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Kath Reade
from: Kath Reade
Category: Sound Healing

The Genesis of a Sound Healer

My Journey to become a Sound Healer-
By Kathy Reade, Singer, Sound Healer and Gong Master, Reiki Master and Meditation Teacher.
" Kathy Reade brings a wonderful warm insight to her unique work with sound. Endowed with an extraordinary voice and healing sensitivity, her abilities are a gift for humanity." - Tim Wheater.

Kathy writes:
I grew up in London in the 50s, where my parents were on the council house waiting list for 11 yrs while sleeping on the floor of my grandparents house.
There was always music and singing in the house, but domestic violence and other forms of abuse too. The post traumatic effects of these experiences  led me to devote much work throughout my life to the protection of the underdog wherever that has shown itself.
My mother had Lupus, and all through my childhood, and up until I was 30 when she died aged 49, I was a young carer, though unrecognised and unsupported. Watching her suffering was agonising, and left me unable to even say the word Lupus for many years.

Music has always been my healing sanctuary, and singing has been my creative self expression. I got my first guitar at 16 and taught myself to play blues, rock'n'roll, and folk music. When I was 18 I was offered  a recording contract with Polydor but my father insisted I get an education instead. So I got a degree in social sciences and played my songs in folk clubs.

My inner life was writing songs and poetry. Travelling Europe hitchhiking and busking, I busked in a bar in Rimini in Italy, I met young radical Italian socialists who saw my passion for equality, peace and justice and urged me to enter politics to make a difference.
Returning to England I was inspired to tackle poverty and deprivation. After fund-raising for a children's charity I became a social worker in Moss Side and Hulme, one of the toughest parts of Manchester. I witnessed  so much suffering and pain there, day in and day out, those people touched my heart deeply.

After post graduate teacher training, I went on to be a college and university lecturer in child development and social policy. I also taught 'Women and History' at University of Central Lancashire, which led me on to  get an MA in Women's Studies.
I was already writing many songs and performing them as a way of expressing feelings and commentating on social and political events. Many hearers resonated with my songs and started playing them.
I met my  husband Paul in a folk club, as he is also a singer, and 45 years later we are still singing, and he is a great gong 'roadie', carrying and setting up the gongs at the age if 72.

Our son, Shaun, also had music in his genes and studied jazz piano at Leeds College of Music and can be heard on my singer-songwriter CDs. ( He is also a counsellor/psychotherapist, and MD of an IT company.

In the 1980's and 90s, I was a committed political and community activist,  and was at Greenham Common demonstrating against Cruise Missiles- I was supporting the miners in the Miners Strike, active in the women's  rights movement,  and campaigned against apartheid in South Africa. I performed many musical benefits for these causes, writing my own songs for these events.

I was working with troubled teenage girls in Blackburn as a community music therapy worker, helping them to express themselves through writing songs. It was a powerful medium.
I was elected as a councillor in 1987 in Burnley with a burning desire to improve conditions in poor areas.

Without planning to be, I became the first ever woman to be elected as leader of Burnley Council in Lancashire. -I was able to prioritise a  purpose-built women's refuge. We also created jobs and reduced crime, demolished a deck access flats concrete jungle, built houses with gardens instead, working closely with local people.

Naturally I wrote a collection of songs about the amazing local people I worked with in those days -(CD:'Where the Good Hearts Dwell').
As a Director on the boards of Burnley Hospital, the college, and the North West Development Agency, I spoke at international conferences in Italy, Spain, Finland, New Zealand, USA, and the European Parliament on health and regeneration, and anti- poverty campaigns.
I became the Local Government Association national spokesperson on community safety, advising Home Office ministers, and briefed the House of Lords on the Crime and Disorder bill.

Experience in politics was ultimately difficult and painful. I learned the hard way that there are no friends in politics, only alliances, and it left the bitter taste of betrayal and conspiracy for a long time. I had challenged corruption and although ultimately successful, I had to endure a year of bullying and intimidation which left it's mark. This further post traumatic stress sent me more and more to learn and practice meditation,  and I became a regular yogi at Gaia House silent retreats in Devon. I developed a Qi Gong practice with Master Zhixing Wang. Both of these practices were life-savers, along with regular counselling.

Through meditation I discovered the magic of Tibetan Singing Bowls, and the power of gongs to heal and transform, and these passions developed alongside the abiding commitment to community action.
I was passionate about improving public health and tackling health inequalities, and chaired a number of NHS trusts. While Chair of Cumbria and Lancashire NHS Health Authority we achieved increased medical education and public health improvements for which I received a special achievement award from the North West England NHS, but my spiritual and sound healing path was a strong calling.

My most recent  NHS post was as Chair of NHS Primary Care Trust for East Lancashire. I received the 'Outstanding NHS Chair' award by the NHS Leadership Academy for spearheading the 'Saving a Million Years of Life' public health improvement project in East Lancashire, and even here I began melding the power of sound and music with public service. I had written a song called 'Little Johnny Burnley' about children in deprived areas of Burnley. I sang it at a Board meeting I was chairing resulting in the multi million pound decision for that public health project.

Prince Charles brought his charities to work in Burnley, heard my song, and worked with me as we created a £10 million integrated health centre in Burnley's most deprived school.
I increasingly felt drawn to concentrate full time on music and Sound Healing and wanted to learn as much as possible about this practice.

I really enjoyed working for better health and health services, but the time was right for me to put everything into Sound Healing at last - to follow the path of my heart which is always sound healing, singing, and writing songs.
 I embarked on Gongmaster training with Don Conreaux,  and enjoyed doing a Sound Consciousness Diploma with Tim Wheater, who is such a generous and talented teacher.

I acquired a burgeoning collection of beautiful gongs and sound healing instruments from across the world. I was a regular at the wonderful Sound Travels where I could try all the instruments to my heart's content before buying. Jonathan is endlessly patient and helpful, which means such a lot when you are making a life-changing sound healing purchase .

 There has been a solidly growing attendance of my Sound Healing events and Gong Sound Baths in Hebden Bridge, and the Lake District, and I am delighted that one of my gonginis told me about Dent Meditation Centre as an ideal place for a Gong Sound Journey. We have been holding sound healing journeys in the wonderful hall with its gorgeous acoustics, and now will offer regular sound healing events. (see ) the North of England is a treasure trove of stunning natural beauty which lends itself to wonderful acoustics and spiritual inspiration.

I hold regular one to one intuitive sound healing sessions with individuals. Some have cancer, some are anxious or depressed, some work with me to find their own true voice. I believe they are able to reach their their own propensity to bring healing to themselves through the sound work. Participants journey deeply through time and space and experience a great tune-up, harmonising body, heart and mind, leaving them feeling blissful and totally relaxed. In some cases the sound healing vibrations can shift and even release deeply held trauma, and I have certainly personally experienced this. I also teach sound healing techniques and connecting with the spirit of sound healing instruments, including the gong and the drum, and now have graduated apprentices. With them I have founded the Deepsong Sacred Sound Collective which has exciting potential. I also teach meditation as 'all sound tends towards silence' (Mary Oliver).

 I have also enjoyed work as a performance poet, gigging in the North West, and making an EP called 'Beatpoems'. I continue gigging, and writing songs, appearing at the Great British Rhythm and Blues Festival in Colne and folk clubs.
I have recorded my songs.
Last year I made two sound healing meditation CDs. One is downloadable on ITUNES called 'Dream Awake' by Deepsong. The other is a live recording of one of my Gong Sound Baths, called 'Deepsong Gong Sea Symphony'. These are also available from me at events or from

I found the idea of sound healing inspirational in that the sound vibrations meet with your own vibrations, bringing greater inner harmony.
I have been documenting the expressed sound journey experiences of those I have worked with, and I intend to put them into a further article in the future as a piece of empirical observational evidence covering the last seven years of working with people and sound, both individually and in groups.

The learning and development goes on, and sensitivities are further honed. I am committed to retain the openness of beginner's eyes where possibilities are endless.
When a gong sound bath group became restive as someone outside was using a noisy strimmer, I was able to determine the main note of the machine as that of the Heart Chakra by using an app on my phone. They then heard the hitherto 'annoying' drone in a new light.

The sound of a bird's feathers through the air, and even the sound of a dripping tap become worth exploring and appreciating. The Sound Healing bug has got me. I am in my element and extend admiration and warm wishes to sound healers everywhere.
Kath Reade

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