I have lots of people who ask me about this - most of them querying whether I would be playing them whale music or a celtic harp "muzak" piece during meditation, and how irritating they would find this if I did!
The short answer is no - so if you love whale music, you're going to be disappointed if you come to one of my teaching sessions!
Now for the serious article about adding music to your meditation - as ever with Modern Meditation, we keep it simple and practical. Listen to what you love. Meditation, like music, is very subjective. Different styles will suit different people; the intention and focus whilst you listen is more important than what you are listening to (though more relaxing music can help, some enjoy listening to really complex music, as there is much more to capture their attention, and stop their mind from wandering).
The aim of meditation to music is to approach your listening in a very different way than you might usually.
Relax, focus on the music, and if your mind wanders, bring it back.
Meditation with music involves active listening, so not as background music or relaxation, but truly engaging with the music, keeping your mind on it, and picking up richness of sound, complexity of instruments or layering of parts that we may often miss.
If you're new to meditation, you may not want to meditate with music to start with, as it can be more of a distraction than a welcome addition, but once you feel ready to give it a try, here are some tips:
Breathe deeply and slowly, close your eyes, and really listen, mindfully, with your full attention on the music, and nothing else.
If you love classical music, you might like to try:
"Clair De Lune" - Debussy
or perhaps Nocturne #10 in A Flat, Opus 32/2 - Chopin.
If you'd like to try more modern tracks:
"Slip into something more comfortable" by Kinobe (instrumental version) - I often use this as background to a guided meditation, as the noise of the waves and the music transports you to the beach - enjoy!
For a more complex modern meditation piece, try "La Femme D'Argent" by Air - although I recommended this to someone recently who strongly disliked it, hence my saying this is all very subjective - you can't please everyone!
For a very traditional sounding Indian piece, there are lots of beautiful pieces of music designed with meditation & contemplation in mind. A favourite of mine is the Raga "Glory of the dusk" (you can search for this on You Tube), which is specifically for contemplation and meditation at the end of the day - a lovely piece to sit with in winter, perhaps with a candle burning too, so that you can simply watch the flame, breathe, and focus on the music.
Whatever you choose, enjoy your meditation to music.