Welcome to the Music and Healing Blog


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 http://www.amazon.com/dp/0961551305



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 http://www.amazon.com/dp/0961551305


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.  http://www.cdbaby.com/cd/heavenlyharp6




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. http://www.amazon.com/dp/B000FL87N6



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  http://www.amazon.com/dp/0961551305




A virtuoso is a musician with real high morals.

Beethoven wrote music even though he was deaf.  He was so deaf he wrote loud music.

Refrain means don’t do it.  A refrain in music is the part you had better not try to sing.

An opera is a song of bigly size.

I know what a sextet is but I’d rather not say.

Caruso was at first an Italian.  Then someone heard his voice and said he would go a long way.  And so he came to America.

Probably the most marvelous fugue was the one between the Hatfields and the McC



Born on January 27, 1756, in Salzburg, Austria, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart was a musician capable of playing multiple instruments who started playing and composing at the age of 4. He was known as a prodigy, and unlike any other composer in musical history, he wrote in all the musical genres of his day. His music was written to accommodate the specific tastes of particular audiences, not always following the “proper” form or harmony of his generation.


Mozart spent many years traveling with his father, and later as a salaried professional at various prestigious organizations. Similar to modern day rock stars, he was often discontent with the confining environment of these positions.  Often he was required to compose and play certain types of music, which Mozart objected to but was obliged to observe. He had once mixed freely with noblemen, but now found himself placed at a table in the lodgings for the archbishop’s entourage, below the valets if above the cooks. Furthermore, he was refused permission to play at concerts (including one attended by the emperor at which Mozart could have earned half a year’s salary in an evening). He was resentful and insulted. Matters came to a head at an interview with Archbishop Colloredo, who, according to Mozart, used unecclesiastical language; Mozart requested his discharge, which was eventually granted at a stormy meeting.


After many ups and downs in his career, Mozart set about earning a living in Vienna. His main concern was to take on some pupils, to write music for publication, and to play in concerts (which in Vienna were more often in noblemen’s houses than in public).

At the time of his death Mozart was widely regarded not only as the greatest composer of the time but also as a bold and “difficult” one. He suffered from depression and several illnesses.

Mozart spent the last 10 years of his life in precarious independence in Vienna.




Love Inspires Musical Composition

It’s no accident that so much music, from country music to operas, is about love.  The lyrics to country music songs often have a theme about the composer’s awesome partner or the loss of a love.  Well-known, beautiful classical music like Mozart’s “Concerto for Clarinet in A Major, 2nd Movement,” and Eine Kleine Nachtmusik may turn your heart to thoughts of love. Ravel’s “Bolero” is a sensual classical favorite that can put you in the mood for romantic love.   Many classical composers wrote music especially for their lovers.  In 1810 Beethoven wrote “Für Elise” and noted that it was for his immortal beloved.  There is some debate as to whether it was written for the woman he was in love with at that time, Therese Malfatti, or for his long-time lover, Therese van Brunswick.  It’s also unknown whether Elise was a nickname for Therese or whether the publisher misread Beethoven’s handwriting.  We will probably never know which of these women (if either one)  inspired him and earned the title of his “immortal beloved.”

Music Plays a Role in Romance

Charles Darwin, in The Descent of Man and Selection in Relation to Sex, stated that the need to find a mate was the pressing requirement of evolution.  He then suggested that, among humans, music played an important role in sexual selection.  Music can powerfully intensify and move your feelings, emotions and intellect all at once.   When you attend a Broadway show or romantic movie that stirs your emotions, be sure to get the soundtrack.  If you hear your partner say, “Oh, I love that song,” download that song or buy a CD with that song included. Listen to some romantic harp music at http://heavenlyharpist.com/harp-cd.htm.

What are some of your favorite love songs?




It’s cathartic to get in touch with all our emotions, good and bad. Music is a safe way to do this. There is always resolution in music, from dissonance to harmony. We can identify with that since life is a series of ups and downs, conflict-resolution, sadness-joy, stress-relaxation.