Tom Sabatino of the National Association for Music Education (NAfME) in the U.S. has recently written on the importance of beginning music lessons with silence and encouraging his students to find presence in the music room. His experiment with silence in the classroom began after exploring mindfulness activities in his personal life and in building on one of his primary teaching principals: rests are just as important and as meaningful as notes. Sabatino uses “sound off” and “sound on” to convey this idea to his students.
Beginning his silence lessons with students, Sabatino discovered that in the busy, modern world, many students were challenged by periods of silence. They reported that prolonged silence made them feel “uncomfortable”, “painful”, “stressed” and “weird”. So Sabatino tried something a little different the next time and directed students to focus on their breathing during thirty seconds of silence at the start of the lesson, immediately moving on into the lesson once the thirty second period ended. Sabatino has since integrated this activity into the start of every lesson and it is known as “Thirty Seconds of Silence”. It is the expected start to every lesson and one students have come to appreciate.
Beginning music lessons with silence helps students focus and be productive in the music room.
Read Sabatino’s full article, here.
Access more articles and resources from the NAfME, here.