Music as Medicine ~ What Does Sound Do To You?

Do you wake up to your clock radio alarm set to music in the morning? Is the radio tuned to a certain genre of music and station that you know offers your choice of sound for starting your day? Or do you wade through a stream of silence for your wake time? As you go through your day what do you choose to listen to along the way? What’s coming through your earplugs and headphones and speakers? Why do you listen to music? Think about it. It’s not just background noise. Music can lift us up, bring us down, terrify and inspire us. It excites and cues us as we watch movies. Music moves our feet and our hears. So is it really any surprise that music offers medicine for our bodies, minds and souls?

What are you putting into your ears by choice? What sounds can’t you filter in or out? What’s your go-to music for chasing the blues away? I’ve still got Aldrey’s  La Lista on the sidebar because of the song and all those smiling faces. It’s tough to stay down with all that positive energy flowing with so much fun.

Music and sound as medicine are relatively new concepts in western medicine. But this is are very old concept in eastern cultures where a holistic approach is taken in the healing arts.

One example of music as medicine being taken seriously on several levels in the state’s is Weill Cornell Medical College  Music as/is Medicine program .  Theirs is a very layered approach which involves several forms of educational and practical collaborations between disciplines.  A quick Google search of music as medicine will keep anyone interested busy reading for as long as they’re willing to pursue the concept. If you search for it on YouTube you’ll find hours and hours of music geared towards physical, mental and spiritual healing.

For a starting point there’s The Healing Power of Sound: Recovery from Life-threatening Illness Using Sound, Voice and Music by Dr. Mitchell Gaynor.


The Road to Recovery with Dr. Mitchell Gaynor: Sound Healing



Listen to Nahko Bear’s rendition of Aloha Ke Akua with your eyes closed and with them open — with and without the images.  What does the music do to you physically and emotionally? Consider your being in relation to sound.


Nahko Bear (Medicine for the People) ~ Aloha Ke Akua


Free Download of this piano version at…


Robert Gupta Between Medicine and Music



Lee Bartel Music as Medicine

The Agenda with Steve Paikin

Music therapy is often thought of as a tool to provoke an emotional reaction from patients and allow their brain to accomplish tasks in a different way. But Lee Bartel says it offers much more than that.  Music is no longer just a therapy, music is medicine – and the results are measurable. Lee Bartel joins Steve Paikin.


One form of music therapy:

University of Iowa

Kirsten Nelson, one of three music therapists at UI Hospitals and Clinics and UI Children’s Hospital, uses music to help the youngest heal.


Here’s another way in which music and medicine work together:

Unsinkable by Sam Tsui & Elle Winter


Published on Sep 9, 2013

ALL PROCEEDS from this track go toward pediatric cancer research!!
Downoload here!…

“Unsinkable” is a song we wrote for 16 year-old Cindy, a cancer patient at the Mount Sinai Kravis Children’s Hospital, through Music is Medicine’s Donate a Song project. ALL proceeds and support for the song will benefit pediatric oncology research at Mount Sinai Check out the video, buy the song, and share it with friends to support the fight against childhood cancer!

Donate a Song is a project that invites artists to write and record original songs for seriously-ill children that inspire the patients, share their stories of strength, and contribute to the greater fight against their diseases. You can learn more about the cause and how YOU can get involved by going to,, and or send an email to Thanks for your support!

Elle’s info!!


There are many versions of the Medicine Buddha Mantra available online. This one of my favorites because of its particular musical rendition. Namaste.

Medicine Buddha Mantra

To eliminate not only pain of diseases but also help in overcoming the major inner sickness of attachment, hatred, jealousy, desire, greed and ignorance.

Mantra chanted by Khenpo Pema Chopel Rinpoche from the CD ‘The Blessing from H.H. Penor Rinpoche for World Peace’.



The Healing Power of Sound, publisher’s link


Bear’s treatment of Music as Medicine –>


Johnny’s guitar and voice are available for your ears –>


willowdot21’s very personal experience with music as medicine =>


May these “holy days” be gifted with healing.

Namaste to all living be-ings everywhere.

Medicine Buddha

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