PostTone Chimes for Reinforcing DBT Mindfulness

Submitted by Lindsey Landeck MT-BC

Use tone chimes in a pentatonic scale. (Use these  5 notes from a scale: 12456)  Have group members sit in a circle.  Give each person one of those 5 notes.   Each person has one tone chime.

Give the following instructions:  Each person will play their tone chime one time.  But they have to wait for the sound from the previous person’s tone chime to complete before they play.  Go around the circle playing one at a time, with each person waiting til the sound stops before beginning their turn.


They have to observe the sound and fight impulse to play before its time.



After talking about the DBT what and how skills use the same setup with these instructions:

“You can play at any time, whenever you feel your tone chime would sound good with everyone else.  The one thing I ask you not to do is to play your chime repeatedly like you’re calling someone home for dinner. Its not pleasing to the ear.  Other than that there are not any rules.”

Questions to ask after playing:

What did you hear?  This gives them a chance to describe things non-judgmentally.

Did you have any body responses to that?


What did you notice about your breathing?

Is there anything else you noticed?  (Sometimes you might get a response about noticing a pattern, where someone played after someone else)

Focus on describing it in a non-judgmental manner. Talk about how they observed, described, and participated in the exercise and did so one-mindfully.  Ask if anyone found themselves distracted and brought themselves back to the activity.

Thank you Lindsey.  These interventions support all of the mindfulness skills.

This one of the many interventions you’ll learn when you take the CMTE online class called DBT: Practical Life Skills Reinforced through Music Therapy.  


For more about DBT informed Music Therapy visit