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Being in the "Hear" & Now: Music-Making as a Mindfulness Practice

Mindfulness has been shown to be beneficial for general health and well-being. As this can have a variety of implications for music therapists, this presentation examines music-making as a mindfulness practice.

Faith Halverson-Ramos

on 4 August 2014

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Transcript of Being in the "Hear" & Now: Music-Making as a Mindfulness Practice

Being in the "Hear" & Now:
Music-Making as a Mindfulness Practice

Why "Mindfulness?'
A personal journey of mindfulness
Overview of mindfulness research
Implications of mindfulness for music therapists
My journey...
Research suggests that mindfulness...
has positive effect on emotional regulation, affect and executive functioning skills

can lead to increased relationship satisfaction

enhance physical and overall well-being
Mindfulness and Music Therapists
How could mindfulness affect your life as a...

business owner
Musical Ways to Experience and Reinforce Mindfulness
Instrument Play
Movement to Music
Connect with me at:




Blog: faithhalversonramos.com
Faith Halverson-Ramos, MA, LPC, MT-BC
SoundWell Music Therapy

What is Mindfulness?
"Mindfulness means paying attention in a particular way: on purpose, in the present moment, and nonjudgmentally."
- Jon Kabat-Zinn, Ph.D, founder and director of the Stress Reduction Clinic at the University of Massachusetts Medical Center
Mindfulness... has everything to do with
waking up and living in harmony with oneself
and with the world. It has to do with examining who we are, with questioning our view and of
the world and our place in it, and with cultivating some appreciation for the fullness of each moment we are alive. Most of all, it has to do with being in touch.
Jon Kabat-Zinn, "Wherever You Go There You Are," p.3
It is simply a practical way to be more in touch with the fullness of your being through a systematic process of self-observation, self-inquiry, and mindful action.
Wherever You Go, There You Are, p. 6
Formal mindfulness practice has roots in Buddhist teachings,
but one not be Buddhist in order to engage in, and benefit from, mindfulness.
How Does One Engage in Mindfulness Practice?
Tibetan Buddhist Teacher, Chögyam Trungpa Rinpoche,
describes engaging in mindfulness practice by placing:
Gimian, C. R. (e.), (1999). "The Essential Chögyum Trungpa." Boston, Massachusetts: Shambhala Publishing, Inc.
2014 World Congress of Music Therapy
How could those with whom you work benefit from mindfulness?
How might you introduce them to mindfulness?
Instrument Play-
Things to Notice:

The texture and weight of the instrument
The sound of the instrument
Your experience of playing the instrument
Movement to Music-
Things to Notice:

What does your body feel like?
How is your body wanting to move?
How are you moving your body?
Davis, D.M., Hayes, J.A. (2012, July/August). What are the benefits of mindfulness?
American Psychological Association 'CE Corner.'
Retrieved February 15, 2013, from http://www.apa.org.monitor/2012/07-08/ce-corner.aspx
Davis, D.M., Hayes, J.A. (2011).
What are the Benefits of Mindfulness? A Practice Review of Psychotherapy-Related Research
, Psychotherapy, 48(2), 198-208.
Fidelibus, J. (2004).
Mindfulness in Music Therapy Clinical Improvisation: When the Music Flows.
(Doctoral dissertation). Retrieved from http://steinhardt.nyu.edu/scmsAdmin/media/users/jts390/Dissertations/Fidelibus_Joseph_2004.pdf.
Gimian, C.R. (Ed.). (1999).
The Essential Chögyum Trungpa.
Boston: Shambhala Publications.
Kabat-Zinn, J. (1994).
Wherever You Go, There You Are: Mindfulness Meditation for Everyday Life.
New York, NY: Hyperion
Parker, A.B. (Presenter). (2010, August).
Music Therapy in Wellness: An Integrative Paradigm
[Audio podcast]. Retrieved from http://amtapro.musictherapy.org
Can provide a way to introduce
concepts of mindfulness through:

mnemonic devices (eg- RAIN)
Provides an embodied, musical means for bringing attention to the body and breath.

vocal free-play
Specific Studies and Their Findings
Reduced rumination (Chambers et al., 2008)
Stress reduction (Farb et al., 2010;Williams, 2010)
Boosts to working memory (Jha et al., 2010)
Focus correlated with cognitive flexibility and attentional functioning (Moore and Malinowski, 2009)
Less emotional reactivity (Ontner et al., 2007)
Develop the skill of self-observation which neurologically disengages autonomic pathways created by prior learning and enables present-moment input to be integrated in a new way (Siegel, 2007)
Activates brain region associated with more adaptive responses to stressful or negative situations (Cahn and Polich, 2006; Davidson et al., 2003)
Emotional Regulation, Affect and Executive Functioning Skills
Increased Relationship Satisfaction
Protects against emotionally stressful events of relationship conflict (Barnes et al., 2007a)
Positivitely associated with the ability to express oneself in various situations (Dekeyser et al., 2008)
Engagement in mindfulness meditation predicted relationship satisfaction (Barnes et al., 2007; Wachs and Cordova, 2007)
Physical and Overall Well-Being
Increased immune functioning (Davidson et al., 2003)
Improved sense of well-being (Carmody and Baer, 2008)
Reduction in psychological distress (Coffey and Hartman, 2008; Ostafin et al., 2006)
Studies cited from American Psychological Association, "What are the Benefits of Mindfulness." www.apa.org/monitor/2012/07-08/ce-corner.aspx
Most research has focused only on mindfulness meditation.
The APA suggests that psychologists and others need to explore other ways to increase mindfulness in addition to meditation.
25% of one's attention on breath
25% on relaxing
25% on making friends with oneself
25% on expectation, or allowing your mind to be "open to the possibility of something happening during the practice session."
What about MUSIC?
Full transcript