Considerations for Healing Music

  • Space - allows for reflection, invites the listener to pay closer attention, allows the harmonics, overtones, and undertones of the handpan to sing. This is where vibrations can be most clearly heard and felt, so you might consider an emphasis on, or at least paying close attention to the space between notes.
  • Intention - is key. You wouldn't play your loudest, fastest song at a hospice or sound healing ceremony. It's important that the music reflects your intention to hold space for healing. 
  • Healing - doesn't usually happen quickly, and doesn't always mean the physical body is becoming well. Healing can be emotional or spiritual. It can mean quality of life and enjoyment, ease of mental suffering, reflection, and inward journey. Healing can also have to do with letting go of things we carry that lo longer serve us or working through and letting go of past trauma.
  • Rhythm - plays a big part in healing music. Tempos around 80 bpm tend to have a relaxing effect, while tempos around 130 bpm create a drone-like momentum sensation (as is used in shamanic drumming). The downbeat gives the listener something to hold on to and expect. Consider what it means to withhold or let go of the downbeat, and to break or revisit patterns and rhythms. 
  • Reflection - happens in many ways. The handpan can serve as a bio-feedback mechanism reflecting the player's inner landscape. The music also offers a space for inward reflection from the listener where they may be reminded of past experiences or explore their own inner world. 
  • Approach - can be challenging for those who have not had much exposure to or experience with healing music. Consider this: What would you want to play for your dying mother? 
  • For inspiration - consider listening to some healing music from various cultures around the world. For example: Native American flute music, shamanic drumming, Amazonian icaros, bansuri flute music, etc.