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Healing through music

November 5, 2015
  • By Beverly Merz, Executive Editor, Harvard Women's Health Watch

About the Author

photo of Beverly Merz

Beverly Merz, Executive Editor, Harvard Women's Health Watch

Beverly Merz is Executive Editor of Harvard Women’s Health Watch, a publication she helped start in 1993. Before coming to Harvard she was an Associate Editor of JAMA, Managing Editor with the Union of Concerned Scientists, … See Full Bio
View all posts by Beverly Merz


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Laxmi Global
November 27, 2015

I came to know that from the music we can get relief from pain. it is a nice technique

Jim Gardiner
November 24, 2015

The power of music brought me through radiation treatment for cancer. Every day while in the machine I listened to meditation music and when the treatment was completed I went out to the cancer center lobby and played the piano. It was a great blessing to me.

Len Allman
November 14, 2015

As the Director of a New Horizons Band & Orchestra, I’ve come to believe that a musical instrument is like an exercise bike for your brain.

Helen Christine Bloomquist
November 14, 2015

I started playing four woodwind instruments in the summer of 1954. I played from then thru high school and college. Then I started playing with community groups. My four instruments are flute, piccolo, English horn (alto/tenor oboe), and oboe. If you look for community music groups in Texas, you will find many such groups. Presently, I’m playing piccolo and flute in a band that is in Livingston, Texas.

I’m retired, but can be ready to scream at times over multiple concerns at once or “just get away” !
The LACB rehearses for 2 hours on Monday evenings. I can get there exhausted and/or climbing the walls. When rehearsal is finished, I’m relaxed, at peace with the world, renewed, and a new person – at peace with the world, and connected with God (Creator/Jesus/Father) ! I also play at church with exact results. For some reason, my inner-self, always connects as though in prayer, and I end up “totally renewed” !

November 10, 2015

Today a harpist came to play in the early childhood school where I teach art to children with all kinds of special needs. I observed a group of classes (3 year olds) listening to this musician play. At the very start there was lots of fidgeting and chattery noise. Several of the autistic students had their hands over their ears. Then shortly into the performance, I observed an audience of 3 year olds completely still and entranced. The autistic students with hands over ears suddenly released their hands. One child clapped and yelled out “Yeah” while she played. When I left the room, I too felt such serenity. Music is definitely healing.

Mamadou NDIAYE ''LYNX''Master drummer from Senegal
November 9, 2015

I really appreciate that article which make me really comfortable to pursue my research about music healing,music therapy.
I use to play my drum to accompany healing ceremonies where drumming have an important role…..
Thank you

Bill Niland
November 9, 2015

I am blessed to play (tenor sax) in the Harvard Summer Pops Band despite 14 operations for jaw cancer. I have long held the belief that music heals. While I have a background in jazz, R&B, and other types, I find particular comfort in Doo Wop??? I speculate the new notes created by blending of accapella voice captures a part of my brain where pain may reside..and Doo Wop has it’s way with me. Very glad to see Harvard affiliated confirmation..

james wilson
November 13, 2015

I believe we have similar inclinations. I am emotionally transported by Doo Wop. I also have a lot of satisfaction and relaxation from listening to piano and harp. Richard Clayderman is a favorite piano player with a deft key touch. Bronn Journey is a favored harpist and my all time favorite song is Mull of Kintyre but it must be the version by Franck Pourcel.

Anku aggarwal
November 9, 2015

yes music is a natural healer ,, it heals me everyday whenever i get depressed its just amazes me.

Hirene Tuason
November 7, 2015

Praise and Worship Song healed emotionally, physically and spiritual.

Karren McCallum
November 6, 2015

Music heals me every day of listening to music, music has helped me get through my rough days from the time of my husbands suicide, and also helped me through my breast cancer. I love MUSIC. Karren McCallum

Raman Venkatachalam
November 6, 2015

At Royal Children’s Hospital Randwick in Sydney, they gladly took my daughter’s gift of a Kawai keyboard/ synthesizer.. They told her that music reduced the pain of children undergoing various painful surgery. They even had a volunteer teaching music to the kids!

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