The Healing Concert
An article about Janalea's Healing Concert

The Kansas City Star

A concert with a PowerPoint presentation?
A concert where everyone goes home with a free CD?
What is Overland Park music therapist Janalea Hoffman up to?
People will find out tonight at her “healing concert.”

Music, with all its therapeutic properties, has been Hoffman
ʼs life mission for more than 30 years in the music therapy business.One of her projects, called Sounds of Comfort, takes her into hospital rooms at Shawnee Mission Medical Center, where she and other musicians play at patientsʼ bedsides. 

Over the last three years Hoffman has presented more than 30 of her “healing concerts” at medical centers, churches and various public venues, for cancer patients, medical personnel and the general public. Tonight
ʼs concert, a fundraiser for Sounds of Comfort, coincides partly by design with the beginning of the stressful holiday season.

“I just think people need to take care of themselves during the holidays, and this is one way to do it, to start to de-stress and learn some information about how to deal with your stress,” she says. We talked about the concert with Hoffman in her southern Johnson County studio, Rhythmic Medicine.

Q. First of all, what is a healing concert?
A. Well, it is very unique. Usually when you go to a concert itʼs kind of a passive listening experience. Youʼre sitting there, and youʼre thinking of what youʼre going to do later or whatever else is on your mind. A healing concert is part concert, part music therapy experience, part educational. I have a PowerPoint that I give about how music affects the brain. Thereʼs music that affects us physically, emotionally and spiritually, and I talk about each section beforehand so people know what to listen for. 

Sorry, you stopped me when you said PowerPoint. I donʼt think most people expect to see a PowerPoint presentation at a concert.
OK, well, that is very minimal. Itʼs not like Iʼm going to lecture a lot. There will bejust a little bit of information so you know how to listen more actively to the musicand have it be more healing. All of us are on a healing journey of some sort. Weʼve all needed emotional healing, physical healing at some level. I talk about how music fits into that.Thatʼs what people want to know: How can music help me?

Q. How did you come up with this concert format?

I have developed, over the years, techniques that I teach to a lot of health care professionals. But then I started doing the bedside music in hospital rooms, and that was really powerful. And yet, Iʼm thinking, itʼs very labor-intensive, too. So I thought … wouldnʼt it be great to have this concert for a bigger group ofpeople so that a lot of people could benefit at one time? 

Q. So what kind of music will we hear?

Some of itʼs classical and some of itʼs popular. Itʼs all live. We have a concert harpist who brings her giant concert harp. A lot of our concerts we do in small settings, and to have this giant harp up there — you really feel the vibrations. And then we have a violinist from Poland who is fantastic. He has played in Carnegie Hall and is getting his Ph.D at KU. … We also have a singer. … And I do a little bit of native flute. 

Q. I
ʼm sure that there are people who will read this story and think, “A healingconcert sounds kind of woo-woo to me.” How would you encourage themto try it?

We have a CD called “Musical Biofeedback.” Itʼs music at a certain rhythm to slow your heart rate and (lower) blood pressure. The tickets for the concert are $20, but weʼre offering to give people the CD free if they come. We really have a mission to get this out about music therapy and how music can be helpful. And sometimes, you have to do something to grab peopleʼs attention.  
This is the secret of Rhythmic Medicine


 Personal Note from Janalea about Musical Solutions

When I started my Private Practice in Music Therapy, very few people knew about Music Therapy.  "I was into country before country was cool!" are the lyrics to a famous song. I have been introduced in prior workshops with this line, "Janalea was into Music Therapy, before Music Therapy was cool!" 

When I studied Music Therapy, most jobs were in highly specialized institutions with special populations. I heard the following stereotype many times, "Oh, I know about Music Therapy.  It is for children and the elderly!"  This is so untrue.   

MUSIC THERAPY IS FOR EVERYONE!  My mission has been to create a Music Therapy private practice that focuses on using music as a wellness tool for all ages, especially adults who may not know that music can be an integral part of their wellness program. My passion has been to develop techniques that help with our health challenges.  For example, Musical Biofeedback, is a concept that I developed which teaches individuals how to match their body rhythms, such as heart rate and breathing rate to slow musical rhythms. This greatly increases body awareness which is ALWAYS important for health.   

If we ignore our body's signals, we cannot catch things early.  In Oriental medicine, it is important to pay close attention to what our body is telling us so we can eliminate potential body challenges before they become serious. Using music to help us be more aware of our bodies is one fun and effective way to do this. Also, by matching our body rhythms to musical rhythms, we are entering into a focused state of mind which is also helpful to our health.   

As you go through our website, there are programs and products to help you find MUSICAL SOLUTIONS.    

Wishing you all musical things--harmony, great melodies, joy and peace,


Your internal body rhythms- heart beat, blood pressure, and breathing
always try to harmonize with external rhythms.
Your heart near another's will find a mutual pace.


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