This page describes my views on Music Therapy
and Sound Healing, and later, how I find my instruments specifically
useful in both.
Music therapy and Sound Healing mostly just differ in peoples preconceptions. Most people consider Sound healing pretty woo woo, or far out in the alternative health field; while music therapy is an accredited subset of psychology and so taken more seriously by some. The only real difference is that Sound Healing encompasses a wider spectrum in that it can involve both sounding and being sounded to; where music therapy is usually active music making by the person involved.
Both approaches are valid, scientifically and clinically proven many times over, and powerful tools for attaining whole health.
Here's how I see my instruments as being useful in Sound Healing and Music Therapy:
At the most basic level, playing these instruments
gives folks; especially those who have trouble communicating any
other way because of disability , trauma, shyness, isolation,
lack of confidence; an easy and gratifying way to express themselves.
Of course, just the pure fun of playing an easily accessible,
beautiful sounding instrument is often enough.
What follows are my observations on how my instruments affect myself and other people I know. I expect some folks might have entirely different perceptions and sensations.
(6 foot wooden pentatonic xylophone).
The Amadinda is currently being used very successfully in several music therapy practices as well as grief work.
The physicality in combination with the musicality of the Amadinda are it's most endearing qualities. The physical aspect of it appeals to our primal nature (whack wood with stick) and helps get the juices flowing. The sweetness of the tone and the harmony in the pentatonic tuning make it an easily accessible act of musical creation.
Having observed many hundreds of people at fairs approach and shyly tap the Amadinda with a hand or mallet, I've seen maybe three who weren't immediately absorbed in it. It's incredibly magnetic.
Another unique quality is the community aspect of Amadinda playing. The fact that two, three, or four people can easily play music together on the same instrument makes it ideal for developing interactive music and listening skills.
The Aquarions and other glass instruments have a very different quality about them. The sound is both very soft and clear; the vibration eases itself into and throughout the body/mind/spirit. It is amazingly calming and relaxing to play and/or hear. The most intense feelings can be calmed almost instantly. Using an Aquarion with beat frequencies has an even greater effect in that it helps open the mind to allow new thoughts or patterns of thinking.
The Stonaphone has a similar sound quality to the Aquarion, but with a rougher edge. The effect tends to be more grounding for the player and listener. Depending on the intention it can either take you into a trance or bring you back to earth.
The Pipe Harp has a distinctive resonant sound with overtones clearly audible. The effect is to grab your mind and give it a little twist, much like a chiropractic adjustment to the brain. After playing a while, one feels refreshed and looks at the world from a slightly different angle.
The Cosmiphone is very resonant and incredibly rich in overtones. Played softly it is similar in experience to the Pipe Harp, but more intense. Played harder it grabs your mind and shakes it around upside down. After you stop playing hard, your mind still buzzes and you feel disoriented. Playing a cosmiphone is a great way to alter old thought patterns and leave yourself open to new perceptions.
The Bass Whale Drum is also very resonant, but in a deeper and mellower way. It has a soft deep sound which one can sink into for a long time and take one deep inside oneself - a very meditative instrument. When placed on a wood floor, the vibration is felt clearly coming up through the legs into the body. Because of this tactile sense of vibration, the hearing impaired tend to love it.
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