We are curious:
- what does your current background sound like?
- What are your favorite sounds? Soothing sounds? Energizing sounds?
In Reggio Emilia, Italy, some educators and families have begun to record "sound riddles" while at home during this time. From the Reggio Children website:
Our homes are a “symphony of sounds”: try to look around and find fun, strange, or curious sounds in your home, in the garden, on the balcony, at the windows, and make recordings of them. They can be sounds produced by objects, animals, nature, or everyday things, that you can make into new SOUND RIDDLES.
Research shows that the human brain is predisposed to detect patterns in both music and language. It is interesting that we prefer to favor certain types of musical patterns over others. Canadian researcher Sandra Trehub has found that infants prefer consonant to dissonant passages. Four-month old infants demonstrate a preference for hearing Mozart sonatas as originally written, compared to "unnatural" versions (Krumhansl & Jusczyk, 1996).
I could feel my body language and facial expression shift as I listened to each of these sounds. I think about the infants in Room 2 and how we notice their reaction to sounds. As I'm sure you all recall, we often have a white noise machine on and different soothing "spa" music on in the background. There are also times we open up the door to the classroom, letting some of that lively hall sound come on in!
What we notice is that sound makes a difference. The children notice changes and we notice their awareness of these changes through their cues. The children are very tuned into their soundscape. When we turn off the sound machines and open that hall door, eyes shift and widen, movements and vocalizations change. We notice new action when we shift the soundscape. Changing the soundscape makes a difference in how the children feel and how they express those feelings. The deep vibration of humming can be soothing and the laughter of children playing can be stimulating.
I offer this information to you because young children are very in tune with the sounds around them and will also contribute their own sounds, as I'm sure you all know.
So, if we intentionally play sounds for them after becoming present with the soundscape ourselves, what are their reactions?
What sounds bring joy?
What sounds bring energy?
What sounds bring calm?
How does our relationship to sound impact our creation of sound?
And moreover, how does our interaction with this soundscape as adults not only impact how our children feel but also, how we feel in return!?
For me, I know I'll be playing a lot of spa music in the next couple of days. Lots of love and soothing sounds your way.