This was a really neat discussion as it centred on something that I’ve never directly thought about. However, it is something that I’ve noticed and that is soundscapes. I’ve never referred to sounds as a soundscape, but after talking with Tara-Lynn, it makes total sense. The sounds that make up our surroundings, coming from both nature and urban settings, constitute the sonic diversity that makes up our soundscape.
Tara-Lynn blends her academic training with art, being influenced by what she calls her indigineity. Her research into the acoustic ecology highlights our relationship to sound: sounds that bring people together, that tell a story of their history, sounds that draw us into a relationship with the land.Having received a degree in Fine Arts from the University of the Fraser Valley, followed by a second degree in Global Development, Tara-Lynn was dissatisfied with what she saw in western culture, placing so much emphasis on economic gain and colonialism at the expense of the land. So she set off to Nairobi with the hopes of a cultural experience that would allow her to continue her research into the significance of sounds and the wholistic wellness that it can bring.
We discuss soundscapes as it relates to school. She describes soundwalking, and I love the way she points out the difference in sounds of feet on pavement versus feet on grass. It demands an ability to use descriptive language, but most importantly it requires an awareness of your present space, something those in a busy culture don’t allow time for. She theorizes on the modern sensory input of a fast-paced, 15 second sound byte TikTok world to the structure of school, which can’t keep up to that frenzied and eclectic online world.
Are sounds used as a crutch to calm to mind, do students feel anxiety if forced to endure sensory deprivation? Speaking from Nairobi, listen for the sounds of the birds singing outside Tara-Lynn’s window. I felt that they were teaching us their own lesson with their words of wisdom, asking us to listen carefully.
What’s the soundscape in your classroom? Do you intentionally bring your students to a place to notice the sounds? Is there acoustic complexity in your teaching practice and have you allowed it to be part of your students experience? These are interesting questions that I’ve not thought a lot about in the past, but as we spoke, I realized how much I had thought about sounds without realizing it.
Connect with Tara-Lynn on Instagram, YouTube and TikTok: @sinewaves.and.sunsets
Website: www.flythekite.comWhat are your thoughts on the value and purpose of sounds within and throughout the learning process? Do you consider the aural diversity of your learning space? #TBPodcaster Click To Tweet