The role of sound in music beyond entertainment

Having performed as a classical violinist professionally for over 30 years, I can attest that the spiritual impact of music is rarely explained in scientific terms. In recent years, magnetic resonance imaging has been used to study the impact of music on the brain which addresses physical, physiological and perhaps even psychology changes. With this blog I will be exploring how music impacts the spirit and reference science whenever possible.

Since 2016, I have worked with Burlington, CT shamanic practitioner, Joyce St. Germaine, With a background as a public school art teacher, West Hartford teacher of the year, certified hypnotherapist, talk show host (Nutmeg TV The Sacred Journey) and yoga teacher in addition to her certification as a shamanic practitioner and shapeshifting practitioner, workshops with Joyce feel inspiring spiritually while being rooted in currently available science. If you ever have a chance to work with a shamanic practitioner, you will have the opportunity to experience a shamanic journey. They take several forms which I will discuss in future blog posts.

It has been during my many conversations with Joyce and the other workshop attendees that I have become interested in the connection between sound and spirit. According to Michael Harner in his book The Way of the Shaman, drumming and rattling facilitates going into a trance state which Harner calls “shamanic state consciousness.”Drumming in particular is employed because of its lower frequency which allows for more energy to be transmitted to the brain without damaging the ear.This lower theta frequency range (4-7 Hz) “is expected to be most effective in the production of trance states.”3. 

  1. Michael Harner, The Way of the Shaman, New York, NY, HarperCollins Publishers, 1980, 1990, xxii.
  2. Andrew Never, “A Physiological Explanation of Unusual Behavior in Ceremonies Involving Drums,” Human Biology 34 (2), 1962, 151-160.
  3. Wolfgang G. Jilek, Salish Indian Mental Health and Culture Change: Psychohygenienic and Therapeutic Aspects of the Guardian Spirit Ceremonial, 1974, Holt, Rinehart and Winston of Canada, 74-75.

In future blog posts I will feature images from my card deck Inspiration for Violinists, which is a collection of 50 images with text designed specifically for violinists and violin students. If you have ever worked with oracle cards or quotation calendars, you will find this deck to be a similar genre specific to violin playing. Non-violinist musicians and energy workers have found this deck inspirational as well. In celebration of the launch of The Sound Post, I am extending my holiday special 10% discount and free shipping (US only) through January 15, 2021, offer code HOLIDAY20. Visit for more information.

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