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The Sound of Silence

by Becky

“The music is not in the notes, but in the silence in between.” ~Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart

Confession: I don’t listen to the radio much anymore.

In fact, I don’t leisurely listen to any form of music much anymore. I know, sort of an odd statement given my career and livelihood is music. Don’t get me wrong! I am a true lover of music. It is deeply rooted inside of me. Even if I’m not able to leisurely listen to it, it is certainly always running through my mind. And with also being a lover of words, lyrics and verses are always running through my head as I go through my day. I am always tapping my fingers to some sort of rhythm I feel.

But, to be honest, outside of my days at the music studio whether researching new music for a lesson or teaching or playing and singing in preparation for something… it is silent. In my car as I drive, no radio, no iPod or Pandora. It is just silence. At home while I go about tasks or even just a moment to rest… silence.

This is a fairly new observation. One that sort of surprised me when I realized it. Also one that, once realized, I still have not changed. I still seem to be preferring the silence once outside of what is required for my work.

I think life can get busy really fast. I don’t know about you, but my days are full! Although all those things that are making life full are usually very good things… necessary things, it still sorta drains us, doesn’t it? I’m not trying to be a Debbie-downer here (sorry to all the Debbie’s out there), but it’s true, right? Life can be draining and the silence feels good. Dare I say, restorative, peaceful. It’s almost like sitting by a warm fire, with a blanket, a cup of hot coffee, and a good book. (Almost)

In music there are notes AND there are rests. Rests are “counted” just as you would count a note but you count them in silence. Rests hold the same value as notes but require a pause.

Many, many, many times I explain to my music students how those rests are just as important as the notes they play. The rest, the pause, the silence is just as much part of the song as the notes, the noise, the sound.

Maybe the pauses or the silences in our lives works the same. Maybe they are just as important as the busyness and “noise” in our days.

I was talking to a good friend of mine, Juli Chaffee, who is a therapist and she said, “Silence is a beautiful yet noisy practice. In order to find silence we have to push into and through the noise of our mind – our thoughts – our world – our environment. It’s hard to do.” I agree! Even if our “exterior” world is silent it doesn’t necessarily mean our “interior” world feels like being silent. That’s a whole other level of silence, but one that I do feel is just as important. Our minds and our thoughts make silence even more difficult to attain. And I don’t really want to even begin venturing into what goes on in my mind! That would be a whole other blog in and of itself. Shutting my mind off… impossible! But I have been reading quite a bit about silence and it’s place in our day to day lives.

All in all, I think there is a lot to be said about silence. (is that an oxymoron or what! Ha!) Well, I, personally, have enjoyed the recent silence. It’s very welcomed right now in my life. I think this is a season of some needed silence for me and I hope to gain from it in whatever capacity it is meant to be used in my life. Music is still there for me but in different places, purposes, and capacities. This is but a season.

“Teach me, and I will be quiet, show me…” Job 6:24

With joy,

~ Becky ♥

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