How can we help?

If you have questions about how Sonic Connections can transform well-being through music, here are some answers to the most common queries we receive. Whether you’re contemplating bringing our program to your school/organization, wondering about the specifics of our workshops, or interested in the impact of our methods, dive into the details to learn how we help folks navigate challenges through creativity and resilience.

🎶 Music

Art serves as a bridge between inner and outer worlds. It’s a language that speaks to each of us personally, while uniting us in shared experiences.

We may be biased, but we believe music, in particular, is distinct from other art forms.

Music aids in identity formation, social integration, and personal empowerment.

Music empowers.

Music inspires us, motivates us, and gives us the courage to face our challenges.

As a source of comfort and strength, we use music to remind participants of their resilience and capabilities. This active engagement is at the heart of our curriculum, as it drives participants to use music as a tool for better understanding themselves, their values, and their capacity for positive change.

You do not need any musical background to participate in our programs. We mostly pull from the receptive side of music therapy—meaning we are listening to music. Participants are not singing or creating music. We use pre-recorded music as a catalyst and guide to facilitate personal growth, self-expression, and psychological flexibility.

We explore music across all genres, but mainly pull from instrumental and orchestral music. This is to keep the focus on music’s expression of melody, rhythm, and timbre, over lyrical content. While lyrics are undoubtedly an important component of listening to music, instrumental music provides a blank canvas for participants. Think about how movie scores rarely incorporate lyrics, as it would distract from or dictate important plot details. The music incorporated into our programs feature vivid melodic themes that tap into each person’s unique lived experiences.

🧠 Our Approach

Our choice to focus on ACT and third-wave CBT stems from their emphasis on empowerment, self-awareness, and personal responsibility. These approaches recognize that all individuals encounter painful thoughts and feelings—it’s an inevitable part of being human. But rather than avoiding or suppressing these experiences, ACT and third-wave CBT empower individuals to confront them with courage and mindfulness.

Importantly, these therapies are largely experiential. They encourage individuals to actively engage with their inner thoughts and emotions, thereby transforming their relationships with their internal experiences. This focus aligns perfectly with our philosophy at Sonic Connections—we want participants not only to understand these concepts cognitively, but also to embody them in their everyday lives.

Furthermore, ACT and third-wave CBT promote self-driven change. They remind us that while external help is crucial, the most significant step towards transformation often comes from within. We all have the power to choose how we respond to our internal experiences, and it is this choice that fuels lasting change. Through our workshops, we aim to equip participants with the tools to harness this power and drive their own journey towards psychological flexibility and wellness.

Our baseline program focuses broadly on developing mental health and psychological flexibility skills through mindfulness, values, and committed action. However, we often tailor our workshops to focus on specific well-being domains and topics according to the needs of the participants.

In the past, there have been certain well-being topics and categories that organizers found particularly relevant to their campus, and we have taken the initiative to delve into them. Depending on your needs, some examples we can explore include:

  • Interpersonal relationships: family, marriage, parenting, friends, community, prosocial behavior, social prescribing
  • Achievement and mastery: work, education, goal setting, effective functioning, growth mindset
  • Universal connection: spirituality, ancestry, nature, grief + loss
  • Physical health: nutrition, sleep, exercise
  • Engagement: flow, creative expression, optimal experience, recreation, time management
  • Mental states: positive + negative emotions, loneliness, stress and anxiety, depression, critical thinking, emotional intelligence
  • …and more!

Absolutely. Our workshop engages participants in activities firmly grounded in proven therapeutic methodologies. At its core, our program primarily derives from the principles of Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT), a highly effective approach with over four decades of practice and research backing it.

However, our program doesn’t stop there. We broaden our therapeutic scope by incorporating principles from the “third wave” Cognitive Behavioral Therapies (CBT), such as Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT), Behavioral Activation (BA), Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy (MBCT), and Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR).

ACT serves as the cornerstone of our methodology. This innovative therapy harmonizes acceptance and mindfulness techniques with commitment and behavior change strategies, all aimed at enhancing psychological flexibility. Over 1,000 randomized controlled trials to date have demonstrated the powerful efficacy of ACT. These studies show it to be a potent psychological intervention, often surpassing the therapeutic benefits of traditional CBT.

The curriculum is not only based on a wealth of empirical evidence, but also on a diverse set of powerful, proven therapeutic approaches. This combination ensures our participants benefit from a comprehensive and effective program.

Though our primary work is with traditional college-aged students (18-25 years old), anyone can benefit from attending the “Sonic Connections” workshop. Our program is designed for individuals at various stages of life, regardless of their musical ability or psychological knowledge. Whether you’re a student grappling with academic stress, an administrative professional seeking balance, or simply someone wishing to enhance their mental well-being and self-awareness, this workshop can provide valuable insights and practical strategies. We strive to create a safe, inclusive, and encouraging space for everyone.

📝 Booking Details

When you book a “Sonic Connections” workshop, here’s the exciting array of things included that you can anticipate:

  • Exclusive Access to “Sonic Connections” Curriculum: Immerse yourself in a rich, music-centric educational journey that includes the complete Sonic Connections curriculum, all under fully licensed terms.
  • Expert Facilitation: Enjoy the guidance of our experienced facilitators who will masterfully lead the entire event, with all their travel and accommodation expenses covered, ensuring a seamless and impactful experience for you.
  • Comprehensive Digital Marketing Suite: We equip you with an all-encompassing collection of digital marketing materials, setting you up for unparalleled success in promoting and organizing your event.
  • Personalized Planning Assistance: Benefit from the dedicated support of a “Sonic Connections” staff member. As your exclusive point person, they’ll work closely with you, simplifying the planning process and ensuring you’re at ease every step of the way.
  • Insightful Evaluation and Data Analysis: Gain deep insights from our thorough evaluation and data analysis of the workshop. We compile a comprehensive report, encapsulating participant feedback and key takeaways for future reference.
  • Continual Engagement through Virtual Community: Get unlimited access to our vibrant, resource-filled virtual community. Here, students will discover a plethora of events, resources, and trainings that further assist in nurturing mindfulness and value-based action skills.

In essence, a workshop booking is more than an event—it’s an all-inclusive, empowering journey towards psychological flexibility and personal growth. Embark on this exciting path with us!

Our goal is to help participants understand and embrace that they are always a work in progress, and committing to self-improvement is a lifelong journey. While our “Sonic Connections” program begins with a single 90-minute workshop, continued personal growth and well-being is the cornerstone of our mission. To that end, an engaging online community is being established, providing an ongoing array of resources and opportunities to deepen learning around psychological flexibility and encourage community interaction.

Participants will receive access to an extensive range of supportive well-being content including articles, videos, and exercises, all grounded in evidence-based practices for personal growth through artistic experiences. Students will eventually be able to connect with like-minded individuals, share experiences, and support each other on their wellness journeys.

In addition, we are exploring developing additional exclusive benefits such as:

  • One-on-one or group ACT coaching sessions.
  • Office hours with Sonic Connections facilitators.
  • Structured accountability groups, challenges, sessions, and co-working opportunities.
  • Virtual events and physical meetups.

The “Sonic Connections” workshop is just the beginning; with the continued resources offered through the community, participants are supported on their journey towards greater well-being and human flourishing.

Our core team collectively has over a decade of experience coordinating and running mental health programs with higher education institutions. We are musicians, educators, and advocates within our communities, and have years of on-the-ground, grassroots experience leading discussions about mental well-being and mental illness.

It’s extremely important to note that this is not group therapy and our services focus on facilitation, coaching, and guidance. We work primarily with thoughts, feelings, and behaviors that are common to many people. More serious issues like suicidality, self-harm, traumatic memories, dissociative states, addiction, severe depression, OCD, and similar issues are typically the domain of professional psychotherapy.

Although our approach is grounded in ideas and research from evidence-based psychotherapy and our Lead Facilitator is a licensed clinician, “Sonic Connections” does not engage in deep pathology, and, in general, we believe a public mental health event is not a suitable venue for diagnosing mental illness.

“Sonic Connections” believes deeply in the transformative power of music and mental well-being, and we want as many students as possible to benefit from this program. Understanding that budgets and resources can vary widely among schools, we embrace a values-based payment for our program.

What does this mean?

Values-based payment means that we operate on a pay-what-you-can model. Institutions choose how much they can afford to contribute based on the perceived value of our program, their resources, and their genuine ability to pay. For schools that have the means, we always encourage allocating the full cost of the program, which supports us in providing to schools with tighter budgets and ensures that more students can benefit.

For schools facing financial challenges, please contact us to discuss a figure that makes sense for your institution. We’ll sort out the rest.