Music is a key ingredient for any recorded guided imagery program, guided meditation, or hypnotherapy recording. If music plays an important role in movies, it’s even more important in guided imagery programs, because there's nothing for the listener to take in but the narration and the background track. Music sets the tone, subliminally tells the listener how to feel, and helps her relax and go deeper all at the same time.

But there is a big quality issue when it comes to music for guided meditation. Today, synthesizers are relatively inexpensive, and come preloaded with tons of different sounds, including what are called "pads". A pad is a sort of cushion sound often used to underlay more distinct sounds, and also used heavily in meditation music. In theory, anyone with a synthesizer and one finger can make a music background for a guided meditation. Not necessarily a good music background, though!

Music can be as mundane and uninspired as sawdust, or indescribably beautiful and transformative. There is a reason why composers and musicians spend years studying, practicing, and training. Making good music generally takes time, effort, and talent.

If a guided meditation is going to be effective, the background music will need to be good. And although what is “good” is undeniably subjective, regardless of personal taste it does have to be good for the program at hand. Here are some helpful qualities to look for when choosing music for a guided meditation or guided imagery program:

• Soothing, without being cloying
• The right balance of being interesting and engaging, without being distracting
• Soft timbres rather than harsh sounds
• Music you would enjoy listening to, even without the meditation
• Fits the character and mood of the meditation script
• Speed not much faster than 60 beats per minute (heart rate at rest)
• Ideally should be scored specifically to the narration, the way a music is scored to a movie

What’s the best way find music for guided meditation? If you choose to do a google search, and begin scanning sites that offer music for guided imagery, or “royalty free” music for guided meditation, let your ears do the walking. Make sure you’re able to listen to a good healthy portion of the music before you pay for it. And above all, just because the website advertises it as being good for guided imagery, guided meditation, or hypnosis, listen objectively and decide for yourself.

If you choose instead to hire a composer you know to make the background music for you, first be sure he or she has some material that sounds something like what you’re looking for. Otherwise, you may not like what you get. At the very least, bring them some sample material of work you like, so they can get a good idea what you’re looking for.

Author's Bio: 

Max Highstein, MA is an spiritual counselor, teacher and guide. He is the author of bestselling guided mediations like The Healing Waterfall and Gateway to Peace, and teaches's popular online course, Develop Your Psychic & Intuitive Ability, for those wishing to learn how to be psychic. He is also a music composer who’s recordings are used in healing centers and massage therapy offices all over the world. Learn more about all of Max Highstein's music, guided meditation and guided imagery programs, courses, and private spiritual coaching sessions at The Healing Waterfall.