Music Medicine, The Science and Spirit of Healing Yourself with Sound, by Christine Stevens
Christine Stevens writes from the perspective of a practicing social worker and music therapist. I actually expected something different from this book, having known this about her. I suppose I was looking for some nuggets of information that only practicing music therapists have, that would be different from all the other books I have read on the subject. Much to my surprise, the information was much the same. Christine however, presents the information differently then most, it is much less technical. Through a series of exercises, Stevens explores music from the perspective of Rhythm, Melody, Harmony, Silence and Inner Music. These are all concepts presented in the practice of Nada Yoga. Throughout the book, she explores music as medicine as well as a spiritual tool.
Rhythm, she explains is Medicine for the Body
Melody, Medicine for the Heart
Harmony, Medicine for the Soul
Silence, Medicine for the Mind
Inner Music, Medicine for the Spirit
Finally, Stevens adds a final layer, Orchestrating Change: Medicine for the World. “In giving our music, we expand ourselves and connect to a greater purpose. In this final chapter, Stevens highlights the ways in which we can use music to reach others, to understand others and be the change that the world needs. Without mention, this book is a journey through the chakra energetic system, culminating on the octave, by using music (and your voice) to change the world. This book is a journey into your own heart. Stevens encourages us to chase our dreams, in doing so, we can change the world. This book explores music as a tool to do so.
This is not a scientific book or a literature review, but a self-exploration. While I read through it like a text, rather rapidly, I intend to go back and explore the exercises with more intention. The book includes a CD with some fantastic tracks and teaches the user to play the drum as a personal therapy and journey tool. The book also includes an annotated playlist to coincide with each chapter in the book. Stevens encourages the use of the drum for personal drumming, in drum circles and in the community as a healing tool.
As I stated, this book is a personal journey. It is not ripe with research behind the medicine of music, rather it is packed with exercises as she guides you on the journey to exploring music as medicine. I enjoyed this book and it is highly recommended for anyone who is interested in using music for personal growth and self-help. If you are looking for the research behind how music works as an instrument of healing, this is not the book you are looking for. If you are looking for some excellent drum exercises for self-exploration, grab this one for your library
To hear a playlist inspired by songs recommended in this book, check it out on Spotify: Music Medicine