Christine Stevens on Becoming Music
Interview with Christine Stevens by Phil Bolsta
Watch Christine Stevens’ interview:
Christine Stevens' new course is Becoming Music. Christine, why is sound healing important for processing our emotions?
Well, I can answer that from direct experience for sure… is that emotions get expressed through sound. If you've ever noticed that you have an emotion and you can't find the words for it and then you hear a song on the radio and you go like, "That's exactly how I feel." How do we then utilize that experience in a more direct way for our own awakening? I think sound has been relegated to performance and entertainment and we think of it as a talent. Actually, it's who we all are. I mean, we all get goosebumps when we hear beautiful music, right? We all need silence and resting, we all need harmony, and we all need to find avenues to bring our voice into the world.
There are so many great metaphors of sound, and the tools. One good example for me is grief work. I've done a lot of that personally in working with trauma survivors and refugees in war zones. What I find is people do this practice called wailing — mawahl — which is just singing your pain. This doesn't take long. I had an experience of really releasing a deep historic family wound in my life, and it was intense, but it was also complete within less than an hour. I just found a song that was my power song for that practice and I let it out. No words felt so freeing, right? Then after that experience, just integrating it through some silence and self-soothing.
I mean, we have been listening to rhythm, we were incubated in rhythm, and so all of us have a connection to the drum and the heartbeat. What I want to bring into this class is for all of those who love drumming and rhythm like me, is to then take that as a springboard into learning these three other elements of sound healing.
Are there other ways that you've personally used sound healing to accelerate your own inner work?
Yes. I mean, I feel like in the West, we're kind of behind. When I travel, I get to connect to these global cultures that are celebrating, and processing, and experiencing, and maintaining community and harmony and expression through these tools. The good thing is, they're beautiful and fun. I mean, wouldn't it be great if spiritual growth was more fun? For me, I think that I have maintained a practice with sound on a regular basis. It's how I start my day. I greet the day with music, face East, play my drum, think of gratitude.
I can say that has had a radical effect on my consciousness, helped me through the hardest times, which is interesting that some tool can come to us from difficult times, but also bridge into our own growth. Because really, what are we becoming? We're becoming instruments. We want to be an instrument. There's a beautiful quote in the Radiance Sutras that says you are the instrument that breath is playing.
If I can see my life as this ongoing music, as a symphony in all its moments, I'm connecting to a lineage of beauty and creativity and celebration and joy, that I want to bring these global practices into this tool for you to become music.
Speaking of them becoming music, how do they do this on their own? How do they become their own healer?
Well, we all have more knowledge than we know. When I ask people what's your power song or what's a song that inspires and holds you, fits for you, people can think of a song. The number one place people sing is in the shower and the number two is in the car. We all have a desire to sing and to be connected to sound-healing traditions. We're lucky that we're in a time where we can learn these tools, we can integrate them into our lives.
One of the big problems is we don't have time to be our own healer and we think that it's from somewhere outside of us, but if we can make the time... and music is a fast tool, sound healing happens rather quickly because we're tuning the field, we're doing subtle frequency work, we can connect with the drum and shift our emotional state really quickly. Then we can bring that into harmony in our connections with others.
Well, thank you for sharing your wisdom with us today, Christine.
I know your past students are going to be thrilled they get another chance to work with you. Becoming Music, coming up soon.
Yeah, come and join us.
Christine Stevens is an internationally acclaimed speaker, author, and music therapist. Holding master’s degrees in both social work and music therapy, Christine inspires people all over the world with her message that music promotes holistic health, spirituality, and wellness. Christine taught her Awaken Your Rhythm course to over 600 students from 30 countries previously this year with the Shift Network.
Christine is the author of Music Medicine: The Science and Spirit of Healing Yourself with Sound... The Healing Drum Kit... and The Art and Heart of Drum Circles book and DVD. She’s recorded two play-along CDs, Reviving Rhythms and Drumming Up Diva.
Christine is the founder of UpBeat Drum Circles, offering diversity training, team building, and wellness presentations worldwide. She’s trained facilitators and led workshops in more than 20 countries, including Iraq, Hong Kong, Brazil, South Africa, Japan, and Western Europe. Christine trains HealthRHYTHMS facilitators throughout the United States, England, and Japan through Remo, the world’s largest drum company. A leader in the music and wellness movement, Christine also serves on the editorial board of Explore: A Journal of Science and Healing.
Christine’s work in Iraq was featured in the book and DVD Discover the Gift. Televised media credits include PBS, NBC, KABC-Los Angeles, KTLA–Los Angeles, Tournament of Roses Parade, London Tonight, Living Better TV, Discovery Health, and Hong Kong News. As a contributing writer, Christine’s work has been featured in Fitness magazine, Spirituality & Health, Body & Soul, Fast Company, First for Women Magazine, The Oriental News, The Christian Science Monitor, US News & World Report, Yogi Times, and Natural Beauty and Health.
Click here to visit Christine’s website.