There are wonderful instruments in the world from which to choose to use in therapeutic sound practices, so it is important that you not only know the origin of the instrument, the cultural heritage, the history, legacy, and playing technique, it is important to be aware of cultural appropriation, respect of culture and understanding of applications of certain instruments from cultures outside of your own. It is also important to know the sources from where the instruments come and make sure that the people from whom we are buying instruments or goods are reputable, honest, ethical, and engaged in fair trade. Just because you find something on Amazon or find a "great deal!" somewhere doesn't mean it's a good idea to buy an instrument so buyer beware and also aware so that the instruments you have in your tool kit have the energy you would want to bring into any healing work you are giving or receiving!
The instruments I use are resonant drone-based instruments. Below is a list of some of the instruments I use in meditations and in individual sound and music therapy sessions as well.
CRYSTAL SINGING BOWLS I work with both alchemy bowls and 99% quartz crystal bowls in my sound meditations and find their potency in the interval relationships between tones as well as the continual drone in playing which focuses the mind, allows the body to relax, and move energy in the bio-field. Recommended distributors are Crystal Tones and Best Bowls from The Wisdom Light. They are all mined in the US and engage in ethical practices.
Be careful not to buy bowls from China as the materials are not always pure and the manufacturing suspect in terms of the working conditions of the factories.
"FEELTONE INSTRUMENTS" Monolinas
Monolinas are drone/overtone, stringed instruments with the deeper bass strings and perfect 5th strings on the bottom. The way the Monolina is played can bring forth rich overtones and the instruments can be placed on the body, both front and back to be able to feel the sound. Monolinas come from the FeelTone company based in Germany. Contact me for distribution information or to purchase an instrument.
The Monchair is similar to the Monolina but it is an instrument you sit in. The strings vibrate on the root and second and transfers vibration throughout the body.
Sansulas are a type of mbira or kalimba (also known as a thumb piano) in which the actual instrument is imbedded into a synthetic resonator.
TUNING FORKS I work with BioSonic Tuning Forks with my clients and in sound events. Tuning forks can be used to work with the neuro-endocrine system, in working with bi-lateral stimulation for trauma work, and on the body for relief of pain or to unblock patterns using vibration.
HIMALAYAN SINGING BOWLS These bowls are also known as standing or resting bells.
They are often played gently or with some more intense striking and may also be played by rubbing a mallet around the outside rim which allows the bowl to "sing" in a sustained tone which can elicit a relaxation or alpha brainwave response. The oncologist, Mitch Gaynor who tragically passed a couple of years ago, wrote two seminal books about his clinical practice using Tibetan singing bowls with some of his patients to help the healing process before, during and following treatment.
If you are interested, read "Sounds of Healing: A Physician Reveals the Therapeutic Power of Sound, Voice, and Music" The metal bowls I use are from different distributors. There are many good, reputable sellers out there but be careful as there are some people who are capitalizing on the sound bath trend who will sell anyone anything! Email me for referrals.
SRUTI BOXES Sruti Boxes come from India and are pronounced (Shru-ti). In India, the shruti is the smallest audible interval and there are 22 shrutis in a western scale half-step. Shruti is a Vedic word meaning "what is heard" or "what is revealed" so when we use the shruti box drone, we connect to a deep listening place where connection and revelation can happen. They are musical drone instruments often used in vocal and instrumental accompaniment. I have several sruti boxes from Ron Kravits of Music in the Moment or from Keshav Music located in upstate, NY.
RAV HAND PANS RAV Vast hand pan drums are resonant drone and melodic instruments in various keys and modes. I purchased mine from Music in the Moment but you can find them online anywhere these days.