The Healing Arts Ensemble is the signature performing group for the University programs in Music and Well-Being. It is the performance medium in which students apply the sound-healing principles learned in the Music as a Healing Art class. The group features a wide variety of musical instruments, exotic percussion and pure quartz crystal singing bowls all played with a focused healing intent. The music played creates an atmosphere to promote a mindful contemplative experience, stress relief, and peace, love and light.
“Kokopelli Meets the Bowl” Composition with Quartz, Crystal Bowl and Clarinet by Glenn E. Smith
The Healing Arts Ensemble (MUSI 485/685) is improvisational in nature and includes unconventional and conventional instruments and voice. Music played will often be pedal/drone based and may employ overtones, pentatonics and modes as source materials. Each person in the ensemble uses their voice and plays light percussion (and not necessarily their major instrument in some cases). The musical focus is on group identity and deliberate healing intent, with less emphasis on artistic goals. There are public performances for the ensemble. The Healing Arts Ensemble serves as the practical application for the core Well-Being courses: Music as a Healing Art (MUSI 455/555) and Music and Consciousness (MUSI 477). The course fulfills the requirements for the University Minor in Music and Well-Being and the new Graduate Certificate in Music and Well-Being at George Mason University.The objective for the music is to become a “collective vibration,” which is achieved through focused intent.
The three main purposes of the collective vibration are to:
- Learn to play with healing intent
- Become aware of and control how music alters consciousness
- Explore various brain wave states induced through meditation, and musical performance as contemplative experience.
The intent is focused with clarity of mind through various changes in a performer’s brain wave patterns. The stressed-out, scattered mind becomes more focused through meditation and/or contemplative techniques. The ensemble classes begin with a simple meditation that brings everyone to a deepened level of consciousness before any music is played