Integrative perspectives on mindfulness, music and music therapy: A literature review — Mi Hyang Hwang

Volume 15 (1) 2023 – Article (first published on 19 August 2021)

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Integrative perspectives on mindfulness, music and music therapy: A literature review

Mi Hyang Hwang


With increasing recognition of the advantage of working within a multidisciplinary team and interdisciplinary study for health, the incorporation of music and mindfulness across healthcare disciplines has become more common. The aim of this study was to explore the integrating theory and practice, key principles, and psychodynamic perspectives with respect to music therapy and mindfulness. Thirty articles were selected from electronic databases and grey literature. Conference abstracts and informal literature reviews were excluded. The articles were categorised and analysed according to methods, interventions, outcome measures and key messages. Key outcomes from the studies revealed that integrating mindfulness and music can enhance the musical experience, facilitate the music therapy process (e.g. Guided Imagery and Music), and contribute to mental wellness (e.g. stress reduction, emotional support, and self awareness). Based on the data analysis, two core themes were identified: a) psychodynamic perspectives of mindfulness and music therapy; and b) here and now, letting go, nonself, nonattachment and being nonjudgmental. The link between music and mindfulness has been recognised during recent decades, and combining music and mindfulness demonstrated positive outcomes in the literature. The findings revealed several key perspectives and approaches between mindfulness-based practice (MBP) and music therapy. These findings can offer a new outlook to the therapeutic relationship and can give a practical and theoretical framework of combining mindfulness and music therapy.


music and mindfulness, music, music therapy, mindfulness meditation


Mi hyang (Grace) Hwang completed her PhD at the University of the West of England (UWE) Bristol. She has been an Associate Lecturer within the Department of Health and Social Sciences to work on the Dissertation in Psychology module as an academic supervisor for the music therapy team at UWE since 2017. Currently, she is a postdoctoral researcher at UWE Bristol. Her overarching research goals are: to explore the effects of a mindfulness-based music (MBM) programme for the mental health and wellness of university students and staff; to develop a new programme of work to help improve the mental health and wellbeing of students and staff and to contribute to a mental health framework for universities. Mi hyang is currently an Advanced Level III GIM trainee with primary trainer Leslie Bunt. []