Sunday, May 8, 2011

Silence, part 1

Another awesome blogger whom I follow, recently posted that she conducted a workshop entitled "Joys of Journaling".
She hopes to post weekly(or so), journal topics that readers can respond to and share, if they like.

I think it's an awesome idea. Imagine the perspectives we can gain from each other!

So, journal topic one is: Think about the experience of silence in your sessions.

Silence can induce many feelings in sessions, for both the music therapist and clients.

Silence can be calming and respectful. Silence can be peaceful and very giving in time, to those who just need to process what they think and how they feel. Silence can also be awkward and judgmental.

Silence can mean yes, and silence can be a definite no. Silence can be a sign of great content. Silence can also be a sign of fear.

Silence in sessions is something we learn to react to over time. I really think you have to experience silence from many different situations before you learn how to read silence and how to react to it.

When first starting out, I think some music therapists dread silence. I think that any prolonged period of silence exposes them and tests them in their abilities to adapt and keep the session moving in some sort of direction.

In my experience, silence can sometimes feel like pulling teeth.
Silence can also feel like time is frozen.

Over time, I've had quite a few experiences with silence in music therapy sessions. Many students that I work with are nonverbal. They cannot talk or sing the way you and I do.

All of the students have some way of communicating in their own way. Some can reach out, grab and point. Some students can only make sounds to tell you something is wrong. Other students will tell you a wealth of information if you learn to read their eye gaze. No matter how they communicate, I believe that everyone has something to say.

Stay tuned for part 2 of Silence later this week!


  1. Great thoughts, Amanda! I hope you'll come and post a link to your thoughts in the comments section over in MindfulMusicTherapist land. So looking forward to reading more of your thoughts, and thanks for joining me on the journey!

  2. Hey Roia! I'll definitely post over in MindfulMusicTherapist land :) You have such interesting topics and I (sometimes) miss the setting you work in.