About Us and Sound Therapy
We are a private research and learning academy offering classes, workshops, and retreats on over 100 indigenous sound instruments that we have extensively researched; including Master Classes with Himalayan Singing Bowls, Gongs, and the Bonpo Shang. We are the foremost learning facility in North America, when it comes to educating and elevating students in the use of Sound.
From the dawn of civilization, the importance of sound in ritual and ceremony cannot be overemphasized. Ancient cultures considered sound significant in their embrace of the divine. And many believed that sound was a entry point or toran, that could carry them into a mystical experience. From East to West, spiritual harmonic knowledge was passed from civilization to civilization, culture to culture, Master to Student, from antiquity to the present day.
We prefer to use the term 'sound therapy' over 'sound healing' as a way of separating us from the many other avenues of learning that are available today. Our belief is that healing is a two way street, between the health compromised and the therapist. Unless the patient takes an active role in their recovery, it is difficult for them to become healed. Their willingness to participate in their recovery is paramount in turning things around. Our approach to teaching Sound Therapy is seen through the lens of Acoustics, and through an academic examination, a scientific exploration, and a hands on approach coupled with an emphasis on mentoring, offers a dynamic approach to mastering this Art.
The present high interest globally in the art of sound therapy has increased tenfold from just a decade ago. The use of Chant, Singing Bowls, Tuning Forks, Gongs, Overtone Singing, Didgeridoo, and more; has found their way into numerous diverse therapeutic applications. Clinical studies over the last few decades in the areas of Cognitive Neuroscience, Biomagnetism, Neuronal Plasticity, Psychology, and even Surgery, has demonstrated that music and sound has a positive relationship in assisting with medical recovery. The spectrum from stress reduction, to lowering blood pressure, enhancing motor function, increasing internal secretion, improving muscular activities, alleviating post surgery stress and recovery, even assisting in bone marrow transplants; music and sound has a beneficial effect on the human condition. Music Therapy studies conducted by leading universities throughout the world, has shown that sound increases metabolic activities within the human body. Accelerating respiration, and affecting the central nervous system and circulatory system of the listener AND the performer. For example, research conducted at the Methodist Neurological Institute has shown that music therapy has a greater impact than physical therapy on Parkinson's patients. Findings at Concordia University has shown that music therapy can provide a great source of solace to people who face terminal illness, and is effective in enhancing pain relief, comfort, relaxation, mood, confidence, resilience, life quality and well-being in those patients. Physical and psychological tests conducted at the Cleveland Clinic's Horvitz Center for Palliative Medicine clearly showed mood improvement, and decreased pain, anxiety, shortness of breath among seriously ill patients. This small sampling of research clearly shows that sound is an important complement to traditional healing therapies, and may influence a greater sense of well-being for those seeking non traditional avenues of recovery. This approach was echoed throughout Asia Minor ( during the Dark and Middle Ages ) by leading scholars and physicians of that time, whose work has attracted scant attention by the West.
For the student that has a high interest and desire to learn about Sound Therapy, finding an established and credible curriculum to engage can be a intimidating task. It seems that around every corner, there are learning options available. However, there is a difference between actual academic learning, and just trying to 'wing it' through intuition. Today we see a myriad of so called 'sound healing' learning programs available, but how many of these programs offer the necessary elements in educating, elevating, and empowering the student?
The best avenue of learning is through direct experience, this was, and is the methods that were taught in the monasteries, ashrams, mystery schools and temples from the distant past to today. We feel that learning a subject has many dimensions, and the student requires the most straightforward methods through experience, to sharpen the Sword of Wisdom.
For nearly 5 decades, the 9ways Academia has offered the most comprehensive approach to teaching Sound Therapy. Our vast collection, museum quality, is available to all students as a contribution to a direct encounter with the culture and instrument of study. Our teaching style is clear and to the point with a depth rising out of long years of research, field studies, dedication and experience.
The corpus of our studies includes academic information presented clearly with references to clinical studies performed worldwide, terminology comprehension, historical and cultural background, hands on acquirement of how to use the instrument proficiently, how to apply what you learned in a working environment, mentoring and substantiation.
Presently in the USA, the closest one can come to working with sound as a therapy, is to enroll in a Music Therapy program offered at the university level. These programs are an effective measure for musicians studying piano, guitar, or orchestral percussion. However, there are no formal organizational studies with Himalayan Singing Bowls, Gongs, or the indigenous sound tools of the world. Why? Bias? Or, is it just simply music schools only count western instruments. Even though, historically, the ancient writings of Aristotle, Plato, Socrates, and authors of Pythagoras such as Nichomachus - the Greeks or students of Greek thought, were rescued by Arab Philosophers during the Dark and Middle ages. When the Renaissance came, no one in Europe knew anything about the Greeks and their Philosophy. But when the Latin philosophers brought the Arab manuscripts of the Greeks back into Europe, our western knowledge of Greek Philosophy, Mathematics, Science, Astrology, Medicine, and Music came to be known again; as well as the further studies that the Arab world conducted. The West is totally indebted to these Arab authors for returning civilization to the West to say the least. However, since the Renaissance, very little attention has been given to the studies on Music Therapy from Asia Minor, or even from Vedic India. So if you are a musician of an instrument from Asia, Asia Minor, India, or other indigenous areas of the world, you do not receive the consideration of others who are in the Music Therapy fields. But this is changing, hopefully, as more and more people see, feel, and hear the benefits of Singing Bowls, Didgeridoo, Tuning Forks, Gongs, Vedic Chant, etc.