Become a Happier Person By Listening To Music

 by Brandon Vogt
Meditation and Music

If you listen to music, you're probably already meditating.

Did you know that you already meditate?

It's true -- that is, if you listen to music. Surprised? Think about it this way. The most basic form of meditation is to bring your focus to a specific object or sound. That's what you do when you listen to music. Sure, most people are taught to focus on the breath when they meditate, but that's not the only path to a calm mind. For most of us, our breath just can't compete with all the daydreams, worries and media distractions swirling around in our heads -- not at first, at least.

Listening to music can be a form of meditation

Listening to music can be a better place to start for many of us. When you listen to music, you are simply substituting the breath for the music. However, there is a very important distinction to make here. Turning the radio on while we drive down the highway, checking our GPS, and eating a sandwich is not meditating. Even though music is on, your focus is not on the music. You engage in meditation only when your attention is fully on the music. As a musician this can be referred to as “active listening.” And believe it or not, this is a form of meditation.

Practicing meditation with music will open your mind to new worlds within each song.

Have you ever found yourself lost in your favorite song? You might close your eyes, or dance, or sing along. It's the best, isn't it? What about all those other times, though, when your mind wanders and you completely miss your favorite parts or you have to start the song over because you realize you haven’t really heard any of it? Practicing meditation with music will increase the frequency of that first scenario I described. It will open your mind to new worlds within each song -- a place where you'll be be able to hear more of the song and be inspired by its message and the emotions it evokes. You will not have to start the track over. We all know that music is a beautiful art form that can lift our spirits, but receiving everything it has to offer requires focus. When we bring our full attention to it, we are rewarded in countless ways.

Here's how to do it.

Start by picking a song that you really enjoy. It can be literally any song. Find a comfortable position, play the song, close your eyes, and bring all of your focus to what you're hearing. If a lyric reminds you of something and you start daydreaming, simply bring your attention back to the music. It is extremely important to realize that this is a practice, so go easy on yourself. Try to see if you can keep your full attention on the music for the first 30 seconds. Then shoot for a minute. Eventually you will be able to listen to the entire piece of music. You will notice that you are able to hear things you have never heard before. Maybe you can hear the bass line much more clearly. Maybe you start to realize there are multiple back up vocalists harmonizing during the chorus. Engaging in this form of meditation can be much more exciting then just bringing your attention to the breath. It can be a gateway to more advanced forms of meditation, but that isn’t important. What’s important is that with this practice you can get more fulfillment from music while receiving the benefits of meditation.

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Written by
Brandon Vogt

Brandon vogt

When it comes to teaching, Brandon Vogt’s philosophy is to help his students enjoy the instrument as much as possible. “I have come to notice," says Brandon, "that the best guitar players just simply enjoy playing more than less accomplished guitarists.” While completing an accounting degree at Missouri State University, Brandon studied music theory and guitar performance. In addition to teaching, Brandon regularly performs with multiple music groups in the Kansas City area.