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Soundscapes of Learning

Posted by: Rhonda April 5, 2016

Even before birth, infants are attentive to the sounds of their environment. While early childhood educators are intentional in creating visually engaging environments for children, the landscape of sound—or soundscape—is often overlooked because we forget that it is present.

When we do think of sound, we think primarily about music. For young children though, all sound is fascinating, from a distant siren to a dripping faucet. In fact, sound is a very captivating learning domain, and by overlooking it we miss opportunities for teaching. “This isn’t about you, your voice or your talent,” reminds Renee Boch. “You are a facilitator, not a performer . . . you give children a platform for exploration.”

Instead of allowing the once-a-week music specialist to define the soundscape, every teacher needs to feel empowered to utilize this learning tool. Education programs need to provide teachers with the practical tools needed—lists of materials and songs, or role models during student teaching. “Teachers with math-anxiety count, measure, build, bake, and play math games at school. Musically fearful teachers can do music too.”

How can you create a meaningful soundscape? Read this article.