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Music as Medicine - 1

Updated: Jul 18, 2021


On Saturday April 7, 2018 I read a daily meditation from Richard Rohr in which he presented a Contemplative Practice that involved drumming. You can read about it here.

As I read about it and watched the video, I started reflecting on the power of music in my own life. And that reflection led to this article, as well as some singing and dancing in my basement. : )))

Mickey Hart: “Medicine Man”

Mickey Hart Show at the American Museum of Natural History – April 13 & 14

Before I continue, I want to let you know about a field “trip” opportunity to experience an awesome drummer - Mickey Hart from the Grateful Dead - at the Museum of Natural History this Friday and Saturday evening. I’m going Saturday night (for Dead fans it’s “One more Saturday night...”).

PBS News Hour clip re: Mickey Hart’s work with scientists looking among other things for how they can use music as medicine:

Rolling Stone Magazine article on his current RAMU project:

Smithsonian Folkways conversation with Mickey Hart and Carlos Santana on the influence of percussionist Babatunde Olatunji:

National Geographic video – Mickey Hart Global Drum Project

More Music as Medicine

This section contains links to various forms of world music that inspire wonder and praise for this great world in which we live.

Feel free to sing and dance along with the music!

--If you only have time to view one of the videos in the email, please check out this one. It’s a clip from the 2014 documentary Alive Inside and shows the healing power of music.

Yoga chant master Krishna Das kirtan-style (call and response) “Maa Durga”. Great percussion. Good for freeform dancing.

Guru Singh was influenced by the Grateful Dead and likes long spacey riffs. I saw him a few months ago. Great show!

“God and me, me and God are one...” Good for dancing.

Nahko and Medicine for the People - their mission is to move music (the medicine for the people) around this planet.

Nahko and Medicine for the People - Aloha Ke Akua (God is love in Hawaiian)

Robert Haig Coxon - anything by him - good for chilling out, meditating...

Peter Kater & R. Carlos Nakai - Themes from Earth & Surrender

Healing musical medicine

--anything by Snatam is great. I had the pleasure of attending a workshop and concert with her in 2017.

Snatam Kaur - Feeling Good Today

Mirabai Ceiba - Ocean Of My Dreams

--from Rumi

--from Kahlil Gibran

Deva Premal & Miten with Manose - In The Light of Love/ Om Shree Dhanvantre

All We Need is a Drummer, For People Who Only Need a Beat…Department

Sly & The Family Stone — Dance to the Music

--from Ed Sullivan Show

Dancing in the Streets…Department

David Bowie & Mick Jagger - Dancing in the Street

--This is the title of one of the books cited in Richard Rohr’s drumming practice meditation. I found this video after Googling the original song by the Martha and the Vandellas.

Playing for Change – (from their website) “Playing For Change is a movement created to inspire and connect the world through music, born from the shared belief that music has the power to break down boundaries and overcome distances between people. Our primary focus is to record and film musicians performing in their natural environments and combine their talents and cultural power in innovative videos we call Songs Around The World. Creating these videos motivated us to form the Playing For Change Band—a tangible, traveling representation of our mission, featuring musicians met along our journey, and establish the Playing For Change Foundation—a separate 501(c)3 nonprofit organization dedicated to building music and art schools for children around the world. Through these efforts we aim to create hope and inspiration for the future of our planet.”

Tip: Watch for famous musicians and their offspring sitting in with the bands and check out the amazing variety of instruments and native garb from around the world.

--check out the famous musicians (and their offspring)

--check out the celebs supporting the kids

Richard Rohr – Wisdom Teacher

Richard is the founder of the Center for Action and Contemplation in Albuquerque, NM. Eileen and I first were introduced to him over 40 years ago when he was the spiritual leader of the New Jerusalem Covenant Community in Cincinnati, OH. His daily meditations are a rich source of wisdom, helping me practice living a life balancing between action and contemplation. My contemplative time alone with God (as you understand God, as the Twelve Steppers say) provides the fuel for God-inspired, God-breathed action in the world around me. Here’s a sample of recent meditations.


“Sing and make music from your heart to the Lord!”



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