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Lyz Cooper
from: Lyz Cooper
Category: Sound Healing

On Becoming a Therapeutic Sound Worker

Every day I am contacted by people wanting to find out more about how they can become a sound-worker.  They may just want to dip in to the occasional workshop to help improve their own health or wellbeing, or they may have the desire to work with sound in a more professional capacity to help others to improve their lives.  I wish I had a £ for every time someone calls and says ‘I don’t know why, but I feel I have to work with sound!’  To me, this shows that there is something more fundamental that is driving people.

This is an exciting time to be alive.  I believe we are all playing a valuable part in a global acceleration of awareness.  On a physical level evolution is continuing at a snail’s pace, but a more rapid process is taking place on the mental/emotional and spiritual levels of being.  This is why I think there has been such an increase in interest with regard to energy medicines and especially sound work. 

We know that on a fundamental level everything is energy and that our intention can shape this energy.  Candice Pert and Bruce Lipton have written about how our thoughts change our biology and chemistry and quantum physicists have shown us that sweating the ‘small stuff’ may actually be something worth doing (on a quantum level, that is!) 

We have discovered that the fabric of the universe is sound - this knowledge is ancient but it is wonderful to have the scientific evidence to support our work.  I think that this inner knowing of there being no separation between us and the universal consciousness makes sound perfect vehicle for communication.  We use sound as a carrier wave for our intention to allow our mind, body and spirit to remember our optimum way of being.  We use sound to entrain brainwaves and allow the chemistry of the body to rebalance and for cellular regeneration to occur.  We use sound to stimulate or decrease pranic flow.  We use sound to strengthen the connection to the mind of god, whatever that is for the client.

This medium touches people on a deep level, and provides a powerful way in - a point at which anything is possible.  What a wonderful process to be part of!

How to do it?

Becoming  sound worker is easy – all you have to do is decide that you want to invite sound into your life in some way.  My experience then is that the sound teaches you.  Look around, find a facilitator that resonates with you and look at their workshop diary.  If they run a professional training course then have a look and see if their course(s) provides you with everything you need to take the next step towards being a professional sound worker.  If they don’t run professional trainings, they may know someone who does – you can google or do some investigation.

When I first started Taiko drumming my sensei told the story of how he spent six months learning the rhythms by rote – he was not even allowed near a drum.  Then he had to make a cardboard drum and haul it up the hill to the graveyard to play every day for another six months.  When he finally went to his master and asked why he had to do this he was told that the dead could not object to his playing.  When he was ready to subject his playing to the ears of the living he would be invited down the hill to begin his practice!

Now that may seem a bit steep to most Western minds, but this is the way most ancient people taught a sacred practice such as sound, and in the East this method is still being used.  However, this is the modern Western world and most of us would be a little cheesed off if we approached learning in this way – but the point I am making is QUICK FIX COURSES ARE NOT THE ANSWER.

In the 30 or so years I have been involved in Holistic Health I have seen many quick fix courses, and attended a few.  Although they may lead you to other courses and down other paths, with regard to sound, in my opinion there is no quick fix option.  I am sure that my friends in the sound community would also agree.  Working with sound is a wonderful process.  The sound facilitates a process whereby it reveals yourself to you like a beautiful flower that continues to unfold.  The more it unfolds the more you become more aware of the unfolding.  You have entered a wonderful world of infinite possibility and creation - you are hooked and drunk in the heady scent of it!

At least this is how many students I work with tell me they feel.  I also felt this way when I began my process with sound.

Take your time, plot your course, and, if you can start off with your goal in mind then all the better.  All the best athletes are trained to visualise their goal before their journey begins.  You may see the bobsleigh team steering an imaginary path down the icy half-pipe before the race or Jonny Wilkinson imagining the ball going over the goal bar at Twickenham.  If you know where you want to end up you are sending out the energy to the Universe and the Universe will help you to get there.  So take some time and visualise your goal.  How many clients a day do you want to see?  How many days a week do you want to work?  What level of qualification do you want?  Different courses offer different qualifications so have a good look around.  How much do you want to earn?  Do you also want to do workshops, run groups, give performances?  The answers you give to these questions will help you to focus on your goal and make the selection process much easier.

If you don’t yet know then gather all the information you can and see where your path takes you.  When you have your goal in mind make sure you choose the best course to suit your needs.

Many years ago I was made redundant. This was an important turning point for me and I vowed to myself I never wanted to feel that vulnerable again.  I needed a skill.  I spent my redundancy money on a training course and when I was qualified I went to find work only to find out that my qualification was not what I thought it was.  This was a hard, but valuable lesson.  When I founded The British Academy of Sound Therapy I made sure that when people spend their valuable time and money with us, they are getting something that is worth so much more than the paper it is written on.

Here is a quick list of what I consider to be important in a training school

  • The qualification they are offering equates to the length of training.  An advanced practitioner cannot train in a weekend, for example.

  • That their course has been assessed by an outside body or organisation

  • That they are insured and offer you insurance once qualified

  • That there is support during and post qualification

  • What is the experience of the school and their tutors

  • That there are a sufficient number of case studies to give you a wide range of experience whilst you are training.  This enables you to be supported by the training school – the ICNM guideline is a minimum of 60hours for example.

  • The instruments that are being covered are also important.  What are you drawn to working with – what are you not drawn to working with.  Sometimes there are great lessons to be had by working with the instruments you avoid!

  • What is the training schools code of ethics?  Do you align with this?

  • Do you feel that this organisation is able to give you advice with regard to your practice, personal and client process if you need it?

  • Are there future professional development opportunities as well as projects you can be involved in?

  • What is their commitment to furthering Sound Therapy?

I hope this has been of help.  If you are looking for a course and require any further information please email me on My colleagues on the sound community forum may also be happy to help.

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