Sound it out is a six-week music experimental group therapy. The group will incorporate instruments and music to help participants process their trauma and emotions. Music and sound have been used for collective psychological healing for centuries for their calming, cantering and therapeutic properties. 

The first session involved drums; participants would drum a simple beat on the drums and create a type of rhythm. At the same time, the facilitator led the group through a guided meditation, harmoniously banging on drums in a circle, eyes closed and connected to the collective through the beat. During the drumming, we were encouraged to reflect on how we felt and combine the moment with our breath to bring awareness and acceptance to wandering thoughts. 

Sound it Out is running from February 7th until March 14th in Memorial Hall Rm 23. The sessions will include discussions, music, instruments, and guided meditation to open understanding and conversations about the healing process. In addition, it will engage the connection between emotions that music evokes, creating neural activation to open dialogue about feeling and experience and accepting our struggles.

Vibrations and frequencies are utilized as prompts to create an environment of relaxation and awareness. Music cultivates inner peace and self-awareness through art and expression. Pain and suffering can bring beauty, such as music, making it an excellent tool to release and accept pain by creating a beautiful manifestation of the feeling. The vulnerability of expression is an opportunity to grow and expand your connection to the world, making sense of belonging and togetherness.

Music helps open dialogue between people as a conversation starter and a way to activate one of the senses. These conversations can help share knowledge gained by personal troubles and coping strategies, connect with people around emotions, and foster a safe place to express without judgment. 

The sessions are facilitated by Mike Bravener, a New Brunswick community member who is an acclaimed entertainer and musician and Matthieu Cormier, a certified clinical counsellor on campus, who utilizes both interpersonal techniques and behavioural therapy to navigate personal challenges. Both Mike and Matt will lead discussions and empower healing through their musical skills to create an environment of harmony. 

The participants are encouraged to share music or sound that speaks to them or has a deep meaning. The sessions focus on mindfulness, the notion of being conscientious of your thoughts. Vocal processing techniques connect the senses and feelings to sound, voice and movement. These incredibly effective grounding techniques foster and improve our understanding of where and what emotional responses are and how to cope with difficult emotions, which sounds and songs can often bring out while listening. Sound therapy allows sensory input immersion. 

Breathing exercises bring attention to what comes up when you are not looking, and your attention focuses on what you are listening to; this naturally allows the mind to wander while bringing awareness to the soundscapes to invoke the brain’s association with memories and imagination.

This workshop may be the starting point of a new way for community members to explore mental health solutions.