Encourage the act of listening to the sound environment around us.
Listening is all about observation, curiosity, exploration, and engagement. Asking children to explore the soundscape around them can help to develop their observational skills and their relationship with the space they are in. It can also allow the opportunity to observe the difference between hearing and listening. What do they hear followed by what does it make them feel gives them ownership and permission to express their thoughts and ideas. Encouraging them to interact with what they observe such as exploring a contrasting sound will help their imagination and improvisatory skills. What is the sound of their classroom, their play-ground, their dining area, their corridor, their school? Encouraging children to observe that they themselves are part of their sound environment is fun and allows them a better understanding of sound placement.
Another idea is to choose a piece of music or a soundscape to interact with and while listening ask children some questions about what they are experiencing e.g.
• How would you describe this music/soundscape?
• What sounds can you hear in this music/soundscape?
• How does this music/soundscape make you feel?
• What does this music/soundscape make you think of?
Encouraging a child’s listening and observational skills will ultimately aid in communication development. It means that their views matter and can be validated.