Music permeates every part of Rachel’s life from yoga classes to West African dance and drumming and the intensive work of using music as a tool for healing with patients in the clinical setting and in Reiki sessions. Rachel’s primary instrument is voice and also utilizes Celtic harp, guitar, shruti box, metal tone drum, Native American flutes, quartz crystal bowls, a variety of West African melodic instruments, djembe, frame drum, and doumbek.
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Making Music with Rachel
Rachel has over a decade of experience in the healing and expressive arts and is active in facilitating incorporating chant, drumming and movement to support healing and empowerment at yoga studios, retreats, conferences and other gatherings regionally and nationally. She has facilitated expressive movement and music based experiences at national events including American Holistic Nurse’s Association Annual Conferences in Carlisle, Pa. and The Music for Healing and Transition Program’s Biannual Conferences throughout the US.
Music and Therapeutic Applications
Rachel is a Certified Music Practitioner®. She works applying live music at the bedside as a tool for healing with voice and harp with patients in hospital and hospice units. Rachel is also a trained REMO Health Rhythms Group Empowerment Drumming Facilitator and utilizes vibrational medicine with voice, Native American Flute, quartz crystal singing bowls and drumming with varieties of groups including yoga classes.
Dance and Drum
Rachel is a co-founder with Becky Bickford and her son Johnny Bayush, of Kulani, a West African Dance and Drum Performance Group hosted by the BottleWorks Ethnic Arts Center in Cambria City neighborhood of Johnstown, Pa. Kulani’s mission is to spread joy and create community by sharing the vibrant, empowering music, dance and rhythm of West Africa. The members of Kulani work to create spaces of healing and acceptance where everyone’s contributions are welcomed and received. Members of Kulani including Rachel and Johnny traveled to Guinea, West Africa to study with master teachers from Les Ballets Africaines. This trip opened Rachel’s heart and soul to the beautiful people of Guinea and she returned in 2016/2017 and 2018 to learn and study dance, drumming, singing and joy filled community. Currently Kulani Kids, at the BottleWorks Ethnic Arts Center, run by Gwen Msolomba and Holly Lees perform often in the community of Johnstown and beyond. Drum and dance go together and it is also a big part of Rachel’s life through Jim Donovan’s retreats and the joyful community that arises when people dance and drum together!
Rachel is a graduate and served for 9 years as an Executive Board member of the Music for Healing and Transition Program, an international certification program for therapeutic musicians. Through MHTP and other opportunities, Rachel has studied music and sound healing with David Darling, Fabien Mamien, Ruth Cunnigham, Libana, Silvia Nakkach, Russill Paul and Jim Donovan. Rachel is enrolled in Russill Paul’s Yoga Mystery School studying, experiencing and applying chant and mantra to be connected to Source and enter deeper into Divine Mystery with an open heart. Rachel has been learning from Jim Donovan, M. Ed. Chair of Fine Arts at St. Francis University, Master Drummer/Teacher for well over a decade and is honored to be on his faculty for Summer Rhythm Renewal, Rhythm Revival and as a member of the Fine Arts Faculty at St. Francis University in Loretto, PA.
Music and Family
Rachel had the privilege of being introduced to making music for the fun of it through her father Bruce, her Aunt Olivia, cousins and all else who showed up for hootenanny and merry making! Rachel continues that tradition in her own home with music nights welcoming friends and other creative souls. Rachel’s son Johnny Bayush is an accomplished musician in his own right on the violin and fiddle, piano, guitar, bass, drum kit, West African doun doun, mandolin, banjo and voice. It is one of Rachel’s greatest joys in life to share music with her son. Indie Musician and composer, Johnny formerly fronted indie band Painted by Millions, plays violin and bass in Matt Otis and the Sound, with Rachel and as a solo artist. Johnny is Worship Director and Pastor at Flood City Church in Johnstown, PA. Rachel also performs with Her Harmony, a group of women who enjoy offering a capella music, World Music, Americana and some of Rachel’s original compositions.