Music and Mindfulness

A novel way to increase wellbeing.
Music has profound effects on the human psyche. It has the ability to manifest meaningful memories from the past. Participating in community music can provide one with a deep sense of connection to one's self and others. Listening to music can be inspirational, motivational, focus our thought processes and lift our spirits. It colours our lives in so many uplifting ways.

Music has played a significant role in human evolution. Charles Darwin proposed that music, in particular singing was the precursor to the development of language in early hominids (Weiyi, M 2019). Even to this day, music is often seen as the universal language.

Music has remarkable effects on the brain and body. When listening to personally chosen music, one can significantly increase the levels of serotonin (Evers, S 2000), the neurotransmitter implicated in mood regulation and often referred to as the happiness hormone. Music listening also increases serum melatonin, the sleep hormone (Kumar et al 1999) and dopamine, the neurotransmitter associated with the feeling of reward.

Anyone who has participated in communal singing within a choir will recognise that wondrous feeling attained from the production of oxytocin...the neurotransmitter responsible for human bonding and one of the many compounds manufactured in the body during group music making.

All of these musical activities help to reduce stress and anxiety and diminish the fight or flight response (De la Torre- Luque et al 2017), increasing one's feelings of wellbeing. What would we do without the deeply enriching presence of music in our lives?
©Copyright M. Johnson. 2019

(Excerpt from an article in Living Well Magazine extracted from Michael's research project at Swinburne University)

Harp Circles

At Diamond Creek Neighbourhood House,
Diamond Creek . Victoria.
First Thursday of each month.
Michael coordinates the monthly harp circles and master classes at Diamond Creek neighbourhood house.
These sessions encourage musical improvisation skills, leading to composition on this beautiful instrument.
Using novel teaching methods that Michael has developed over many years, he has encouraged many student harpists to go onto creating their own compositions.
Diamond Creek Neighbourhood House. 119 Cowin St, Diamond Creek VIC 3089.
To register your interest in these sessions click the Harp Circle Booking page or contact Michael on 0407 302 771.

Harp in the Gardens: Harp Meditations.

At the Royal Botanic Gardens

In these sessions, Michael uses gentle harp music to aid mindfulness meditation, inspiring feelings of peace, calm and a deep sense of well-being. The music and mindfulness sessions are held in many locations including the beautiful arid gardens at the Royal Botanic Gardens.
Opportunity for all participants to experience joy and connectedness through uplifting music and a beautiful environment.
To find out about dates and time for these sessions you can phone the Botanic Gardens Melbourne on 9252 2529.
or by pressing Here

The Music and Mindfulness Weekend Meditation Retreats

* 2 nights accomodation
* Annually in early September
* Music & Mindfulness
* Music & creative Inspiration
* Mindfulness & Movement
* Labyrinth Walk (In silence)
* Toning and voice work
* Sunday Afternoon Closing Concert
* scrumptious plant based meals
Resident harpist, Michael Johnson will be hosting an uplifting weekend meditation retreat. Participants will be using music to aid mindfulness meditation, inspiring feelings of peace, calm and a deep sense of well-being. The music and mindfulness meditations will be held in the beautiful meditation sanctuary with Michael’s gentle harp music. There will be opportunity to experience all facets of uplifting music through toning and chanting, music and movement, music and art and concluding in the Sunday afternoon concert. To epress interest in these retreats, please contact Michael by pressing Here

Music and Mindfulness Seminars

Held in your Work place
For many years, Michael has been holding Music and Mindfulness seminars and sessions in the work place as part of company AGMs and staff professional development inservices. Meditation has been seen as an essential elements of reducing stress and inducing a peaceful and creative mind. It has often been said that a calm and peaceful work environment lends itself to greater staff cohesion, better customer-employee relationships and ultimately a happier and more productive work place. Michael runs workshops on how to achieve these results in your own workplace through half day seminars. These includes group harp meditations, break out activities and conclude with a peaceful harp concert. If you would like to organise your own Music and Mindfulness Seminar with Michael, you can contact him by clicking here

Michael Johnson: A Testimony

by Siegfried Gutbrod
"Michael Johnson has been a key member of the therapeutic team at The Foundation since 1991 with his highly valued music based mindfulness meditation sessions and retreats. He has been conducting these meditation sessions for most of The Gawler Cancer Foundation retreats and conferences reaching more than ten thousand people during this time. Regularly retreat participants comment on how much they benefit from Mike's approach to mindfulness. He has a special gift to tune into the energies of each group, while adapting to the needs of the individual participants. In addition to this, his love and knowledge of music and it's contribution to wellness is contagious and his enthusiasm adds to the group experience. Mike complements our objective to teach people to meditate for health and wellbeing reasons. His “Music and mindfulness” harp meditations are being used in schools, hospitals and in the field of mental health care. Mike is regularly called upon to play his meditative harp music to people who are reaching the end of their lives. He demonstrates a unique quality to tune into the sick and dying person and to contribute towards greater inner peace with his beautiful music and meditations, but in particular through his qualities as a compassionate human being." –by Siegfried Gutbrod, The Gawler Cancer Foundation