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Choosing the appropriate music for sessions can support your goals

Are you a holistic practitioner who plays music for your clients during their sessions with you? Here is some information about the different instruments and how they affect the body, mind, emotions and spirit.

This can help you choose appropriate music to assist your client and support your intentions for the session.

Philharmonic orchestraWhen I attend concerts performed by our local Philharmonic Orchestra, I love to listen with my whole body. I can feel the tuba and bassoon deep in my belly. The huge drums vibrate up through the floor into my feet. The cello and the harp warm my heart and ribcage. The high notes of the flute buzz around in my head.

Different Instruments Affect Different Parts of your Being

Generally, every instrument is a combination of many sounds called the fundamental and the overtones. The fundamental is the loudest sound the instrument makes. The overtones are higher sounds related mathematically to the fundamental. It is the overtones that make a violin sound differently from a flute. Or a trumpet sound differently from a piano.

Without the overtones, all instruments would sound exactly the same. In fact, without the overtones, your voice will sound exactly the same as my voice.

The fundamental sound of an instrument will affect your body. The instrument’s specific set of overtones affect the auric layers of the field around the body.

Instruments and the Chakras they Affect

Kay Gardner, in one of my favorite books, Sounding the Inner Landscape: Music as Medicine, includes a long list of instruments and where they are likely to affect the listener’s body and particularly the chakras. As a composer, musician and sound healing pioneer, she used this information in her own music.

  1. Root, sacral and abdominal chakra centres:
    • this area includes the belly, diaphragm, emotional and psychic (gut feeling) centre.
    • instruments that directly affect this lower part of the body are drums, cello, trombone, tuba, bassoon and other low instruments.
  2. the chakrasHeart centre involves our experience of compassion and love.
    • instruments that affect the heart area are: string orchestra (think heartstrings), English horn, viola, French horn, the high range of the cello.
  3. Throat centre involves communication and creative expression.
    • instruments that affect the throat area are clarinet, oboe and violin.
  4. Brow centre or third eye is the home of insight and perception.
    • instruments that affect this area include flute, oboe and trumpet.
  5. Crown centre is where we experience bliss and spiritual connection.
    • instruments that affect the crown centre are tinkling bells, crystal bowls and high pitched sounds.
    • one of the most incredible instruments I have found for the crown chakra is the SongPod. You can find out more about this beautiful little instrument by clicking here.
  6. Instruments that affect the entire body have the widest range of sounds.
    • instruments that affect the whole body are concert harp, guitar, piano, carefully voiced synthesizers and the symphony orchestra.
    • the harp has the purest tone because of the way strings are set with one note per string. This instrument vibrates whole human organism. It also creates perfect overtones.
    • the classical guitar resonates the body from the belly to the crown, especially the  belly, solar plexus and heart.
    • the piano affects the entire body because of its range. Because of thickness and tautness of its strings, the piano does not create perfect harmonics like the harp.

I tell all my students that music is language of the heart and the guitar sits in front of the heart. Other instruments that are held in front of the heart are the cello and the harp.

Music is also a language of the body. The next time you are listening to your favorite CD or at a concert, I invite you to become more aware of how your body listens.