Islene Runningdeer is a musician, therapist, educator, and writer who lives and works on the Acadian coast of Maine. She draws upon her French and Mi’kmaq/Abenaki First Nation roots to make music a joy. For more than forty years she has used music as medicine, to teach students about their own capacity for creative freedom and health, to aid and comfort patients and families during the dying process, to draw people with severe dementia out of their isolation and confusion, to uplift and calm anyone within hearing, whether in church, the concert hall, the hospital, or the living room. Her primary instruments are piano and voice. Educated at New England Conservatory, University of Massachusetts/Amherst and University of Vermont, her work blends her lifelong interest in music of all kinds, psychology, physical health and spirituality.
The Musician Healer resurrects a long-forgotten role for musicians and provides clear guidance for preparation and self-development as a musician healer in order to reactivate this role for the modern world. It begins with the author’s personal musical story that draws upon her Mi’kmaq/Abenaki First Nation and French roots, followed by a section on the history of musician healers from ancient Egypt and India. Runningdeer then explores the energetic aspects of music healing, especially the quality of personal energies that a musician channels through her music, and how to elevate and emanate those vibrations for positive healing outcomes.