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Can You Meditate To Music

by Lyndon Langley
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Can You Meditate To Music

Can You Meditate To Music

There’s a reason why meditation has become so popular over the years – it works. Meditation is often cited by studies as one of the best ways to reduce anxiety and lower blood pressure in our stressed-out society. It also helps us focus on the present moment rather than ruminating about the past or worrying about the future. What’s not to love?
But there are some people who find that meditating is really difficult, whether because they have physical ailments preventing them from sitting still long enough, or simply because they’re too busy to carve out time for themselves. If this describes you, try combining meditation with music.
The benefits of meditation paired with music go beyond mere convenience; there are several reasons why music meditation can be beneficial. The main benefit of meditation in general is increased awareness, which music meditation specifically brings about. In fact, music may help your meditation experience go deeper. A study published in Consciousness and Cognition found that listening to soothing music during meditation helped participants enter into the “transcendental state” associated with deep concentration. The researchers suggested that if you listen to music while meditating, you’ll achieve better results than if you just tried to sit quietly. Listening to music also helps release tension and relax muscles, making it easier to concentrate.
As an added bonus, for many people who are beginners to meditation, or who are perfectionists, music meditation can feel simpler and more immediately relaxing than other forms of practice. For example, if you’ve never meditated before but want to give it a try, starting with music might make it less intimidating. And even seasoned practitioners who know how to quiet their minds can get something extra out of music when they meditate.
If you’re ready to discover what all the fuss is about, read on!
How to Meditate With Music
Music meditation is simple. All you need to do is select a piece of music that you like to listen to while you meditate. Then play it through headphones (or earbuds) at a low volume. This will allow you to hear the music without disturbing others around you, and it won’t drown out any noises that could distract you. Some musicians recommend playing soft classical music, such as Vivaldi’s Four Season Flute Concerto, in order to calm down the mind and prepare it for relaxation. Others prefer jazz or ambient sounds, since these tend to be slower and more laid back.
Once you’ve chosen a piece of music, start by following along with the notes. If you don’t already know them well enough, look up sheet music online and print it out. Or buy a recording of the song and follow along with the CD player. Afterward, pay attention to the rhythm, pitch, tempo and key of the song. The tempo refers to the speed at which each note should be played, measured in beats per minute (BPM). Tempo affects mood — a slow tempo makes you drowsy, whereas faster tempos cause excitement and alertness. The same goes for pitch, or melody. Listeners use different keys to describe songs, based on the tonality of each note within the song. Tonality is similar to key in that it determines the type of emotion the listener expects to feel when hearing a particular section of music. However, key is slightly broader, referring to the overall tone of the song. One common key is C major, which can sound happy, energetic or peaceful depending upon the chord progression used.
Some people choose to meditate using guided imagery instead of music. Guided imagery uses words and pictures to create a mental image of what you’d like to visualize happening to you while you meditate. For example, you can tell yourself that you’re feeling calmer and more relaxed, or imagine breathing in and out deeply. There are dozens of guided imagery programs available to download onto iPods, iPhones and tablets. They range from free ones made by reputable companies, to paid programs sold only on iTunes.
When you first begin meditating, it can be hard to keep track of everything going on inside your head. Don’t worry! Just let go of thoughts and feelings until later on, when you’re able to take stock of what happens. When you open your eyes after meditation, write down anything you think of, no matter how strange it seems. Many experts say this technique will help you remember information more easily.
Now that you know how to meditate to music, check out the next page for links to great resources for further reading.
Meditation Resources
If you would like to learn more about music and meditation, here are a few places where you can find resources and tips:
International Society of Sound Therapy: This organization was founded in 2008 by two psychologists interested in exploring the therapeutic potential of music. Their website includes articles on various meditation techniques, including music meditation.
Wikipedia: Wikipedia lists hundreds of songs that have been used successfully for meditation. Check out this list to see if you can relate to any of them.
YouTube: YouTube hosts thousands of videos of people meditating to music. Searching for music meditation titles should yield plenty of hits.
Reddit.com/r/musicmeditation: Reddit users discuss music meditation practices and share personal experiences.

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