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  • Writer's pictureAmy B

Using Music as Meditation through Mindfulness

Using Music as Meditation through Mindfulness

Meditation has become a topic of interest among the 21st century crowd and people of all backgrounds. High-prolific people such as Jerry Seinfeld (one of the most successful entertainers in the world), Ray Dalio (founder of the world’s largest hedge fund), and Oprah Winfrey (media executive and talk show host, among other things) swear by the benefits of meditation.

How, then, how does music relate to this idea?

In meditation, you remain in a quiet, calm state by focusing on something (breathing in most cases) and induce a state of calmness. This produces mindfulness as we become aware, or conscious, about something (our breathing).

Let’s take this concept and apply it to playing a music instrument…

When playing a piano, our awareness turns to the sound we produce, the touch of our fingers as they press down on the keys, and shaping the sounds in a way that match the idea in our thoughts. These actions require being in the moment and especially being aware of the sound we are creating.

When was the last time you took a few minutes of your day to simply breathe?

Through music, our body moves in coordination to what we are playing and a breath may be required between notes. Breathing, in particular, is quite important in wind and brass instruments.

All of these breaths, movements, and thoughts are purposeful and require our focus. It is very rare that someone is born with clear awareness and consciousness. Over the years, we learn and cultivate awareness either through meditation, therapy, and journaling (among other things).

Meditation has shown its benefits in stress reduction and anxiety control and its real-life application makes it a wonderful tool to keep handy.  People from all over the world and many backgrounds use this tool every day! Teaching mindfulness and purposeful movement through meditation can begin at a young age if we begin to introduce this idea in music lessons and other school/home activities.

If you find it difficult to just be, or had a stressful day, pick up a music instrument: play it, hear it, feel it. Leave your worries of playing correct/wrong at the door. Notice what you are creating and visualize the sound filling the space around you. And listen! You may be surprised to find how much time has gone by when you did not carry the stress and/or insecurities of life with you.

Do you use music as a form of meditation? Do you listen to music or play an instrument? Leave a comment and share an experience!

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