Sound and Silence

Sound of Silence These ear defenders had been ...
Sound of Silence These ear defenders had been deposited in this peaceful spot by recent flood waters. This stream runs from Foxholes Farm, not far upstream, north into the River Bride. The source of the Bride is in the next valley to the east. At this point the stream is running along the N-S grid line. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Silence may seem at first glance like an odd thing for a music therapist, but silence is a part of music. My husband is a composer. He states it takes just as much time to write a rest as a note in a piece of music. The rest (the silence) is just as important as the note (the sound).

As a therapist, there are times for sound and times for silence in a session. I work with a variety of people with a variety of diagnoses. They have a variety of life experiences. They have taught me much as we experience sound and silence together. I am a person who supports tolerance and awareness. I view my life as an experience of learning from others no matter their ability or where they live. Everyone is capable of positive contributions to life. To learn from and about others, we must take the time to listen and to process. We must experience sound and silence.

April 12th is Day of Silence. This is a great day to address a variety of issues that may affect your life or others around you.

  1. Internet sources indicate this day started in 1996 by a student desiring safety for all students regardless of their sexual orientation, gender identity or gender expression.
  2. Consider that too much noise can result in hearing loss. Taking time to turn off the radios, the phones, as many noises as we can is important. Rest your ears.
  3. Too much sensory input can stress us as humans. Researchers are studying how sensory overload affects us. (Put the term “research on effects of sensory overload” into a Google Scholar search and you get links to 33,200 articles.) Mediation, decreasing visual clutter, and exercise appear to be steps you can begin to take to help lessen your stress.
  4. And, there are those with conditions like autism whose brains process sensory input in a different way. April is considered Autism Awareness Month in many parts of the world. (You can learn more about the purpose of this month by clicking here to see this message from the United Nations.) There is a movement to change the name to Autism Acceptance.

For what reason will you observe Day of Silence? Please share it in the comments below.

I leave you with a Simon & Garfunkel‘s “The Sound of Silence”. Take a moment to enjoy the sound of this song and then enjoy some silence. YouTube Preview Image

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  • Kathy Morelli, LPC (@KathyAMorelli)

    Hey JoAnn – A day of silence..that might be hard for me to do! LOL, but seriously, the joy from being in nature and experiencing meditative silence is very deep. Its great for us all to tap into the creative flow and restore.
    Kathy Morelli, LPC (@KathyAMorelli) recently posted..Grant Funded Community Doula ProgramMy Profile

    • Jordan JoAnn

      I agree, Kathy. Mediation and time in nature can assist our creative flow and restore our energy.

  • Linda Esposito

    Lovely topic, JoAnn. And though I’m not surrounded by silence while reading (endless loop of “Lean on Me” by Bill Withers via youtube), I love silence. We take in an inordinate amount of stimulation every day–it’s sometimes assaultive, IMO.

    I had no idea there was a designated day of silence. Look forward to unplugging tomorrow. Lovin’ the suggestions of meditation, reducing visual clutter, and exercise–always classics to reduce stress and honor stillness.
    Linda Esposito recently posted..Organax NationMy Profile

    • Jordan JoAnn

      Enjoy the silence, Linda. Enjoy the stillness.

  • John Sizemore

    You are so right! Not enough is every said on how important a “rest” (silence) is in music. It’s what gives a sound feeling and sets the mood for emotion.
    John Sizemore recently posted..Jamplay Review | Online Guitar LessonsMy Profile

    • Jordan JoAnn

      Correct, John, the mixture of sound and silence adds to the mood and the emotion. These are the basis of music (sound and silence). I would add the qualifier of other musical elements greatly enhance our ability to share and to perceive mood and emotion in music.

  • Uriah Guilford

    As a drummer, I know that the space in between beats is just as important as the beats themselves. As a parent of two small children, I love the sound of silence, a.k.a. bedtime. 🙂 As an introvert, I love to be quiet and alone at times. This is a good reminder for me today. Thanks JoAnn!
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    • Jordan JoAnn

      I hear you about quiet at bedtime, Uriah. I was always concerned when it got quiet during playtime.

  • Susan Giurleo

    I love silence. It helps me think and plan. Sensory overload impacts both myself and my son, so we work on balancing noise/activity and silence all the time…Great post,JoAnn, thanks!
    Susan Giurleo recently posted..Changes, Planning and Execution: A HiatusMy Profile

    • Jordan JoAnn

      Balance is So important with sound and silence. Too much of either one isn’t good for us.