Objectives and Benefits
This is a healing-centered, holistic approach for collective wellness. Given the opportunity, communities, and individuals can become their own healers rather than victims of negative events such as the impact of 2020. By enhancing conditions that foster general well being, the sessions become highly therapeutic, Our objective is for students to understand that they can, by choice, transform their inner conversations, and gain control over the direction of their lives, a mindset that can mean the dixerence between triumph or disaster when they are standing at life's crossroads. Some desired results may be:
- Experiencing joy and well being
- Concentrating and self-regulating
- Expressing creativity
- Sleeping better
- Making mindful decisions
- Developing resilience Healing from trauma
A Pilot Program
At the request of the Drama and Musical Theatre Professor at the Brooklyn High School of the Arts (BHSA), we initiated biweekly Sound sessions on a volunteer basis in January, 2018-2019. After hearing the students’ enthusiastic reactions (see below), we are eager to bring the experience to as many young people as possible in Middle and High Schools. Our program can also be useful for teachers, guidance counselors and administrators.
Championing Equal Opportunities
Considering the myriad ways in which race, identity and social marginalization impact the development of youth of color, our priority is to provide this marvelous healing element, which is rarely offered to these groups. We can imagine Sound as a sort of disinfectant for emotional wounds that when experienced in a group, provides a cohesive sense of belonging and unified identity. By re-creating shared experiences in a safe and nurturing atmosphere, we can begin to heal the gaping wounds in our collective psyches. Our priority is to serve the most affected.
HeartTones Sound Therapy for the Classroom
We propose including Sound Therapy in the growing healing-centered engagement movement in today's schools. Sound can complement all group activities to create a mindful atmosphere for discussion and learning, or serve as standalone therapy. The ideal is to provide sessions for three classes weekly at the school(s) of your choice with a seven- part series for each class. The program can be multiplied according to the need. Yet another option is to include Sound Therapy in a Restorative Justice Program for students with behavioral and academic challenges, who will benefit from positive psychology instead of strict discipline.
How it Works
A minimum of two Sound Therapists leads each group session. The students either stand in a circle, sit, or lie comfortably on yoga mats. As the instruments’ tones fill the room, the facilitator will tell a story or describe a visualization relating to the central theme of the workshop; a targeted message for contemplation enhanced by the relaxing vibrations, and finishing with an open discussion. Communication with the school staff is imperative to choosing the themes that best represent our audience. For example, we would approach a common issue such as bullying by highlighting what’s right, not what’s wrong.
Some themes in this case are:
- Appreciating yourself and others
- Having Compassion
- Communicating peacefully
- Understanding diversity
Each student may be dealing with different challenges including past or present traumas combined with the impact of social isolation. Healing can't be measured equally. This is a longterm healing experience.
Yoga Meets Sound Therapy
The benefits of Yoga are undisputed. Our body responds in so many ways to the flow and energy generated by even a short session of yoga. It strengthens our muscles, inspires mindfulness, relaxes the nervous system, supports concentration and learning, and creates a sense of wellbeing. Its roots go centuries back to the ancient and wise traditions of the East which have been scientifically proven to benefit our body, and our mind.
Elyce Semenec, a yoga and meditation instructor with a long-standing practice both in person and online, has joined Alice Dow, a Sound Practitioner to bring these two marvelous modalities together.
This offering is perfect for teachers, executives, corporate wellness, facilitators and anyone who is constantly giving out to others. Recharging our core energy source and empowering ourselves to meet the task is more vital today than ever. This fusion of two solid wellness practices experienced all at once may very well become your go-to support system.