Music: A Therapeutic Solution
Music is the only medicine the heart and soul need.
by Avanti Nerurkar
Vocalist, Teacher and Therapist
Each raga is meant to create a specific “Rasa” i.e., Karun Ras - Sad, Shringaar Ras – Romantic, Bhakti Ras - Devotional and so on.

Last 2 years, the only thing around with everyone is the one and only thought, “The pandemic.” Most of the doctors have told us to keep our immunity high. So, we have been drinking herbal tea and warm water, and inhaling hot steam. This was mainly to boost the immunity. But the fact remains and very few of us know that the body immunity is dependent on solely the mental state of that person. The more you are in stress and fear, the more the immunity falls, and you are a victim to the virus. Hence, along with the medical remedies, what was much needed in such a time, is the need to keep our mind in the positive thought level. Here comes the only solution to it - music.

Music is said to enhance intelligence and focus, improve mental health, and boost the immune system as well as self-esteem and confidence.

It can be used to relax, to boost and lift our mood, or to improve concentration. Music can also be used to aid in insomnia, helping to encourage and induce a deeper sleep. If you look at Indian music, it is scientifically created in various ragas. Each raga is meant to create a specific “Rasa” i.e., Karun Ras - Sad, Shringaar Ras – Romantic, Bhakti Ras - Devotional and so on. This is called “Music Therapy”; treatment through music by hearing it or singing or playing it. By singing a song in a particular raga, one can change the mood and in turn, become positive and be ready to fight the virus. Music therapy is a clinical and research-based practice in which music is used to enhance a person’s overall mood and well-being. Music therapists are trained to incorporate a range of music-making methods as they support and work with their clients to achieve good mental health.

Music therapy is a creative and holistic approach to healing, as well as the development of constructive and positive coping strategies.

It has proven to play a big role in helping patients recover from negative events and experiences as well as those suffering from mental illness. In these days of the pandemic, when I met my students who had cases at home and were quite depressed and worried, I tried to uplift their mood by teaching them songs in different ragas. This boosted their immunity, and they could face the entry of the virus into their homes by keeping their moods elevated and positive which reflected in their mind and soul and in turn it spread the positivity into their whole family. This way, instead of the COVID-19 spreading, it was music which helped to heal and spread positivity in people’s lives, whereas in the other parts of the world the virus was spreading like wildfire. Ragas are basically a set of specific notes arranged in a structured format to form a typical musical phrase. Ragas such as Ahirbhairav and Todi are prescribed for patients suffering from hypertension. Carnatic raagas like Punnagavarali and Sahana are useful to calm the mind and control anger.

Now, let’s look at some of the ragaas and the ailments that they are prescribed for: -

TODI, BHOOPALI, AHIR BHAIRAV: Provides relief from cold and headache, high blood pressure

SHIVRANJANI: treats memory problems

BHAIRAVI: provides relief from Sinus, cold, phlegm, toothache

CHANDRAKAUNS: treatment of heart ailments, and diabetes

DARBARI KANADA: eases tension and provides relaxation

BIHAG and BAHAAR: for sound and sonorous sleep

DARBARI: provides relief from tension

MALKAUNS AN AASAVARI: cures low blood pressure


Ragas when rendered in the correct way under the guidance of a proper trainer, in the right pitch (Saptak), with the correct vaadis and samvaadis, and at the right time known as prahaar will be efficacious in their healing properties.

Even a single swara/note has immense potential for healing.

Many individuals who were experiencing stress in their relationships with their spouses or were under depression, learnt music from me so that they could pacify themselves and regain their peace. Resultant cooler, calmer selves, helped them create serenity and peace in their relationships. Another type of students that I was treating in the pandemic were some kids aged 4 to 8 who had a problem in speech and understanding numbers. Music helped them improve their diction through the learning of shlokas and sargams, and paltas of saregama helped them comprehend maths and science better, resulting in improved grades. The parents were amazed at these results and my satisfaction as a teacher was extremely gratifying. As some of the senior citizen students were having trouble breathing, I taught them quite a few pranaayam exercises through the rendition of Omkaaras and humming, which in turn helped strengthen their lungs and respiratory organs. This helped them in their fight against the corona virus as their respiratory and immune systems were now stronger. I feel fortunate to be teaching music as I can help those in need in these trying times.

About the author

Avanti Nerurkar has been trained in classical and light music under the guidance of Padmashri Suresh Wadkarji. She has numerous music shows to her credit with stalwarts like Pandit Hridaynath Mangeshkar, Shri Shridhar Phadke, Arun Date, Shrinivas Khale, to name a few. She has several music albums with Shri Suresh Wadkar and Vaishali Samant. Her experience in teaching music is vast and deep as she has been teaching music for over 20 years. She has trained more than 1000 students in the age group 3 to 83 years. Recently, she has opened her own studios in Santacruz and Thane, Mumbai, where her students can record their renditions for YouTube to boost their confidence.
Avanti can be reached at +91 97020 97071.