Music Therapy in Management, Education and Administration

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Item Code: IHD014
Author: Suvarna Nalapat
Publisher: Readworthy Publications Pvt. Ltd.
Language: English
Edition: 2008
ISBN: 9788189973735
Pages: 206
Cover: Paperback
Other Details 8.5” X 5.5”
Weight 310 gm
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Book Description
Back of the Book

This book deals with the application of music therapy in management, education and administration, Explaining how the Raga is used to remove ragadvesha (dualities), it deals with the multiple intelligence theory of howard Gander to develop the music therapy scheme.

It also presents a detailed account of medical ethics how to organize a research process the concept of a medical university, curriculum for music therapy, curriculum for short-term courses, role of emotions in music therapy and the problem of consciousness. Case studies of dementia and alzheimer’s disease find place in the discussion as well

It also present a detailed account of medical ethics, how to organize a research process, the concept of a medical university, curriculum for music therapy, and the problem of consciousness. case studies of dementia and alzheimer’s disease find place in the discussion as well.

Dr. Suvarna Nalapat an MD in pathology has a vast experience of 32 years of teaching undergraduate and postgraduate classes. She was professor and head of department of pathology at Amrita institute of Medical Sciences and Research Centre, Kochi; Consultant Histopathologist professor of Pathology at Kerala Government Medical collage, Calicut.

Besides a large number of research papers published in national and international journals of repute, Dr. Nalapat has to her credit many acclaimed books including Amrita Jyoti: Comparative study of Religions, A Rediscovery of India through the panchasidhantika of Varahmihira, Mudra: A Literary Criticism of Ujjainy. Also, She has participated in many a seminars and conferences and delivered lectures on Music therapy.



Wherever I go for lectures/ demonstrations or speeches, people ask me either of these two questions.

1. How a doctor/ a pathologist can speak on these subjects?

2. How do you find time for all these things, domestic and professional activities, writing books on very serious subjects and social work.

I have work been answering these question for a long time. When I write this book, the first thing that comes to my mind is “I sing, therefore, I am,’ a slight modification of “I think, therefore, I am” of Descartes. The very first talent a child develops is singing cooing with tunes heard may be that of a koil, lullaby which is ragaless, rhythmless, but rich in the bhava of love, compassion, creating a feeling of security, a felling that I belong. I was a child, born and brought up in an atmosphere of literature, philosophy, poetry, film song and socio-political activity. I become a doctor only at the age of 25 Till then, I was doing exactly what my doctor/ pathologist in the conventional sense but, in an unconventional way, even these activities belong to the realm of Pathology. ‘Pathos’ and ‘logos’ for me are not merely diseases and its knowledge. The derivation of the word ‘Pathos’, and its actual meaning is not disease, but a rich expression or bhava of compassion evoked by a sad event or suffering and ‘Logos’ is vidya, both apara and para (knowledge and wisdom). And, in that sense, I am a pathologist when I do a compassionate thing, when I experience the bhava of compassion with a piece of art or with a human being and try to learn the being and becoming by experience (own and others). That is my answer to the first questions.

Coming to the second one it is hard to answer, because I had learned the art of time management in the hardest possible way. Life, like music, is an ordered rhythmic activity, beautiful, yet totally non-predictable, since the singer, God may decide to apply some rare manodharma change the entire course of the artpiece creating a new bhava and rasa. Therefore, the rhythms and patterns of life change and we have to get adjusted to every new epoch get the timeorder altered according to it so that it is most enjoyable to us and to those us. This self-organization in life is made easy with music and I have kept a time schedule to do things in different epochs of my life.

While I was 8 years old our family had two deaths at an interval of 6 months. What is death? How does a person die? How do we come to the earth? These are question every inquisitive child asks in childhood. My inquisitiveness about the secret of life and death led me to the disciplines of biology and medicine. And in this profession you are constantly aware of disease and death and its aftereffects on the family. The things that a dying or ill person speaks are often neglected by the living as nonsense. But there are the most sensible things a human being speaks. When you are about to die and leave the world only the true things are spoken. Many of these are belonging to the realm of ESP (Extra sensory perception). Music therapy is a field where the practising therapist will come across several such narratives, biographies and visions form the clients. They should be thought of and analysed, and compassionately handled, instead of saying that the client is mad. I had several occasions of such experiences and the death of my husband and his near death experience three years before his death gave me lot of insight into the process. Being a music lover from the age of 3 or 4, I had used music for education, for putting children to sleep, and for cognitive memory skill development. But the use of it for a comatose individual to come back to normal self was for the first time in my life. It was a natural blooming up of what was in me as a lover of music that made this project, just like a flower blooms on a plant when the right time or season comes! I did not have the classical background of Indian music, but I had a pristine love for the simple soft music of our land and my curiosity led me to the deep realms of classical music, astronomical, Mathematical, Vedic and Upanishadic traditions to find out the similarities or parallels in them and that led to this interdisciplinary approach. Being a doctor and interested in quantum theories, it was not difficult for me to link the western and eastern ideas. But what is the use if I cannot give it to society? Unless the society is benefited, what is the use of an individual’s knowledge? Thus, evolved in a hospital scheme for music therapy using Indian music, which is spiritual, and a university programme with recommendations for a curriculum.

We cannot prescribe a music/ rage like a medicine involving compassion and love. I hope the message of this book as that of love and compassion will reach out to everyone of my readers and through them to entire nation and the world.

To become and educationist and to plan a way of life for the coming generations is no easy task for people who never have thought about the problems of the society and of education and its goals. For this activity, one may have to learn many arts and science should have a loving mind, a sharp and extraordinarily receptive intellect, and love for nature and nurture. And one should have lived a model life for the students to emulate. In ancient India, every gurukula had a guru and a gurupatni, and the guru led an exemplary scholarly and personal life so that the students learnt even the way of a good householder. Education, which I envisage for the 21st century teachers and students, is not for a sanyasi but for a normal human being living a householder’s life fulfilling all duties of the householder and achieving excellence in learning and in domestic/ professional duties; a good citizen of the world and pride of the nation useful to society, nation and world and above all, to themselves to their and to the institutions they work for.

Bharata is the cradle of civilization and in this ancient land of rsis and sages, Guru is equivalent to God. Guru and sisya make a meaningful whole in generating vidya and upholding the traditions. Before they start a learning process, they chant together, “Sahanou yasa: sahanou Brahmavarchasm” (let us aquire fame and divine energy together). In the generation of Guruparampara for creation of knowledge, Guru is the purvarupa, sisya is the utararupa and their sandhi is vidya and their offspring is prediction (pravacana). Medicine being a predictive science, the teachers and students have to chant together, “let us filled with intellect (medha) and by that nectar of intelligence let us develop understanding (dharama). My body and mind are healthy. My words are sweet as honey. Let all the ears hear that sweet voice of love. God is hidden in the cells of intelligence. Let my knowledge be preserved for posterity and propagated by the coming generations (of sisyas”. Then the Guru continues to pray alone; “Let there be more distant places. Let them be happy intelligent, disciplined and thirsty for knowledge.

Whenever and educational institution is trying to drew more students to it, apart from the curriculum and syllabus a feeling of oneness and a bond of love between the teachers and student is essential. The students, after leaving the institution, nostalgically remember the people who have given them love a feeling of security: A good educational institution should be a home away from home, and good teachers should be giving parental (motherly/fatherly affection, love, care and advice (counseling). They should not be line policeman and women making life difficult for them. Children are always good. The only thing that they need is proper love and care, not to turn to bad things and company.

We have to revive the old gurukula system is India where the guru is a father/ mother figure and the sisya is the son/ daughter and in such a situation only on can give security and a feeling of belonging to the students and by sharing their happiness and sorrows the teacher becomes part of his/her training programme.

Only be creating such an atmosphere we can make a happy place to loive and study and work. The happiness (ananda) or bliss is always associated with sat, sit (truth and energy of intelligence). Happy environment is the best for intellectual and physical work. Each and every faculty member should member should be able to understand this and create such an atmosphere in the college campus and every student should be able to respond to it by their natural instinct. For this gurukula should have good and happy teacher as well as intelligent and free individuals leading a dutiful and pure domestic life.

Health according to definition of Who, is not merely the lack of disease. The mental spiritual and intellectual health also has to be taken into consideration. A multidisciplinery approach including Ayurveda, Yoga, classical music, Indian philosophy of life if implemented in universities and in medical institutions and selected villages, giving all the benefits of existence to the public in all their spheres of development and therapy through a musical medium designated Ragacikitsa is a vision to achieve this result in the long run. The Gestalt field Theory of educational psychology defines human beings as dynamic systems within dynamic system growing by the dynamic systems within dynamic systems growing by environment in the field in which they live and stimulate growth in the field of their existence.

“Ultimately, higher education should aim at the creation of new society non-violent and non-exploitative, consisting of highly cultivated, motivated and integrated individuals, inspired by love for humanity and guided by wisdom” (UNESCO World conference, Paris 5-9 October 1998).

In the preamble society currently undergoing a profound crisis of values can transcend mere economic considerations and incorporate deeper dimensions of morality and spirituality. Higher education is to ensure that the values and ideals of culture of peace prevail and that the intellectual community should be mobilized to that end.

This book, originally devised as a basic textbook and guidebook for student of music therapy in India has this broad goal to achieve. When I first started to talk about music therapy and its advantages to my colleagues and, to the public, I left that I was a single tree trying to dance and make music and rhythm in a quiet forest where the other trees didn’t mind whether there was music or not. I had been used to a silence within, which is akin to nothingness, death, or as an absolute existence of God which is bliss incarnate. That silence was a Barbo and a British saying, “an angel’s time of passing by the Ma of Japan or the space between events.” The silence between the two lovers, between Radha and Krsna, the most intimate emotion unfathomable and sweetest, the Pralaya or deluge or timeless existence in the Present. The silent phase had slowed down the pace of my music and emphasized the word (literature) in me but those words even came from the silence, highlighting the quiet intensity of the singer’s voice. Silence begins within the inner space before the first musical sound begins, ends within the space after the last musical sound begins, has finished resonating. The Indian sciences cal the silence as Anahata nada. Tantra calls it the Para, Psyanti, and Madhyama stage before Vaikharih (heard sound). The visions, scenes, dreams, Jungian archetypes in music and their healing properties have been much discussed in the west recently. The listener and the singer have two different personalities and different roles. Similarly the therapist and the patient have two personalities and two roles. Yet as human beings they are equal in many respects (Kimmo Lehtonen Healing metaphors on music. & 6th European music Therapy conference in Finland, July 19 2004). That is like the Bhakta and the Bhagavan in Bhaktisampradaya, the jiva and the Paramatma in Vedanta.

Rika Ikuno (Voices vol 1no: 1 April20. 2001) says how in Japan the term Ongaku Rhyoho (music therapy) is used and how it is used for Fukushi (social care and welfare extending to every member of society, regardless of economic status) and how this created through musical awarensess, public political and civil support is gained, educationists are attracted, music appreciation and culture enhanced, and preservation of national heritage and values results along with welfare activities. In my music therapy programme, which I call Ragacikiitsa, this is exactly what had happened over the years and now I find many trees around me reawakened and making their own dance to the breeze. The forest is no more silent.

Fukushi is social work, social welfare policy for handicapped, elderly people, etc. It is for alleviation of poverty and misery around using music as a too for human growth, healthy natural and social change for total transformation of community and nation. It is for reducing the exploitation of society by undesirable elements, to diversities of religion, creeds, castes, political parties and sexes will be replaced by a nation. It is for reducing the exploitation of society so that the diversities of religion, creeds, castes, political parties and sexes will be replaced by a national feeling (Indianness) and that of humanity.

Since Indian culture and value systems, concepts and the music systems are entirely different from the west it is not advisable to give Mozart or Beethoven to the common man for therapy. The Indian music (north Indian and south Indian) should be used and Ragacikitsa aims at such a programme. At the same time, the Indian student of music therapy should know the developments happening in the west and in the medical research and hence literature survey, sometimes quoting whole articles have become necessary (as a textbook for music therapists, musicologists and students of music therapy and for doctors).

If viewed in this sense as a transformative research music is not only a spiritual activity but also a socio-political activity. The world goes round by love, energy, materials and wisdom. The research scientist is therefore bound to provide a written documents showing what he/she did, why he/ she did it, how she/e did it what he/she learned form it, and how it, is useful to the society and the world. For me, life is the sum of all the research processes. I have done and more than the sum of it, enriching my experience and thought process. Whether it is astronomy, music, history, anthropology, poetry, Veda and Vedanta, Gita, Upanisad, medicine, literature, philosophy or sociology, psychology and yoga, I try to compare the East and the west, and accept the good points from each of the branches of knowledge I come across. Each is a river enriching my eternal waiting in silence for my Krsna, who is love incarnate, my consciousness as a blue lotus of the valley blossoms and my thoughts grow from an ugly duckling to a beautiful swan. My long and fruitful delay in merging with the golden blue ocean of Krsna is an experience sung and immortalized by Meera, Tyagaraja and many other Bhakti poets and seers of India. When I write this book I have presented the recipes from all these branches of sciences and arts, which I have collected, experimented and tasted like a honeybee. But ultimately like the honey in the beehive, the rasas of the different sciences and arts have become one in a sweet advaitarasa, the rasa of musical experience.

The potential users of my observations and experiences can repeat the experiences in their lives and surroundings, and evaluate their own experience in comparison to mine. This book is both science and art. Logic, clarity and precision are needed for science. Originality, freshness of experience are sincerity of purpose with compassion are needed for artistic works. Ragacikitsa preserves or tries to preserve both and introduces art into medical science, and medical science into the art of music for social change and or creating employment opportunities for thousands of music students, and for healing the needy, and developing the younger generations of citizens, for world peace and preserving the heritage of India for the entire humanity. A pinch pf salt (Science) to humanities, and a pinch of sweet (music) to science make samarasa (equalization of taste).

Human experiences (musical experiences called the MLP or music life panorama), creative thinking and language of love peace act as positive communications to individuals and society. According to Claude Levistrauss: “If you know the consciousness of a musician you know everything in the universe. “ In RSA lecture series (12 April 2000, Paul Robertson), music us said to be the most intimate journey into another person’s personal world. When a pan-Indian collaborative research project for healing and alleviation of pain society through medium of music was planned, I experienced this to be true.

Communication in Sankrit is samvedana, vedana is pain. Music takes away the pains through samvedana and is an anesthetic, but is the most aesthetic of arts. It communicates at a transcendental level and superconscious states of aesthetics which we call the laya yogam or nadalaya yogam. The pun of samvedana/ vedana and aesthetics/ anesthetics is interesting. For this to happen at least two people are needed, one is a singer and the other is a listener in (music), one man and one bhagavan and one Bhakta (in Bhakti sampradaya), one man and one women (Radhakrsna, sivasakti) Veda calls this mithuna. It could be a guru and sisya or a parent and child or any two people who love each other. Language and music have to convey an idea, a message, an experience or an emotion. They have to touch a listener/ several listeners/readers to attain the fruits of research.

Who is touched by whom and by which (whose) music? is that a child or an adult? Literate or illiterate? Scholar or non-scholar speaking the same language or non scholar? All these questions and answers are important in music therapy. There are individual variations for selection of raga and music.

Creativity is like a flower natural to a plant. Every human being is creative. Only the degree of creativity differs. Flower is beautiful and natural to plant and bears fruits and seeds for next generation. Even a poisonous plat has a beautiful flower. The outcome determines whether it is dangerous to society or not. Both the values and qualities I went to communicate to the society as a listener and the values and ideologies of the singer/ musician are therefore important in the context of music therapy as far as I am concerned. Therefore, when I take Subbalaxami and yesudaus as sheet anchors this also taken into consideration.

The sustained Yesudas effect he had made on Indian society for 44 years and the MLP of mine are given in the book “Without a Stumble” (Nalapat Books 2003). MLP works with the emotional meanings of experiences, events sand memories that are connected with music in one’s biography and it can be used in verbal form (talk about music) and in active from (conducting improvisations together). MLP gives opportunity to pay proper regard to both aspects of how to combine psycho-therapeutic and socio-therapeutic work life panorama is a word which comes from the biographical work, in integrative therapy. From the present we look back on the whole wide panorama of our life development back into the past and forward into the anticipated future in order to under to understand ourselves in our identity, in our identity, in our life in its entirety. in the course of that process, we look at individual stages of life, but always pay regard to the social context and time we grew up.

MLP emphasizes experience with various kinds of music that have taken an emotional significance during our life. The effect of music is always dependent on context and mood. It is linked with emotional events and periods in our lives and releases the memory and the feelings that were linked with specific situations and events in our lives at that time. Recollection of emotions in tranquility with the aid of music, has an important role in music therapy. If a client remembers his/her musical life panorama, it inevitably brings her/ his story to life.

This helps is recreate awareness of musical healing experiences which had been forgotten due to various life situations. In integrative music therapy, it has an active improvising component also. The process is a theragnosis (therapeutics and diagnosis together) for the music therapist in an informal way.

Music as Nadabrahman is the key to my spirituality. Listening (sruti as veda synonym) memory (smrti), cognition (bodha), science (sastra), arts (kala), concentration (Sraddha, yoga), absolute bliss of ecstacy (laya/ samadhi), perception (darsana), sound, name chanting (nada, nama and mantra), light and form (prakasa, rupa), colour/ pronounced (letters) (varna nad dhavni) are studied with comparative Eastern and Western concepts, scientifically/ aesthetically , synthesizing ancient and modern thoughts and its natural powers (sakti) merging in the Siva concept yin yan a seemingly opposite ideologies for a peaceful and happy coexistence in a physically, mentally, intellectually and spiritually healthy environment is my Maha-advaita of existence, spiritual health means the satisfaction of the highest intellectual moral and aesthetic capacities in the context.

Though primarily devised as a textbook for music therapy students this is an interdisciplinary comparative study of both modern and ancient concepts of astronomy, yoga, psychology, medicine, music, philosophy and cultural heritage of humanity and is for the total human development and national integration and global peace through Indian philosophy and music. Because of this, it will be useful not only to music therapists and musicologists, but also to every individual on earth who cares for a peaceful coexistence on earth and who values Love as God.



My gratitude to Padmasri Padmabhusan Dr. K. J. Yesudas, whose music and life have inspired this dream project of music therapy to come true. My love and regards go to Smt Bhuvaneswary Rajam Easwaran, who had patiently toiled all these 6-7 years to notate and sing the lyrics of the Melakarta raga for the project. With love I acknowledge my son, Abhilash N.U who made his mother’s dream a reality. My Sincere thanks to Readworthy Publications and DK Printworld for giving shape to the long cherished dream, so that it each out to a lager section of society.

I acknowledge

1. All my students, colleagues and children who have given me an insight into how it affects them to hear a lullaby sung or a discussion on music makes them feel.

2. Dr. Udayabhanu who loved music and through music become my life partner and put up with many of my eccentricities regarding music.

3. Kuttettan and his old cinema hall with Meera bhajans of Subbalaxmi and long play records of Chebai Vaidyanath Bhagavathar which stimulated my taste for melod.

4. My constant companion and old Philips radio which I got when I was a child, so that I could listen to Radio Ceylon and Vividhbharati and Calacitra Gananagal.

5. Calicut Medical collage where my initial trials and experiments, observations and self-analysis with neurotransmitters and pain managements were initiated in a scientific way.

6. Amrita institute of medical sciences and Research centre where the pilot project was done and the first steps to fulfillment of the project began.

7. Pankajakasthuri Ayurveda Medical collage, where a workshop was conducted and a university attached course in music therapy was started.

8. To all the institutions and individuals who gave me opportunities to share my views and give awareness programmes to public the project.

9. To all audio-visual media who conducted interviews on the subject so that I could get across my ideas to a wider audience.

10. To all my clients and acquaintances who have given me love an insight into human nature, needs and the essential divine nature of human soul.

It would be appropriate here to remember all the volunteers, the patients, the mentally compromised children and elderly whom I saw. But, I have to remember a girl a young mother with multiple secondaries of spine with breast cancer, who wanted to talk to Yesudas before her death. After hearing his Nithichala sukhama –kalyani raga –which I played for her, and sat beside her holing her hands so that the could sleep calmly with a secure feel. The former wish, I could not fulfill, but the latter I could. The project and the book is dedicated to all of humanity in her memory.

Guru+ Vayu (Prana) is everything in music for music. When I mention Guruvayurappan as the last he is always the first and the middle too. Everywhere and in everything Guru and Vayu dwell to give us life and dreams and wisdom.

Ever in the lotus feet of Lord Visnu, Guruvayurappan.




  Acknowledgements vii
  Preface ix
  Key to Transliteration xxi
  Introduction: Music Therapy in Indian Perspective as a Global theme xxiii
1. Medical Ethics 1
2. Organising a Research Process 8
3. Concept of a Medical University 23
4. A Curriculum for Music Therapy 34
5. Institute of Human Values in Healthcare Under Amrita Vidyapeetham (Deemed University). 40
6. Curriculum for Short Term-Courses 68
7. Emotion in Music Therapy, Listening Activities 76
8. Problem of Consciousness 90
9. Organising one's Roles in Life as Brain Mapping 101
10. Dementia: A Problem of Society and Time 119
11. Music Therapy-research Methods and Project Planning Training 129
12. Three Projects Submitted by the Students 138
13. A Randomized Controlled Trial done at Medical College Hospital. 157
14. A Case History of Alzheimer's Disease 165
15. Conclusion 168
16. Appendix 180
17. Epilogue 193
18. Index 198


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