Thoughtful Thursday # 9 – Silence

Does silence make you uncomfortable?

Not very often.   In most cases silence, is something I am comfortable with. I like silence.  Sometimes I can not think or cope without it.  There are many times when I ask my spouse to stop talking (lecturing) so I can focus on what I need to be doing rather than having his information crowd my head.  Poor man,  I do try to make a point of coming back to him later and saying I can listen to what you wanted to say now if you like.

There is one kind of silence that does make me uncomfortable.  It is when people you are trying to get to know will not talk and are silent.  I had a few students during my years of teaching who when questioned would just clam up.  That would frustrate me as much as  (or more than) a  wise cracking, disrespectful child.

There are times when background noise or something to listen to is critical to me. Although there really is never complete silence:  there is the background noise inside of a heating or cooling system, a fan, or a light fixture; while outside there is the sound of a breeze, insects, birds, traffic, or people.

I love to make noise, to be loud & happy.  But I know the importance of listening.  Music is organized sound, performers get to make it, but music teachers actually spend the better part of their time listening.  They evaluate what they hear and ask the student to adjust the sounds they are creating.  Many people forget that while music is organized sound it also contains silences (rests) and  stretches.  Failing to observe rests is common among young students but I have also heard many advanced performers criticized in masterclasses for not being accurate regarding rests in the score or giving an affective pause between movements in multi-movement works.

When I am uncomfortable with silence I am glad that I can decide to fill my environment with the sounds of recordings, radio, TV, or my own creation of music or noise, and most importantly conservations with others.

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2 thoughts on “Thoughtful Thursday # 9 – Silence

  1. I love the way you described what being a music teacher is about! Listening and correcting tones and vibrations. Hmm…I would have loved to teach music. 🙂

    Also love that song!

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