Mindfulness and Music

This exercise will help you  to develop your ability to focus your attention and concentration.  When you have a lot on your mind or your thoughts are racing, learning to focus all your attention on one thing in the moment is a valuable skill.  This exercise may also help you to relax, when you are feeling stressed or overwhelmed.  I've been listening to a lot of music lately and I've noticed with both myself and my children changes in the tempo of music evoke different behavior.  We do best cleaning up dinner with upbeat music.  The girls will run around and dance and even the baby will start to clap his hands.  As we wind down, I switch to a slower tempo.  I find if I stick to the upbeat music too long everyone begins to get frazzled.  But classical, more fluid music slows and calms us all.

Try listening to a piece of music for several minutes.  Choose any piece of music and listen mindfully, with your full attention.  If possible, listen with headphones, so that you are able to be fully focused on the music without any other distracting sounds. As you listen to the music notice the different musical instruments, the singing if there is any, the tempo, whether the music plays loudly or softly.  Notice whether your energy level changes in any way with the music.  Notice at what points the music influences how you are feeling. If you find you are distracted by other sounds in the environment or judgments about the quality or type of music, just notice the distraction or thought and bring your mind back to the music.

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