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Sound Therapy and Music for Health and Well-being

At some point in our lives we have all been moved by sound or music.

Whether it is the sound of the dawn chorus, a breeze through the trees on a summer’s day or your favourite music track that always brings you to tears, the ability that sound and music has to move us is well recognised. There is increasing interest in the transformative power of sound and music, Daniel Levitin and Oliver Sacks have helped popularise this field with their best-selling publications.

Our organisation is dedicated to improving health and well-being with therapeutic sound and music. As well as running award winning training courses we have been conducting ongoing research and development since 1994. Our aim is to give our students the knowledge and skills to be able to develop professional and safe businesses using tried and tested techniques. As well as this our vision is continue to raise awareness of this important field with projects, events and a growing range of products.

Who is The British Academy of Sound Therapy?
The British Academy of Sound Therapy (also known as BAST) was the first training establishment to offer formal qualifications in sound and voice therapy. BAST was founded by Lyz Cooper in 2000 to meet the growing need for high quality training and ongoing professional development. The BAST Method of Sound Therapy is a specific method that combines therapeutic sound and voicework with self-reflection , mindfulness and self-awareness. This method is supported by research conducted by Lyz Cooper as well as research in related fields such as cognitive neuroscience, music psychology, sound cognition and medical ethno-musicology. BAST is dedicated to integrating the BAST Method into mainstream healthcare and education as well as for everyday use. We are working with various organisations to achieve this aim –
see below for more information on our valuable partners.

We are based in the UK and also run sound therapy courses in Australia. In 2017 we will run training courses in the US for the first time.

What is sound therapy?
Our method, known as the ‘BAST’ Method, comes under two main headings – ‘passive’ and ‘participative’. All of our techniques supported by case studies, research and experience.

Passive sessions usually involve laying down and receiving a treatment. In a 1-2-1 session a treatment would be created to suit a client’s individual symptoms and needs but one of the main aims is to induce a deep state of relaxation, known as an Altered State of Consciousness (ASC). This is achieved by playing certain instruments (such as Himalayan singing bowls, Gongs or crystal singing bowls) in a specific way. The latest research has shown that there are many numerous benefits to health and well-being with regular deep relaxation. Our method also uses a model of reflection known as ‘The Cooper Sax 5Rs Model of Experiential Processing’ – or ‘5Rs’ for short. This enables a client to gain clarity into their symptoms/situation/problem, and, with support from the therapist, find ways to improve their health and well-being using therapeutic sound and this reflective technique.

In a passive group session, such as a sound-bath, gong-bath or sound relaxation session, treatment would be focused on enabling an ASC to be achieved by group members in a more general way. Our methods are holistic, taking into consideration the mental, emotional, physical and spiritual health and well-being of each individual.

Participative sessions may be focused on developing communication and team-work skills – or for expression, reflection or creativity, for example. There are also therapeutic benefits to community music making, sonic art, performance, soundscapes, voice groups and drum and rhythm circles. Individual sessions can also be participative, such as with the Holistic Voice Therapy sessions where breath, movement, voice and visualisation may be used to enable a client to improve health and well-being in a more dynamic way.

Please browse around our site for more information and if you have any questions email us at mail@britishacademyofsoundtherapy.com or sign up to receive our e-newsletters by putting your details in the box at the top of this page.

sound therapy



The healing benefits BAST sound-bath method – Lyz Cooper has just released the latest research showing that a regular sound bath can have far-reaching health benefits. Read more or why not treat yourself to a sound-bath now by plugging in your headphones and listening here.