Posts categorized “Music and Relaxation”


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 




Music Engages people in Ways that Words Can’t.

Music, whether listening or performing, has qualities that allow us to express ourselves in a non-verbal way. Often we are at a “loss for words” and can’t seem to describe our experiences. When emotions are pent up or withheld, this leads to stress. The stress can lead to tension in your muscle groups, neck, back, shoulder, and jaws. Hanging on to feelings can lead to psychosomatic illnesses like headaches, high blood pressure, asthma, depression and cardiac problems.

Music Stimulates Brain Regions Related to Feelings.

Along comes music, which takes us to another place – where it’s acceptable to feel anger, sadness or happiness in the music. Music has the power to move us by activating deep-seated brain regions that are used to process emotion. The brain regions stimulated by euphoric stimuli like food, sex and love also light up when we listen to music. Blood flow in the brain rises and falls along with the music in areas associated with reward, emotion and arousal.

Allow Music to Get Rid of Inhibitions and Let Out Withheld Emotions.

Choose whatever music appeals to you, and let yourself “get lost” in the music. Since music can be pleasurable, cathartic, and meaningful , allow your emotions to surface. Maybe you can find words to express your feelings or maybe you can simply be aware of the pent-up feelings. Either way you will be giving your emotional and physical health a big boost.

Listen to some samples of relaxing harp music for a start.




The Power of Music

Music is mind-altering, legal and free or low-cost, and has no negative side effects. Music can help in healing, change your mood, help you get to sleep, increase your brain power and make you forget your troubles.  I can think of at least 7 wonders of music.

1. Music is invisible.
Music is sound waves or vibrations traveling through the air. You can’t see the sound waves unless you intentionally measure the speed of the sound waves with a mechanical tuner and calculate that speed in numbers, or hertz. Everything in existence, including music, is in a state of continuous vibration. We have the power to manipulate and control energy through the vibrations of music.

2. Printed music is a universal language.

Musicians worldwide use the same music when learning a piece or song. It doesn’t matter whether the musician lives in Austria, United States, United Kingdom, Russia, France, India, China – or anywhere else – music doesn’t need to be translated.

3. Music is healing.

Healing music isn’t just a new age fad. Pythagoras, who lived about 580 to 500 B.C.E., was known to seriously use music for healing. He was a Greek philosopher and mathematician, and also played the lyre (now known as the harp). He called his method “musical medicine.” Music is now used to control pain, ease depression and anxiety, aid in stroke recovery, prevent seizures, control blood pressure, help insomnia, and much more.

4. Music can change your mood in a few seconds.

Music can almost “possess” you and change your mood in a few seconds. An old song can bring back happy or sad emotions, as if time stood still.  Music can be inspirational, relaxing, or invigorating. Music has the power to overwhelm our senses, sending a message to the nervous system and brain.

5. Music can increase intelligence.

It seems incredible that something as enjoyable as music could increase your ability to learn, improve your memory and make your brain work better – but it’s true. Making music activates links to several parts of the brain because it’s a multisensory experience.

6. Music helps you relax.

Think of stress as dis-harmony or dissonance. Music is about dissonance then harmony, resolving chords and melodies. The harmony and beauty in music, whether listening or performing, affects your entire body and mind as you become in sync with the music.

7. Music brings up memories.

Music links our memories to songs we’ve heard before. You may be brought to tears by a song that was playing at a funeral. You may remember a friend or former lover when you hear a song that you heard together. For adults, listening to songs from our teenage years reminds us of carefree younger times.

To learn more about each of these 7 wonders of music, go to:

“How powerful is your magic sound.”
Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, The Magic Flute, 1791.



Does Music Move You?

Music can stir your innermost feelings and senses, changing your mood and attitude in a matter of minutes. Have you ever been brought to tears by a sad song? Have you ever felt like dancing around when you heard a fun song that you knew as a child? Some music has the ability to help you relax or enter a deep spiritual state. Music can be more powerful and addictive than any drug.

The common thread among timeless music is that it “moves” us.

We often feel a chill when listening to Beethoven, Bach, Wagner or another favorite composer.  Music stirs our emotions when the composer plays with changes in dynamics, tempo or modulation. Sometimes the changes are sudden and extreme, other times subtle and intricate.  Drawing emotions from music is an art.

Times When Music Brings Chills to the Spine

– When a symphony turns from loud to quiet
– When a harpist plays glissandos up and down the harp
– Hearing carolers singing holiday songs
– Hearing the Toccata and Fugue in D Minor by Bach on an organ
– When a solo voice or instrument enters
– When two singers have contrasting voices
– When a symphony plays some of our favorite music
– Hearing music that we are familiar with, bringing up memories

Music Goes from the Ear to the Brain to the Whole Body

First, the sound waves travel through the air, then the outer ear collects the sound. Then, the middle ear sends the sound waves to the inner ear. This causes the small hairs and bones to vibrate. This creates nerve signals to the part of the brain which controls emotion, anxiety, pleasure, arousal and creativity. Next in line is the hypothalamus which controls the heart rate, respiration, blood pressure, body temperature and nerves to the skin and stomach. All this occurs in less than a second. You may find yourself “in another world” when listening to music!



Trouble Falling Asleep is Not Uncommon

Are you one of the many people who have trouble sleeping?  Do you have trouble falling asleep, staying asleep or waking up too early?


      Start with music at a moderate tempo. If you listen to very slow relaxing music when you first go to bed, it won’t match your energy level. Your metabolism, your mind and body are still alert. You could find the slow music boring and completely tune it out. This is the reason “sleep music” often doesn’t work. The slower music will help you more after you’ve allowed your mind and body to relax.

Do some deep breathing. The balloon breath is a simple breathing exercise. Imagine your diaphragm is a balloon. Take a big breath in through your nostrils, expanding your lungs, pushing your navel up toward the ceiling, as you “fill the balloon.” Then open your mouth and slowly exhale the air, “letting the air out of the balloon.” Do 3 or 4 of these deep breaths, then breathe normally.

Now switch to slower music. Experiment with different types of slow music to see what you like and what is relaxing for you. Simple music with no lyrics is more likely to get you in the mood for sleep. Tibetan bowls, flute, sitar and harp are good instruments for soothing, relaxing music. The same music used for meditation is also good for getting to sleep.

     Use a CD you like or buy individual songs from the internet to make your own bedtime music. This may take a little experimenting, but it is worth the effort. Start with a moderate tempo piece, then switch to slower, soothing music, then even slower music. Once you get several songs in order, use that each time you’re ready to sleep.

Establish a habit of deep breathing and listening to your bedtime music. Pretty soon every time you hear the music and begin the deep breathing, you will find yourself falling asleep.

Listen to some samples of harp music. Click on any CD and any song to listen.




De-stress With Music

Are you worried about buying the “correct” gifts?  Are you overwhelmed with all the parties, excitement, hustle and bustle of the holidays?  Take some time to relax with calming music.  When you are relaxed by the music, beta-endorphins are released, affecting all your cells and allowing your body to heal itself. Try a little visualization. Put your problems (challenges) in an imaginary balloon and let it go up into the universe. You can get it back if you really want it! Say to yourself, “I release this challenge into the universe.” As you listen to the music, let the vibrations of the music carry your stressful challenges away. Now, take three deep breaths. Let your stomach expand to make room for the air as you take the air into your lungs.  Breathe out slowly; feel the air on your lips as you exhale. Breathe with the rhythm of the music. Now, just relax and enjoy the music for a few minutes. You will be receiving answers subconsciously, even if you aren’t aware of this. This will accomplish more than trying too hard to figure out solutions to your challenges!

Select Your Music for Relaxation

Some ideal relaxation music for me would be by a  harpist, cellist,  flutist or chanting .When you choose your music for relaxation, make it what you enjoy and love, not what someone told you was the “correct” music to play for a certain disorder or state of mind. What song makes you remember a time when you were totally relaxed? Start a collection of those songs for your de-stress time. Soon you’ll know which ones work best for helping you reach a state of relaxation and peace. After a while, you will build up a habit whereby your relaxation music will get you to the quiet time sooner and sooner. Your brain will build connectors and make the association between your special music and your time to relax.
If you love some of the Christmas music, use that.  If you’re tired of hearing it everywhere, choose something entirely different.

Use Upbeat Music to Beat the Blues

Many people get depressed during the holidays.  You can use music to get out of  blues, too.  Choose music with a faster tempo and a fun rhythm – something that will make you want to tap your toes or swing.  Some of the Christmas music is like this, as well as any of your favorite songs.  Let the music lift you up, and take you to a lighter place.  Christmas is a time for joy, and music can help you enjoy the holidays.

Check out some relaxing harp music for yourself or for gifts.


“Everything should be made as simple as possible, but not simpler.” – Albert Einstein

The KISS principle -Keep it Simple Sweetheart
If you think of a good substitute for “stupid” or “sweetheart,” let me know.)

The KISS principle was formulated by Kelly Johnson, an engineer for an advanced aircraft development program. The goal was to design systems with simple repair capabilities. Today that same principle is used for designing software, composing music, writing, and living life in general.

Songs With Simple Themes Are Often the Ones We Never Forget.

We usually  listen to music when we want to relax. It’s not relaxing when the music is dissonant or complicated. Listen to the bass line in Canon in D by Pachelbel. The same pattern is used all through the piece, with variations in the upper part of the music. The same bass pattern is repeated all through the piece in Arabian Dance/Nutcracker Suite by Tschaikovsky

Much of the ageless folk music has simple repetitive chords and lyrics that aren’t too complicated. Almost everyone recognizes Greensleeves, both as a folk song and Christmas Carol.

The lyrics to opera, pop and country songs are often about an awesome lover, loss of love, and life.


10 Simple Things in Life That Bring Happiness

1. A good book
2. Hearing some of your favorite music
3. Laughing so hard your sides hurt
4. Falling in love
5. Finding a solution to a nagging problem
6. Spending time with your kids, grandkids, parents, friends
7. The first bite or sip of your favorite food
8.Coming up with a fabulous idea
9. Waking up after a good sleep totally relaxed
10. A beautiful sunset

When you realize you are stressed and trying to think about several things at once, think of this quote.

“Life is like art. You have to work hard to keep it simple and still have meaning.” – Charles De Lint


The Invisible Vibrations of Music Affect Your Body and Mind

Have you ever had a change of mood because of hearing certain music? Each combination of sound waves (harmony) will change the electrical activity of your brain and your general metabolism. If you don’t believe this, watch the strings of a harp or violin after they’ve been plucked.

Everything in existence – atoms, molecules, the entire universe, and yes, music – is in a constant state of continuous vibration.

Some Ways to Control Vibration Using Music

– Rhythm and Tempo  (fast, slow, waltz, 4/4)
– Pulse (accent)
– Melody (tune)
– Pitch (high, low)
– Harmony (simple, jazz, dissonant)
– Different Instruments (timbre)

All this has an effect upon your aura or state of being.

You can’t see the sound waves or vibrations unless you intentionally measure their speed with a mechanical tuner. The speed is calculated in numbers, or hertz. Hertz is the term used for cycles per second of sound waves.

Choose Music to Control Your Energy Field

– For exercise, listen to music that is fast, 130-150 beats per minute.
– For energy in your day to day activities, use upbeat music that is 80-100 beats per minute & higher in pitch.
– For slowing down & relaxation, listen to music that is 60-80 beats per minute, mellow, deep and repetitive.
– For meditation, use music even slower than 60 beats per minute. A single mellow instrument like harp, cello or crystal bells with no recognizable melody is ideal.

Listen to some samples of calming music, “Serenity from the Harp.”





Have you tried putting some numbers or words to a tune? It’s often easier to remember the tune than the other information. Then the tune reminds you of what you were trying to remember.
This article from the Wall Street Journal describes what goes on in your brain with music.

Why Does Music Enhance Memorization?


Now that most of the parties and shopping are over, you can enjoy some quiet time. Sit  back, light some candles, enjoy the music as you contemplate the meaning of Christmas.