What is

Music-Evoked Imagery?

T West Watercolor

T West Watercolor


“Behind your image, below your words, above your thoughts, the silence of another world waits."                      - John O'Donohue, Anam Cara: A Book of Celtic Wisdom

            "Light on Water"  Photo by Therese West       Images can hold and express information on many   levels and put us directly in contact with a feeling.

            "Light on Water"  Photo by Therese West


Images can hold and express information on many levels and put us directly in contact with a feeling.

Music-Evoked Imagery is a creative response to music, a common human experience, and one we often take for granted. When used in therapy, it takes advantage of the power of imagery to express and contain all kinds of human experiences. Have you ever had a vivid memory when listening to music?  Or a pleasant chill ("thrills") in response to moving and beautiful music?  These are just two examples of different types of imagery that can be elicited or evoked - brought into awareness -by music.  But first, let's look at imagery in general.

About Images

Images are a form of thinking and communication which can express complexities and multiple layers of meaning within and among individuals and groups of people.  Images provide an avenue whereby the body, emotions, mind, and spirit can find expression, understanding, and integration. 

We experience the world in images before we learn to use language.  Many of our early formative experiences, as well as important information about the body and health are stored in our memory and consciousness as images. Images can hold a richness of information that may not easily be expressed in words.

Images can occur in any of the sense "channels".  Imagery experiences can include visual, sound/auditory, taste, smell, touch, kinsesthetic (such as a sense of movement), as well as memories, and a form of imagery called noetic (which is a sense of knowing something directly).  Emotions can also arise directly as an image in response to music.

Music-evoked imagery

We all know the ability of music to evoke responses physically, emotionally, and in aesthetic responses to the beauty or power expressed in music.  These responses are unique to each individual and may be influenced by prior experiences/associations, as well as by elements in the music itself.  This is why extensive training is required to safely use music-evoked imagery as a therapeutic intervention.

Music-Evoked Imagery is a potent tool to bring non-verbal information into our awareness.  The music stimulates responses, expressed in images that we can then bring into more conscious awareness. Through images, our physical, emotional, mental and spiritual dimensions can communicate and help us integrate our experiences.  Bound energies can be freed up and redirected to living a healthier life, more fully engaged as who we really are.  To learn more about Music-Evoked Imagery as a therapeutic approach, go to ABOUT for pages on the Bonny Method of Guided Imagery & Music, and Music Imagery therapies.



Are You ready to explore your potentials for healthy and vibrant living?

In the navigation menu, select ABOUT to learn about the Bonny Method and more.  Welcome to an exploration of music & imagery!

Photo of Clear Creek by Therese West

Photo of Clear Creek by Therese West