What is Music for the Mind?
Music for the Mind is a unique home-based sound stimulation auditory training program consisting of 4 specially developed CDs. Each CD contains six ten-minute progressive segments featuring the improvisational music of Ostad Elahi with added nature sounds.

What is the purpose of Music for the Mind?

The purpose of this program is to improve your ability to perceive a full range of frequencies and to help you listen actively. Active listening improves tonal processing, and improved tonal processing by the ear and the brain supports better auditory sequential processing and language processing.

What is Auditory Training?
Auditory training is based on the neurological effect of sound on the nervous system. A cortical charge takes place from the direct application of sound frequencies, especially when applied through headphones. MFM uses sound for its vibration impact on the brain. Although MFM’s improvisational music provides a special music therapy benefit, its primary purpose is to deliver filtered and non-filtered high-frequency sounds to the brain to improve tonal processing.

What is Active Listening?
Active listening implies mindfulness, which is simply the art of paying attention. In today’s world of busyness and distractibility, we do few things mindfully or with attention. A primary goal of MFM is to facilitate the listener’s awareness of and attention to auditory stimulation so that listening is no longer a passive but an active process, the benefits of which can carry over into all aspects of our lives.

Why was Ostad Elahi’s music selected for this program?

There are several reasons why Ostad Elahi’s music offers a unique and powerful opportunity for promoting active listening. Ostad Elahi’s music is naturally rich in high frequency sounds that invite deeper and more precise learning, promoting increased awareness, creativity, motivation, and energy. The numerous improvisations imbue the music with a free quality, while the unusual harmonic and rhythmic structures cause the brain to be attentive in a dramatic way. In addition, the tonal qualities of the tanbour are quite dramatic, presenting a dense range of high frequencies more intense than any other instrument. This density is partially attributable to the fact that Ostad played multiple notes per second that built on each other’s harmonies.

Who can benefit from this program?

Considering that listening is such an important aspect of our daily lives, and because our auditory system has a profound impact on how we function, it is fair to say that everyone can benefit from an auditory stimulation program such as Music for the Mind.

What kind of equipment do I need to use Music for the Mind?
Due to the importance of preserving the harmonic content and wide frequency ranges contained in MFM, high quality equipment is strongly recommended. Whether you are using a portable CD player or a component home stereo system (portable boom box players are not recommended), good quality headphones are essential. The important factor to consider in choosing headphones is the frequency response. At the high end of the response range, headphones should have a frequency response of at least 23,000 Hz. Although CD players are generally tested up to 20,000 Hz for output, a higher range is required for the headphones to allow for transmission of the higher frequencies at a relatively low volume.

How loud should I listen to Music for the Mind?
Volume should be gentle and soft at all times. The effectiveness of MFM is not based on amplitude, meaning that more volume does not equal more effect. In fact, active listening, one of the primary purposes of MFM, is better served at low volume levels, which help to protect the delicate mechanisms of the auditory system. In most cases, volume should be below 6 or 7 on a scale of 1 to 10.

How soon will I notice results?
No two people respond to auditory training programs in exactly the same manner or rate. Some individuals may observe changes during the course of the program, while others may notice changes several months after the program is completed. Some may experience a dramatic change, while for others the effects may be more subtle.

Should I continue to listen if I’m ill?
Continue listening if you are comfortable. For some illnesses, such as fever or ear infections, listening may cause some discomfort. If this is the case, put listening on hold until you feel better. It is recommended that you consult a physician if the illness is an ear infection. If you miss a week of listening due to illness, repeat the last week you had listened to before you stopped and then continue on from that point.

What if I deviate from the designated schedule?
If it is a matter of a few days or a few tracks that have been in error, go back to where you left off on your regular schedule and continue from there. If you have been listening to the wrong part of the program for a week or more, repeat the last week you listened to before you went off-track and continue on from that point.

What can I do if my child is resistant to wearing headphones?
For some children, listening times may initially have to be reduced to facilitate orientation to the headphones. You can also try setting the volume at a very low level until your child becomes more accustomed to wearing the headphones. Try to keep the listening experience as positive as possible. Sometimes, saving a favorite activity to perform during listening time can be a good motivator.

Can I engage in other activities while listening to Music for the Mind?
Let this be one of those times (or perhaps the only time) during your day when you take time to be mindful of just one task at a time. You will be surprised how quickly your listening sessions seem to pass when you’re simply listening mindfully, which is the ideal way to listen to this program. If you prefer, however, you can also take this time to undertake some creative endeavor that you normally wouldn’t make time for, such as drawing, painting or some other craft. Stick with activities that allow you to continue to attend to the music.

Can I repeat the program when I’m finished?
If you would like to continue listening to MFM after the completion of the four-week program, please use your judgment. You may have favorite weeks or tracks that you prefer listening to. Or, it may be beneficial to repeat the whole program every two or three months, for example. We suggest the continued use of this music as a sound shield against extraneous noise and sound pollution.

If you can't find the answer to your question, please email us at feedback@musicforthemind.org