In addition to performing, composing, and recording, Jesse is incredibly interested in psychoacoustics and the healing and therapeutic effects of sound and music. The interest in this work began in 2008 when she read The Power of Sound by Joshua Leeds, who specializes in psychoacoustics and bioacoustics, and took a workshop with him in NYC. Jesse graduated in the 2014 class of the Sound and Music Institute, a professional certification training focused on integrative practices of music and sound under the guidance of Wendy Young (Princeton) and several other teachers including John Beaulieu, ND, PhD, Pat Moffitt Cook, PhD, Sylvia Nakkach, and Dr. Louise Montello. Her focus was on psychoacoustics, therapeutic instruments, and the role of music and sound in grief and loss. She has also studied Performance Wellness with Louise Montello, a practice specifically designed to use exercises to assist with performance anxiety of any kind. Using a wide array of instruments, focusing on deeply relaxing tones and especially the sounds of nature, she enjoys working with people individually, as well as leading small workshops and group sound baths. She also applies the knowledge she has gained from this training and experience to all of her music whether it is in a setting of performing onstage or recording, from playing crystal singing bowls onstage at Le Poisson Rouge, the Rubin Museum of Art, or Carnegie Hall, on the radio, on stages all over the world, and in collaboration with other musicians. In truth, it is all about knowledge and intention.
the power of music and sound
Contrary to what is believed in the mainstream consciousness, sound and music have been used for thousands of years in healing. Sound as a therapeutic modality has had various resurgences of popularity through the years and has developed further with new research and findings, but the reality is that vibrational medicine is ancient and universal. Energy is experienced though hearing as sound. It is part of the formless realm and cannot be seen, but deeply felt. It can be experienced. In that way, it can be part of the physical realm through it's effect on the consciousness. Sound waves move in the air to change the vibration of the space with the ability to alter the entire room and anyone in it. Sound and music work on the body and mind, enhancing different brain waves, altering mood, emotional patterns, and state of consciousness. Sound waves promote the movement of energy, stir things up inside of us, tap into parts of us we hadn’t otherwise been aware of, retune us, and help us to work through and remove impediments. Intentional sound can be immediately effective, as a certain frequency can bypass the story and chitter chatter of our minds, and go directly to where it needs to go, mirroring back to us our own state of being. Depending on the intention of the sound or music itself, and the openness of the listener, the effects can be deeply relaxing, help us to focus and concentrate, or energize us naturally.
There is a great deal of scientific evidence to support the effects of music and sound on our brains, bodies, and emotions, but the easiest way to begin to understand is by thinking about our own experiences with sound and music. For example, if one is feeling overwhelmed or stressed, sometimes slow, flowing music, or the sound of the ocean or rain can have a calming effect, increasing depth of respiration and slowing heart rate. Ethereal sounds of nature, and open, expanding tones can assist us in breathing deeper, to slow down, in order to be present and open. If you play a lighthearted song on a stereo or infuse joy into a song being played on a piano, you can completely alter the atmosphere in a space. It may be unspoken, but looking into the eyes of everyone in the room, the feeling is shared. A song with higher frequencies and a fast tempo can energize us quickly, making us want to move, increasing our heart rate and motivating us to action. Standing at the ocean, listening to the waves moving slowly in and out from the shore, we can find our minds quieting down as we take a deep breath in, falling into homeostasis, feeling almost immediately relaxed and at peace. Depending on our state of being, we respond to different sounds and styles of music. None of this is a random coincidence.
With knowledge comes responsibility, and music and sound instilled with beautiful and positive intention is a key element in helping us to find harmony and comfort in our daily lives.
References, links, suggestions:
The Power of Sound by Joshua Leeds
The Music of Life by Hazrat Inayat Kahn
The Mysticism of Music, Sound, and Word by Hazrat Iayat Kahn
Music and Sound in the Healing Arts by John Beaulieu
Toning by Laura Elizabeth Keyes and Don Campbell
Cymatics by Hans Jenny
The Healing Power of Sound by Mitchell Gaynor
Essential Music Intelligence by Louise Montello
Healing at the Speed of Sound by Don Campbell
Free Your Voice by Sylvia Nakkach
Human Tuning by John Beaulieu
Healing Imagery and Music by Carol Bush