chord” by Organist,  Adelaide Anne Proctor

The beginning of this poem by organist, Adelaide Anne Proctor, puts into words the magnificence of the organ.

Seated one day at the organ,
I was weary and ill at ease,
And my fingers wandered idly
Over the noisy keys;
I know not what I was playing,
Or what I was dreaming then,
But I struck one chord of music,
Like the sound of a great Amen,
Like the sound of a great Amen.

To hear some magnificent organ music ……


Our reaction to music isn’t always “joyful” pleasure.

One evening, Hector Berlioz, a French composer, started sobbing loudly at a concert. The person sitting next to him asked if he wanted to go out to the lobby. Berlioz replied, “What?! Do you think I come here for pleasure?” The melancholy and grief he experienced from the music obviously gave him a certain pleasure. This is why we enjoy crying at a sad movie or story. It’s cathartic to get in touch with all our emotions, good and bad, and express them. Music is a safe way to do this.

Music helps us get pleasure from even negative emotions.

When music puts us in a sad state, we feel that maybe the pain occurred for a reason. There is always a resolution in music, from dissonance to harmony, and we can identify with that since life is a series of ups and downs, conflict-resolution, sadness-joy, stress-relaxation. When we allow all the emotions to come to the surface, it is cathartic. Wayne L. Misner, owner of Healthcare CIO, says, “Songwriters somehow have learned to share my memories, your memories, and with their memories merge them into a song ball. Forever bouncing the song ball off us, they play dodge ball, hitting our minds and hearts.”

It’s healthy to get in touch with our emotions, both happy and sad.

Like Berlioz, go ahead and experience the “pleasurable grief” from music. Choose any kind of intense music that stirs your emotions, and let it help you get in touch with your inner needs. Learn more about how music is so powerful “Music, Healing and Harmony” http//



Establish a Routine at Bedtime and Be Consistent.

Sing lullabies, give your baby a bath or read a book.  The routine helps the baby relax, feel safe, and is also a signal that it’s time for sleep.

Use the Same Music Each Time You Put Your Baby to Sleep

When a soothing lullaby begins that the infant hears often, a sense of order and calmness begins.
Choose music that is approximately 60 beats per minutes, which is a calming rhythm. The music establishes a correlation between the baby’s general physiology and the outside world.  The rhythm of a lullaby is similar to the baby’s heartbeat.  The quiet repetitive melodies of a lullaby is a comfort and a relief.

Put Your Baby Down as Soon as He or She Is Sleepy.

Babies (and adults) sometimes have a hard time getting to sleep if they too tired.

Listen to some soothing harp lullabies at