Welcome to Sound Music Education Lab Resources Classroom. This is a back page in case there is trouble with the CSME site. Each week a video resource and supplementary material will be posted here. Please do the classes in order. As you watch and do the class think of how you might apply one or two of the concepts to your music making or life. The more you can experiment and test out the ideas presented the clearer you will be about the usefullness of the idea for you based on actually trying it out. Listen, watch, apply, experiment, modify and discover the tools that support you to make music the way you want to and thrive in the University world.
Week One - Sound Music Education Introduction • Overview
You can watch the video or use this PDF version of the Premise and Purpose of the Language of Wholeness™ - the foundation of Sound Music Education. Premise and Purpose PDF
Sound Music Education is rooted in a teaching method called The Language of Wholeness™. This article and video (or PDF option) gives you an overview of the premise behind and the purpose for Sound Music Education.
The Language of Wholeness™ is a teaching approach designed to set-up the conditions for a person to thrive in a learning environment. It is fluid, collaboratively created and an evolving approach. Information and understanding about the human system is constantly changing. The premise of The Language of Wholeness™ asserts that teaching techniques aligned with how the human being functions is the foundation for creating an environment in which a person thrives and learning happens. Excellence is rooted in a person who can freely learn; the freedom to learn is rooted in a person who is able to thrive. Sound Music Education™ is the Language of Wholeness™ applied to music education. Most traditional pedagogical approaches are embedded with techniques and language that divide a person into a body and a mind. Since this is contradictory to how the human system works there are embedded conflicts in those approaches. Aligning techniques and language with the fact of our innate Wholeness solves many of the struggles people encounter in teaching and learning.
The focus on developing language and technique that is consistent with Wholeness is relatively new. In this course, your explorations, discoveries and contribution to this conversation about effective and healthy educational environments, is crucial for the development of this approach. In effect, we are ‘group sourcing’ the Language of Wholeness. We will explore areas of human design from a radically new perspective. In exciting ways, we are seeing the Whole human being! At times The Language of Wholeness™ may seem vast and complex. Sound Music Educators need to understand theses complex parts. But Sound Music Education™ is about applying these idea in practical, clear ways. Complexity doesn't have to be complicated. To be working from a Language of Wholeness perspective, it is essential to understand the way basic territories of our system work: 1) response/feeeling, 2) structure, 3) coordination or taking action and 4) learning/adaptation. The Language of Wholeness aligns language and techniques with the understanding of human structure as a suspension system rather than an alignment system. This takes care of many structural/postural interferences. We also align skill acquisition with the understanding of intention ignited coordination of action as distinct from the mind telling body parts what to do, or the 'conscious manipulation of action' method for gaining skill. Understanding what responses or feelings tell us about ourselves is a core aspect of supporting students to have access to their own compass. Put another way, the heart of the shift in methodology or The Language of Wholeness™ rests in supporting the student’s ability to navigate to clarity and safety in relationship to the world around them, as the first and most important technique for them to learn. Language of Wholeness and Sound Music Educators believe this principle to be primary in creating the conditions for students to sing any pitch, play a scale or any other technique that would serve their artistic goals. It is the foundation for excellence. What Language of Wholeness/Sound Music Education considers foundational to successful learning is often undervalued or left out of traditional pedagogical models. As a result, many of the words and techniques embedded in traditional educational models inadvertently teach tension and fear. Using a Language of Wholeness™, we align our teaching techniques and language with the fact of out innate Wholeness and solve many of the struggles we used to encounter. Language of Wholeness™/Sound Music Educators work to help students develop their own criteria for scaffolding skill acquisition and evaluation, learn about how learning happens, and understand what lets the system learn. Supported by A Language of Wholeness, students themselves are empowered to create the conditions that let them learn freely and easily, so that they can harness the innate learning mechanism of their system and experience curiosity and clarity, instead of tension and fear. Language of Wholeness Schematic:
Week Two: Perspectives of Health™ - tools for surviving your first year at University.
This week we offer 2 main tool for your well-being that also serve your artistry. The latter will become clearer to you as the course develops. This first tools support what we have done in class with 'Locating" exercises. The first article gives you several variations and some the science behind the method. The Perspective of Health™ video is another tool for getting your ground underneath when times are stressed.
Sensory Intelligence as a root for well-being and artistic choice.
Coming to Your Senses • Developing Sensory Intelligence Premise • LOCATING PRACTICE • STARTING WHERE YOU ARE • PAUSE (These are examples of possible locating practices, Perfect to do in groups.)
Premise • Sensory Intelligence In this Sound Music Education Lab we will often start by asking you to look around the room, listen to the sounds of the moment, note your mood and how warm or cold you feel. We call these activities “Locating”. We are essentially asking you to: come to your senses, awaken you to your sensory information in the context of you in the world. Sensory information is the foundation of your ability to manage your well-being and to make personal artistic choices. It is foundational of Language of Wholeness™ and Sound Music Education.
In our culture information coming to us from NPR, CBC or a research article or some external expert is given great validity. It is as if the only source of valid and true information is external to us. The exercises below are ways to explore your system’s amazing and on-going ability to give you information through your senses. As artists this is your most essential source of information. It allows you make choices. It gives you the information of what does and doesn’t serve your purpose; what does and doesn’t give you joy or power or anything you want.
This is not to say external information is less valid. This is to invite you to have access to as many sources of information as possible to navigate your life. This is about validating our inner-compass as the foundation of well-being.
Below is a quote from one of these external, research sources, Dr. Bud Craig, (note: better heartbeat perception is a method of measuring someone’s interoceptive awareness or body awareness): “Better heartbeat perceivers function better not only on an emotional level but also cognitively. They make better decisions based on subtle environmental cues, they perform better in tasks of selective and divided attention, and they respond more quickly to intuitive choices. They also have a more accurate subjective sense of time...they expend less energy than poor heartbeat perceivers.” -- Dr. Bud Craig. How Do You Feel? An Interoceptive Moment with Your Neurobiological Self, p 6-7.
We are thrilled to have the essential conclusion we arrived at from doing Locating and Coming to Your Senses explorations confirmed in research. The work of neuroanatomist Dr. Bud Craig is articulated in his book is How Do You Feel? An Interoceptive Moment with Your Neurobiological Self. Yes, it is dense. He has put forward a whole new paradigm for understanding how we feel, literally. What he has discovered couldn’t have been mapped before because we didn’t have the instruments to see the tiny, tiny tissues he has mapped. His work is vast and more complex than can be expressed here.
In the dance world we have known that there is no mind separate from body. Movement, sensation and body is our mind. We are whole and embodied. To dancers Descartes thesis “I think, therefore I am,” has long been seen as inaccurate at best and the root of a sick, disembodied western society at worst. In his introduction Craig writes: “ ’I feel, therefore I am,’ or more aptly, as I will explain, ’I feel that I am.’ ” An understanding of embodiment isn’t revolutionary anymore. Craig makes a thrilling contribution to the field. The Language of Wholeness™ is about developing practical strategies to apply new information about our system to daily and artistic life. The goal of developing our “Sensory Intelligence” in the Locating and the Coming to Our Senses exercises is now both experientially and externally validated.
Exercises to explore developing your sensory intelligence 1. Coming to Your Senses Take a moment and very simply and look at this room. Do you see anything you haven’t noticed before…………..now, gently listen to symphony of sound in this quiet room….How awake are you? How tired? ……….Notice the sense of the earth coming up under you to support you, the feeling of the chair, the ground……..What is your state of being? Alert, bored, annoyed, interested….If you give your state of being a name like happy where do you feel the happiness? Indicate with your hands where you feel the sensation of your state of being.
Do you know what anxious feels like? Where do you feel it. Notice we have a word – anxious. This is a concept. The feeling of anxious, the experience of anxious is in your being. It is a sensation. When we started seeing the room, listening to sounds, we were perceiving the world around us. The head is the limb for perception. It is like a periscope giving you lots of information about the world around you.
There are lots and lots of other senses. These are dispersed throughout your body. They tell you about how you, your internal balance, your hunger or temperature, your balance and also your feelings and responses to how you interpret the world around you at every moment.
You perceive the world, interpret it and then get sensations of your response to the world. These sensations are your feelings. This ability to perceive, interpret and respond is an ancient and foundational ability. It is in every cell in your body and every living cell everywhere. It is are fundamental information source.
As you receive the information of your sensations explore finding descriptive words for these sensations beyond easy and tense. How about: bubbly, light, dark, rigid, fluid, tingly, grinding….
This develops your sensory vocabulary. It is a first step in gaining dexterity with your sensory intelliegence.
2. Locating Sequence • Anchoring in Yourself in the world as you are, as it is. The video of the following is here: http://www.lightnermethod.com/well-being.html There are 3 aspects to this sequence: M - A gestural movement, W- words and F-focus for your attention. Everyone stands up either in a circle or where they are in the room. You can lead and they follow one gesture/phrase at a time. 1. M. Lightly stamp right foot while doing gesture of putting down a staff and say first phrase. Repeat movement with left saying second phrase. W. “Here I am, as I am.” F. Feel your presence on the ground in the moment with each movement and the words. 2. M. Open horizontal circle with 1st right then left arm saying 1st phrase with right and 2nd with left. W. “In the world, as it is” F. See/ feel/hear the world around you. 3. M. Hands together in prayer like position. W. “Supported by the planet.” F. Sense the same pressure between your hands as you do the pressure between you and the earth under your feet. 4. M. Prayer hands move up over your head. W. “Floating in the multiverse”. F. See your self from the perspective of the moon, standing on the earth, under the earth. 5. M. Prayer hands to level of forehead. W. “Awake” F. Sense an alert glow between your eyes. 6. M. Prayer hands to heart level. W. “to my state of being.” F. Feel your current state of being, sensations of your being. 7. MWF - woosh exhale any movement feels good. 3. Thinking • Perceiving Meditation Remind yourself: “This is my time. There is nobody to please or satisfy other than myself. Here I am as I am; here is the world as it is.”
Let yourself get comfortable, make any adjustments you need. Gently let yourself BE. If it feels appropriate to you: observe where your attention wanders when you aren’t directing it in any way. Let your attention roam freely. • Notice when your attention is drawn to thoughts, imagination, ideas? • Notice when your attention is drawn to sounds, sensations in your body or any other perception?
For a few moments gently be with this meandering of your awareness. No right or wrong attention. Linger in this field of non-judgemental awareness.
Identify when you are in thoughts and when you are in perception by saying ‘thinking’ or describing the perception.
Neither attention is better or worse, each is an essential ability of your amazing being. “Thinking, thinking, buzz sound, heat, thinking, belly grip, thinking...”
Gently invite your attention to your perceptions.
“Here I am perceiving the symphony of sound, sensations that surround me in this moment. I am Coming to My Senses, literally.”
There are the family of senses telling you about the world around you (sounds/sight/smell/taste/touch) and senses telling you about your inner milieu (tension/ease/belly gurgles/sensations of emotional states/buzzy/heavy/chilled/spacious) You might notice how easy it is to be drawn back to thoughts. That’s perfect. When you are aware of attending to your ideas simply ask yourself to attend to perceptions again. “Oh I’m thinking again. Thinking. Thinking. I feel the chair under me. I feel my belly expand.” 4. Being With What Is. Here I am as I am having had the morning I’ve had the night sleep or lack of it the life I’ve had up to this moment. Here I am being with myself as I am, pleasant, unpleasant; relaxed or stresses. I’m feeling the sensations I’m experiencing at this moment that tell me I am energized or Fatigued no right or wrong in this moment. Here is what is, is as it is. Here is the earth supporting me. Here is the ocean of air surrounding me. I feel the gentle rhythm of expansion and gathering in my body, like a cell breathing through the pores, expanding into earth and air; earth and air coming with me as I gather in again. In this moment no coming or going simply being with the gentle rhythm of the breath and movement like waves rising and receding on the beach. here I am as I am here is the world as it is Nothing to improve Nothing to change.
The Perspectives of Health practice is a tool for helping you have access to healthy perspectives when life becomes stressful. The more you can explore and modify this practice to suit your own needs well all is going smoothly, the more useful they will be when life gets rough. Feel free to follow the video version and do the from standing up or listen as you go to sleep, doing the gestures with you hands or in your imagination. Play around with the basic ideas and make them work for you!
Week Three: Foundations of Artistry•Your Inner-Compass•You in the World
This week's lesson looks at meeting your inner-compass through an exploration of gravity and balance. In the first section of the video you are guided to explore your perception of gravity and its affect on your system. In the second section of the video, you are guided to determine what is easy balance and what is strained balance through the information your sensations offer. Instead of instructions to adjust your body into positions and postures, these explorations are the instructions for deciding for yourself what does and doesn't work for you. They align with the accurate suspension system model for your design. This is another way to connect with your inner-compass.Understanding the primary relationship between you and the planet (gravity and balance) serves as a foundation for moving, singing, and playing with ease, (Artistry).
Have you have followed your GPS system and ended up in the wrong place, only to discover you'd put in the wrong address or forgotten a crucial piece of information. Maps, no matter how beautiful, are useless if they are different than the territory they are describing. This is true for your system. Many of us have an inaccurate idea of our own body. Wherever there is a conflict between your idea of how you work and anatomical reality, there will be strain or discomfort. One of the most powerful pieces of information you can have to set yourself up to play with ease and power, to prevent injury and to heal injury is to have an accurate map of your body. The following video takes you through a sequence of movements to help you feel and understand your system. Doing this often andd over time supports you to develop an accurate body-map.