What is your music IQ? How conscious are you of the effects of the music you listen to on your mind, body and spirit? Our ancestors had a deep understanding of the purpose and use of rhythm and music. They knew that rhythm and toning have the power to bring about changes in consciousness and create a bridge to a more creative, intelligent and joy-filled life.

They knew that sound was sacred, and that the correct combination of breathing accompanied by tone and rhythm was healing. Reclaiming this knowledge will permit us to set our spirits free.

In every culture throughout recorded history, music has been used as a means of communication with the inner self and the outer world: to entertain, to entrain, to honor and to commemorate all the events in our lives. Why are we so moved by music? What else did our ancestors know that we might be reminded of today?

They knew that sound, properly used, especially percussive sound, can actually change neurological states, release emotional and spiritual toxins from the body as well as the spirit, and raise consciousness levels. We know that music has the ability to cultivate landscapes of our inner harmony, but how often do we consider that the music we listen to travels through the waterways of the body, the receptors of the brain, and stimulates not only our brain, but also our immune systems?

From Mozart to Miles Davis and beyond, the harmonies of music may well have the potential to re-write patterns of our brain.
Pythagoras, the Fifth century philosopher reminded us that, “There is geometry in the humming of the strings; there is music in the spacing of the spheres.” Are we as aware also that each of us is a living symphony of frequencies, a harmonious note in all creation; that all life is rhythm?

Our modern day philosopher, Deepak Chopra tells us that: “The body is held together by sound, and the presence of disease indicates that some sounds have gone out of tune.” If we even partially accept these ideas, then we also have the responsibility of making informed choices about the rhythms and music we consume, and to which we expose the next generations.

Where do I begin you may well ask. First, take a long hard look at your present music collection. Ask some hard questions. Is your collection of rhythm, sound and music supporting your journey into more conscious living? What do you have in your music library to “lighten up yourself? Serious introspection requires a certain degree of light-heartedness. It is hard to break through deep layers of depression or embrace meaningful change when you are listening to music that is anchored in past indiscretions.

If you are seeking answers to the deeper mysteries of life, well-orchestrated rhythms can facilitate the upward journey to a higher consciousness. There are spiritual dimensions to music with the capacity to be the harmonic data carrier you may well need to find more joy and creativity right now. To begin this journey of expansion and healing, start with three very simple steps.

1)Take inventory of your music collection.
2)Spend time familiarizing yourself with your listening
3)Ask questions: How do different rhythms and drumming patterns affect you? Is your breathing pattern tied to the melody or the base line of the music? What moves you to action, what melodies take you into deep relaxation and perhaps into an altered state of consciousness? Do you feel differently when the piano, or the guitar or the saxophone is the dominant instruments of the piece? Take the time to record your answers.
4)Research the wealth of information available to you in bookstores today on the subject of “Music as Medicine”

Let me give an example of what happened in a workshop I did several years ago. One of the participants was a woman who knew a great deal about music and had played various instruments and sung all her life. She loved music and had taken courses in music and music appreciation.

One of the questions I asked the participants was to identify what instrument they associated most closely with their own emotions. She said it was the guitar. However, while we worked with several pieces of music, she reported that her feelings began to change and that she felt the violin and the piano expressed other parts of her, but that the trumpet lifted her up to a place in her consciousness she had never experienced before. “I never knew before that the trumpet was a spiritual instrument for me,” she said.

She has told me since that she began to listen to her extensive music collection with “new ears,” and that now she has it grouped by what she calls. “mood and effect” rather than alphabetically. When she wants to approach a problem, she puts on music that will lift her up, such as a trumpet concerto. When she feels too serious she puts on a little Reggae, and when she needs inspiration for a task requiring energy, she will put on Bach or Mozart. To relax and search her consciousness her pick is often jazz.

“I now take as much care about what I listen to as I do the food that I eat, because I understand how important it is to feed my spirit.”

A young man I met when I was working with troubled youth, listened to whatever rhythms he heard on his choice of radio station - rap, hip-hop, popular music. He had many problems and could not sit still or focus on any task for more than a few minutes at a time. He had been in trouble at school and on the street, and was severely depressed.

The workshop he attended was a bit unusual in that all the participants were expected to play a dual role as both participant and observer. Together we made a tape of snatches of many different musical styles – from popular tunes to Vivaldi and from rap to Mozart. Then we would play the tape and, in turn, the others observed each one in the group. They were to watch for a physical response in the chosen person.

This young man was observed to sit up the minute the Vivaldi piece came on and, over a few sessions began to realize that music, which he would never have listened to on his own, taught him something of a depth in himself he had never realized before. Over time he began to pull out of his depression. He found that his real love was jazz and he ended up teaching his own course to other young people who were in trouble. He learned to focus. He, like many of us, was trapped in time, listening to rhythms that, although not bad, did not have the capability to reach us at our highest level. With the right rhythms he didscovered that music was a key to opening up, not just another world, but spheres beyond this one.

Modern day research suggests that the brain may well respond to music as it does to medicine. The Native American shaman knew exactly what sounds went with the need for each type of healing. It has been proven more recently, however, that music has the ability to regulate body functions, synchronize motor skills, stimulate the mind, release stress, manage pain and aid in the process of healing.

Music, medicine and spirituality are all strict and demanding disciplines. I invite you to explore with me the possibility that music, medicine and spirituality co-exist together in a place that may well transcend space and time.

Go to www.reprogramkyourlife.net for more information on how to attend a lecture or join a retreat.

Author's Bio: 

Elder Norma Edwards is the founder and director of Reprogram Your Life, a psycho/spiritual intervention technique pioneering the use of sound and toning in the addiction/recovery process. She is also a recognized leader in the field of spiritual development and community empowerment.

Norma was born in Guyana, South America, educated at the University of London in England and ordained in America. Under her maiden of Jennings she authored the book “Touchstones to Remembering Your Spirit”

Elder Edwards brings to her work on the planet the results of a thirty-three year spiritual journey across three continents in search of her own spiritual identity. The quest endowed her with the wisdom accumulated from a close walk with the Creator, seven major spiritual teachers, and a life changing near death experience.

One of her major gifts is the ability to teach people from all walks of life how to incorporate spiritual/universal principles into daily life. She is married to her twin flame, is the mother of five and the proud grandmother of six.

For contact information go to: www.reprogramuourlife.net