Native American Healing Music Abstract

Hello everyone! My name is Lauren Hoak and I am a rising senior at the College. I am a Psychology and Music double major. This summer I will be conducting research for my Honors Thesis on the Role of Native American Healing Music across tribes. I am grateful to the Charles Center for gifting me with the resources to make my research possible.


This summer I will be investigating the role of Native American Healing Music across tribes through archival and interview methods. There is very little solid information available in regards to Native American Healing Music. My hope is to compile many different sources of data to create a more clear and accessible picture of the values and roles of their healing music. I will analyze recordings of Native American Music through the Smithsonian Institution Center for Folklife and Cultural Heritage music archives. I will also gather data from the Smithsonian Institute’s National Museum of Native American History and the Library of Congress’s American Folklife Center. I have made contact with archivists and historians at the Colonial Williamsburg Foundation and they have provided me with sources, as well as personal contacts to Cherokee Indians from North Carolina that work with the Colonial Williamsburg Foundation.

All of these sources will serve to provide a more in depth look at Native American Healing Music and the roles it plays within their cultures. Ideally, I’d like to examine certain differences in Healing Music across tribes. I want to explain the ways in which their Healing Music differs in practice, instrumentation, and technique. I plan to focus on tribes in the Midwest while supplementing with information from the Cherokee tribe in North Carolina. I’m very excited about this opportunity and I can not wait to learn more!