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Music heals. I’ve been down, and it has brought me back up. I’ve been up, and it has lifted me higher. I’ve had to fight to keep my inner light from dimming, and it has sustained me. I’ve watched spiritual congregations whisked into convulsions brought on by steady, melodic rhythms and chanting; graciously accepted by the group as tremendous healing. I’ve glided and released in a yoga class, ushered through by a mix of thoughtful musical selection and the wisdom of my teacher’s voice.
I’ve seen and felt music heal. I know it does.
When I asked some of Wanderlust’s musical presenters to provide insight on why and how music heals, their individual responses connected to paint a powerful testimony to the therapeutic nature of music.
« I don’t think we can fully explain what it does and why it makes us feel the way we feel. That fact alone is why I think it is so healing. » – Trevor Hall
Music’s essence is mystical, and its restorative powers are ultimately beyond our ability to package neatly into a concept. According to Trevor Hall, « I don’t think we can fully explain what it does and why it makes us feel the way we feel. That fact alone is why I think it is so healing. »
DJ Seriousblack explains that music’s ability to heal is correlated to its frequency and vibration. « Once the vibration hits the body, anything you’re feeling doesn’t feel so bad because of that vibration. It’s like Bob Marley said, ‘when it hits, you feel no pain.' »
Alexander Beggins, a lead vocalist and ukulele player for the band Wild Child (performing at Squaw Valley), further explains that music’s vibrational energy is an unspoken language that allows us to relate and transmit understanding. « It’s an outlet. You can express and communicate without words. It’s a sweet secret code for us to feel and experience, » he says.
« It’s an outlet. You can express and communicate without words. It’s a sweet secret code for us to feel and experience, » he says. – Alexander Beggins of Wild Child
When music speaks to us, it often evokes a feeling. That feeling is where MC Yogi says healing occurs: « Music, like yoga, has the power to draw us into the present moment and deepen our ability to feel. When we start to feel, we start to heal—no longer drifting, numb, or disconnected. It connects us. Music, like yoga, helps us find our harmony and our rhythm. »
« Music, like yoga, has the power to draw us into the present moment and deepen our ability to feel. – MC Yogi
As Chloe Smith, percussionist from Rising Appalachia, says, the commonality in feeling and collective experience of vibration creates community and oneness across social, cultural, and geographical boundaries. She explains, « It is a multi-tiered cultural experience that brings people together by forging a common tongue and common experience. New and ancient, it is a language of unity and deep recognition to all the corners of the globe… It forges relationships between the people in our lives and between the cells in our bodies, strengthening what is already there and supplementing what is perhaps missing. »
Trevor Hall sums it up: « Music is the real house … always calling us back home. » Indeed, for anyone who has ever felt it, we know that music has the ability to take us back to ourselves, our source, the place where we are all connected. And that is, ultimately, the greatest form of healing.
Kinisha Correia is a freelance writer and blogger. She is a contributing writer to a number of publications, and is a regular columnist for the Miami Herald, highlighting local initiatives focused on building social welfare in any capacity. Her blog, Prana Writes, showcases change-making people and projects around the globe doing uplifting work in the areas of yoga, wellness, eco-living, the arts, conscious travel, and ethical fashion. Kinisha credits yoga for altering the course of her life, and dedicates much of work to sharing yoga’s positivity.