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Prof. Benjamin KOEN

Associate Professor, Department of Music


Benjamin D. Koen is a leader in the research, practice, performance, and teaching of music, meditation, improvisation, healing, health, and wellness. Dr. Koen is involved in several interrelated projects exploring music, the mind, and meditation in healing and wellbeing, goal achievement, and entrepreneurship. His focus is on the universal principles and processes that illuminate how music, specialized sound, and meaning can generate new neural pathways and bridge the conscious and subconscious mind to create an intended outcome via a complex he models through music-mind dynamics, neuroplasticity, psychological flexibility, entrainment, embeingment, and the Human Certainty Principle. Dr. Koen is also involved in several recording projects primarily focused on creative improvised music, jazz-world music, and musical meditations for healing, health, and wellbeing. 

Dr. Koen works across several areas in music and the arts, the social and health sciences, the medical humanities, and is a widely published author, including two ground-breaking books with Oxford University Press—The Oxford Handbook of Medical Ethnomusicology; and Beyond the Roof of the World: Music, Prayer, and Healing in the Pamir Mountains. Dr. Koen’s research and creative activities have been supported by grants and fellowships from the NEH, NEA, the U.S. Department of Education Foreign Language and Area Studies program (Persian-speaking cultures), and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services where he served as a consultant and faculty member for the Longitudinal Training in Mind-Body-Spirit Medicine in Primary Care. Koen served as a reviewer and consultant for the Austrian Academy of Sciences and Harvard University Max-Kade Fellowship Program in medical ethnomusicology, is an Oxford University Press editor and Advisory Board Member for Medical Ethnomusicology, an assessor for the Australian Research Council, and was a representative and Music Presenter for the Smithsonian Institution’s program The Silk Road – Connecting Cultures, Creating Trust.