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In Tune

Music as the Bridge to Mindfulness

By Richard Wolf

In our noisy world, music is the key to inner silence

Richard Wolf first tried Zen meditation in his teens, but no matter in what posture or for how long he sat, transcendence proved stubbornly out of reach. It was only years later that he found the bridge that could take him there: music.

In Tune charts twelve “bridges”—skills and sensibilities refined in musical practice that carry over to mindfulness and meditation, among them:

  • Concentration
  • Posture
  • Harmony
  • Silence
  • The Art of Deep Listening
  • Transcending the Self
This inspirational guide offers a wealth of music-based exercises to enhance daily meditation and creativity. Plus, Wolf shares personal anecdotes of eminent musicians—from Miles Davis to Dr. Dre—to illuminate points along the intersection of music and mindful living.

As you begin to move fluidly between these two transformative disciplines, you’ll notice the focus, composure, and peacefulness that comes from practice—as well as the joys of tuning in to the music all around you, and to the symphony that plays silently from within.

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Richard Wolf

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Review quotes
“A manual for achieving calm in a tumultuous world . . . Wolf provides steps for communing with the space around us, becoming more aware of all the ambient clutter of daily life.”—The New Yorker

“This bestselling book has literally been a guide for many musicians and top music industry insiders. . . . A great read for any musician!”Parade

“Wolf discovered . . . A natural convergence of mindfulness and music, where each practice deepened the other. Meant for his fellow musicians at any level, this book offers a plethora of music-based mindfulness exercises for the “transferable virtues” music can cultivate.”Mindful Magazine

“Though many of the techniques—loosening the whole body, counting breaths, letting the mind drift—are standard beginning approaches, the musical associations provide fresh context. . . . Readers with even slight musical background will enjoy Wolf’s sharp, useful suggestions to make mindfulness a more achievable goal.”—Publishers Weekly

“The techniques, key steps, and commentary that Wolf provides in each chapter as he blends music and meditation together will prove beneficial to the reader who wants to cross these bridges for a more meaningful mindfulness.”—New York Journal of Books

“When I began reading [In Tune], I couldn’t put it down. When I got to the end, I re-read it. All of a sudden, my meditation practice—and my music playing and listening skills—were turbocharged. . . .I [am] unaware of any other book that created a roadmap for the musician to master the art of mindfulness.”—Musical Merchandise Review

“Richard Wolf uniquely shows how the combination of music and silence can be a doorway into the life-changing benefits of a mindfulness practice.”—Allen Weiss, Director of Mindful USC

“Not since Ram Dass’s 1971 treatise Be Here Now has a Western writer truly examined the relationship between meditation and art as Richard Wolf does in In Tune. As a frequent guest participant in Richard’s USC Music and Mindfulness lecture series, I have seen firsthand the benefit of his unique approach to helping young musicians achieve their potential through the practice of artful listening and a relaxed, unfiltered awareness.”—Clyde Lieberman, Emmy Award-winning producer of The Voice

“Music has always been used by people in all different cultures to consciously or unconsciously alter moods, bring energy into the system, and, more importantly, to lift oneself out of the limitations of one’s ego. In this book, Richard Wolf reveals the inner workings of the transformational power of music and guides us further on the path of living in this world in a harmonious way.”—Krishna Das, international chant leader

“The excellent mindful meditation techniques that Richard Wolf teaches in this book, especially those centered on deep listening and tonal breathing, have been really helpful in unblocking my creativity. Thanks to Wolf’s artful explanations and pointers, I’ve also been better focused and inspired to practice meditation.”—Peter Scaturro, senior music producer, Sony PlayStation

“I found nuggets in the book that I relate to, that I can work with, and that help me greatly with my practice. For instance, I’ve been counting bars my whole life. It’s so connected that I don’t remember how it started—it’s become an intuitive thing from the music. Wolf’s methods incorporating musical and rhythmic counting pick up on this, and have become my favorite ways to meditate.”—Steve Rowe, music editor, NCIS

“It seems like everybody is talking about ‘mindfulness’ these days, but Richard Wolf uniquely connects that practice to the satisfaction and uplift we humans find in music. Whether you’re someone capable of writing symphonies or someone who merely hums along to the radio, In Tune can help lead you to inner peace, personal insight, and greater productivity.” —Chuck Crisafulli, author of Nirvana: Behind Every Song
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Publication date
April 02, 2019