Music Makes Art?

I recently heard of an artist who experimented in a workshop by encouraging automatic responses to the music playing and found that: “Music that irritates the artist listener often has a detrimental impact on the painting results. Unpleasant music often produces dark, strong marks or, at its extreme, a blank stare at a blank canvas.”

This month we offered a couple of workshops for children in our vibrant Ananda Mumbai center! In one of the workshops, there were so many children in the small space and the room started getting louder and a little chaotic. It seemed like nothing we adults were saying could have helped.
So, I gently increased the volume of Swami Kriyananda’s music playing in the background while the children were doing their art. It was like a miracle! All of sudden the energy shifted, they almost instantly became more calm and content. I was amazed.

We always use his music in workshops and in Ananda, but this time the impact was so sudden and obvious, it really struck me! How effective is this “secret tool” we’ve been using?

Swami Kriyananda’s music calms the heart and is uplifting to the soul. It changes our consciousness. Since I have been on my journey in Ananda, I, like many others, have found great benefit from listening to and singing his music. When I started painting, I would always play some of his music in the background. And when I look at some of my art from years ago, I honestly feel that alone has helped me bring a more uplifting vibration to my art!

An experiment

I have been taking a course by an illustrator and one of his suggestions is to make a music playlist for a project you are working on. He says it will help you get into a flow and will also impact your work. Meaning, if you associate a particular playlist with a project, turning that particular playlist on will automatically help you get you into a flow of creativity. Interesting experiment?

“Music is so much more than entertainment. It doesn’t merely reflect a state of consciousness: It also generates it.” – Swami Kriyananda


Music and its power has been on my mind a lot this month and I just wanted to share these thoughts with you! Pay attention to the music you are listening to. Choose music that inspires you and consciously make it part of your art process and daily life.

And for the artists out there, I would go as far as saying it can really make your art!


(You can listen to Swami Kriyananda’s music on Radio Ananda. Click here


  1. Nabha

    I know when Dana Lynne Andersen was working on a certain painting, she said “it would only listen” to a certain piece of music — meaning I think that it was the only thing that felt appropriate. I forget what piece that was, now — something like the Hallelujah chorus? It was a dramatic and powerful painting, and that would have been a good match.

    Thanks for this reminder. I’ve been working on a project recently and would love to try making a playlist for it!

  2. Rambhakta

    Dear Shamini,

    Thank you for the wonderful inspiration of your thoughts in “Music Makes Art?” which I read this morning on the blog at The article had tremendous resonance with what I’ve seen, over and over, while working with the Living Wisdom Schools and in interviews with all of Ananda’s choir directors and many singers.

    I tried to email you at shamini@(this site) but received an error message – “unable to deliver,” etc.

    Just wanted to touch bases and let you know that I manage an Ananda Garden site that offers resources for Ananda singers and other artists, and shares inspirations on the arts generally. The subtitle is “A Bliss Garden of the Arts, Inspired by Paramhansa Yogananda.”

    Perhaps six months ago, I added a sub-site, Ananda Garden Eye — “Everyday Issues in the Arts — Inspired by Paramhansa Yogananda.” And now I’ve added a site specifically for Ananda singers – not choir or ensembles necessarily, but mostly for “closet singers” who would like to feel Swami’s music flowing through their being, but are too shy or inexperienced to want to get involved with the “official” music ministry, or who just feel that they aren’t good singers. The site isn’t active yet, but I’m bursting with ideas for helping people start a singing practice by whistling and humming in their car while they drive to work, etc. It will be called Singers Garden. As you can imagine, your article was a bright burst of inspiration – so relevant for people who want to sing but feel unable to join the ranks of the music ministry.

    I’m frankly not really clear what my purpose is in writing, except to say that I have high enthusiasm for any expression of the arts by people on our path. If I can help in any way, do let me know.

    Master’s Blessings,


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