Have you ever been somewhere, waiting in traffic or at the store, and a song came on that you’ve heard countless times? An uncomfortably familiar amount of times? What do you do? I like to use active listening to turn moments like this into mindfulness. As I absorb the song through my sticky ears (songs get ‘in my head’ really easily), I hunt for the following: Where is the beat? Finding the beat of the song and tapping it lightly on my chest (if I am hands free) can help me feel more calm and grounded. Are there any bits of silence between melodic or rhythmic sounds? What would it be like to listen for those, and maybe breathe deeply into them? What instruments am I hearing? Can I pay attention to an instrumental sound I have not noticed before? The easiest one for me is the bass because of its low, steadily placed sounds. If vocal, how often does the singer say a particular letter sound? This can be really fun because it activates the logic- and pattern- seeking part of my mind, which is different from the judgey part. 😬 What was the last song you heard that got stuck in your head?
Elisabeth C. Swim
Playful Mindful Music Guide