Posts categorized “Music and Healing”


Oliver Sacks, M.D., author of Musicophilia and other books, became interested in music after he saved his own life because of a song.  He had severely injured one of his legs while mountain climbing, back before there were cell phones.  As he pushed his way down the side of the mountain using his elbows, the “Song of the Volga Boatmen” came to his mind.  He would do a big “heave” and a “ho” motion with each beat in the song.  Sacks continued using music along with traditional medical treatment for most of his patients.

Get in Sync with the Music

The rhythm or beat of music stimulates your body and mind. Beautiful music performed with feeling can affect your emotions and make you cry, laugh, smile, or relax. When you hear harmonious music, the vibrations travel throughout your body, affecting your digestion, circulation, heart rate, breathing, nutrition and the neural networks of your brain (which in turn affect your emotions). 80 percent of stimuli come through our ears, which affects the brain and the rest of the body. You probably already choose music to match the mood or energy level you want – enjoyable upbeat music to give you more energy for exercising or daily activities, slower, more subdued music for relaxing. Being aware of the power of music and choosing your music carefully can have huge benefits. Who knows, maybe you’ll use a song to save your life, too!

Find more fascinating information in my book: Music, Healing and Harmony



I Call Music “A Spiritual Vitamin.”

The dictionary defines music as “a composition of rhythmical, melodic, harmonic sounds.” Music can also be defined as the result of our conscious development of sound into an art and a science. Goethe called architecture “petrified music.” I call music “a spiritual vitamin” or, simply, “a miracle.”

Music is Vibration, Energy and Sound Waves.

Music is the most direct of the fine arts; the harmony of the universe is attracted to the harmony of the music.  Music, which is composed of vibration, energy and sound waves, surrounds us.  The universe is a complete harmony of many sounds – many lives and energy vibrating together as they fill the silence.  All this energy can end up as harmony or as noisy discord, dissonance or disharmony.  The music we choose to listen to contributes to our energy, mood and state of health.

The Five Variations in Music that Affect Your State of Being

You need to be aware of five general variations in music that have the power to change your health, mood, and energy level.

  1. Tempo: the speed of the music; fast, moderate or slow.
  2. Dynamics: the volume of the music; loud or soft.
  3. Pitch: the frequency of the music; high or low.
  4. Timbre: the tone or color of the particular instrument or voice.
  5. Style: classical, romantic, jazz, Celtic, pop.

    Learn more from my book, Music, Healing and Harmony


Each Note Activates a Specific Chakra

It is believed by some that different notes or tones of the scale have special effects on us. There are seven notes of the major diatonic scale, and there are seven chakras (wheels of energy) surrounding the body, according to yoga philosophy. The chakras are located from the base of the spine to the top of the head. When a certain note of the scale is produced, this is said to activate a certain corresponding chakra. When activated, this energy or aura is sent to the physical body. The Hindus call this subtle, divine energy prana; the Chinese call it chi, and the Japanese know it as ki. It is sometimes called kundalini. Many people report seeing a spinning wheel of light in a certain color for each chakra. Everyone has certain chakras or energy centers activated at different times. Here is a description of the seven chakras, notes and their colors.

Musical Note C – Red   The root chakra located at the base of the spine. It is associated with survival, ambition, grounding one’s physical energy.
Musical Note D – Orange  The sacral or water chakra located just below the navel. It is associated with creativity, sensual and sexual energy, and relationships.
Musical Note E – Yellow  The solar plexus or fire chakra is located midway between the heart and navel. It is associated with physical energy, traveling, personal power and emotions.
Musical Note F – Green  The heart chakra is located in the center of the chest. It is associated with compassion, understanding, love, and healing.
Musical Note G – Blue  The throat chakra is located at the base of the throat. It is associated with communication, speaking one’s truth, clairaudience, and taking away pain.
Musical Note A – Indigo or Purple. The brow or third eye chakra is located in the center of the forehead. It is associated with clairvoyance, intuition, understanding, and inner vision.
Musical Note B – Violet or White. The crown chakra is located at the top of the head. It is associated with spirituality, meditation, and cosmic awareness.

When you want to enhance certain energies, find the corresponding note with a tuner or instrument. Hum or listen to that note while visualizing the part of the body where that chakra or energy center is located. There are therapists who use crystal bowls and other methods to create the vibrations and specific tones that you need.

Many massage therapists, chiropractors and other holistic practitioners now have a patient’s table with built-in speakers. Various tones and frequencies allow you to hear music through your bones and skin as well as with your ears. This type of vibrational therapy is often incorporated with other types of healing.

Listen to some healing harp music. Choose a song that your intuition says is right for you.




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 my 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.