P.1 makes sounds unknowingly

General observation

Children and young people make sounds apparently inadvertently: as a consequence of certain life-processes such as breathing, for example, or through haphazard movements of the limbs, head or trunk. Sounds may be made directly (for example, by knocking against something) or indirectly (for instance, through accidentally tapping a switching device). Having made a sound, children appear to make no response (except, perhaps, a reflex reaction – see R.1). They do not try to repeat the movement to make the sound again.

Interpretation

Children and young people are unable to act consciously on their environment, or are unaware of their capacity to do so; they have no sense of agency.

P1A the sounds made by life-processes are enhanced and/or involuntary movements are used to make or control sounds

Children’s and young people’s movements do not change with any auditory feedback they offer.

Strategies

Children and young people may be supported in developing an awareness of the sounds made by life-processes through amplifying, enhancing or otherwise modifying them, intensifying the auditory feedback that would typically be present. This may be achieved electronically, picking the sounds up using a microphone or specialist devices such as an electronic stethoscope, and then, for example, increasing the volume, altering tone colours, incorporating frequency modulation (where the pitch of one input is controlled by that of another), adding various types of reverberation, or repeating what is heard (through ‘looping’). All these effects can be achieved using commercially available equipment. It is also possible to use the small movements associated with life that a young person may make without being aware of them (such as the rise and fall of the chest in breathing, blinking or the twitches caused by muscle spasms) to cause or control sounds. The necessary interface may take the form of a sensitive electromechanical or pressure switch, or sounds may be triggered with no direct physical contact at all through an ultrasonic beam linked to a MIDI device, through which even the tiniest movement can be made to cause or control any sound. A sense of agency may be fostered by setting up environments that are particularly conducive to sensorimotor interaction and allowing children and young people to discover for themselves how they can affect the world around them – at first wholly by chance, then through an iterative process of trial and improvement. This is the principle behind Nielsen’s ‘Little Room’ – a plastic cuboid, open at the base and on one side, large enough for a small child to lie in completely or to accommodate the head and trunk of a teenager. A number of sound-makers are suspended from the top of the box and others are secured to the sides – all within reach of the supine user. Any gross motor movement is almost guaranteed to make a sound, whose impact will be maximised by the high level of acoustic feedback that the confined environment offers. At the same time, the potential distractions of extraneous sounds are minimised.

Evaluating engagement
  1. No evidence
  2. Sound production or control through involuntary movement is promoted in at least one way
  3. Sound production or control through involuntary movement is promoted in at least two ways
  4. Sound production or control through involuntary movement is promoted in at least three ways
  5. Sound production or control through involuntary movement is promoted in at least four ways
  6. Sound production or control through involuntary movement is promoted in at least five ways
Gauging consistency
  1. The circumstances in which children and young people can make or control sound are rarely integrated into day-to-day programmes of living and learning, and/or there are sessions devoted to sound- and music-making that occur around once a fortnight or less
  2. The circumstances in which children and young people can make or control sound are occasionally integrated into day-to-day programmes of living and learning, and/or there are sessions devoted to sound- and music-making that occur around once a week
  3. The circumstances in which children and young people can make or control sound are regularly integrated into day-to-day programmes of living and learning, and these programmes are coherently related to sessions devoted to sound- and music-making that occur around twice a week
  4. The circumstances in which children and young people can make or control sound are frequently integrated into day-to-day programmes of living and learning, and these programmes are coherently related to sessions devoted to sound- and music-making that occur around three of four times a week
  5. The circumstances in which children and young people can make or control sound are consistently integrated into day-to-day programmes of living and learning, and these programmes are coherently related to sessions devoted to sound- and music-making that occur every day
Resources
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Videos Information

Brandon is 5 years old. He has severe visual impairment but has light perception and may have some awareness of shadows. He moves his mouth and tongue to vocalise softly, and his teachers are working with him to increase the volume of his vocalisations. Here Brandon is working with Soundbeam. The Soundbeam is directed towards Brandon's right hand so that his slight hand movements will create sound. At this stage one is not able to tell if Brandon connects the movement of his fingers to the sound that he creates. Brandon was given ample time in this thirty minute session to explore Soundbeam and fluctuated between levels of movement and sound. To see how Brandon's movements became larger and more observably purposeful later in the session, please go to I.2.B.

Let's All Listen Information

Song 1

Commusication Songs Information

1-11, 46


P1B sounds are made or controlled through co-active movements

Sounds are produced co-actively, but with no evidence of independent volition, and no reaction beyond reflexes to the sounds that are made.

Strategies

A widely-held view (or at least, a widely-observed approach!) is that children can be supported to develop an understanding of cause and effect through co-activity: that is, through assisting them to make the movements necessary to effect change in the environment (including creating or controlling sounds). For example, a practitioner’s hand may be placed under a child’s, so that he or she can potentially sense what is going on proprioceptively, and a cognitive map of the necessary movements built up. A further (or alternative) approach is ‘hand-over-hand’. Here, children and young people are guided to make the movements that are required. On a larger scale, children and young people may be rocked to and fro in a Soundbeam®, for example.

Evaluating engagement
  1. No evidence
  2. At least one type of sound is made or controlled through at least one type of co-active movement
  3. At least two types of sound are made or controlled through at least two types of co-active movement
  4. At least two types of sound are made or controlled through at least three types of co-active movement
  5. At least two types of sound are made or controlled through at least four types of co-active movement
  6. At least two types of sound are made or controlled through at least five types of co-active movement
Gauging consistency
  1. The circumstances in which children and young people can make or control sound through co-active movements are rarely integrated into day-to-day programmes of living and learning, and/or there are sessions devoted to sound- and music-making involving co-active movement that occur around once a fortnight or less
  2. The circumstances in which children and young people can make or control sound through co-active movement are occasionally integrated into day-to-day programmes of living and learning, and/or there are sessions devoted to sound- and music-making involving co-active movement that occur around once a week
  3. The circumstances in which children and young people can make or control sound through co-active movement are regularly integrated into day-to-day programmes of living and learning, and these programmes are coherently related to sessions devoted to sound- and music-making involving co-active movement that occur around twice a week
  4. The circumstances in which children and young people can make or control sound through co-active movement are frequently integrated into day-to-day programmes of living and learning, and these programmes are coherently related to sessions devoted to sound- and music-making involving co-active movement that occur three or four times a week
  5. The circumstances in which children and young people can make or control sound through co-active movement are consistently integrated into day-to-day programmes of living and learning, and these programmes are coherently related to sessions devoted to sound- and music-making involving co-active movement that occur every day
Resources
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Videos Information

The practitioner helps E create sound with the shaker through co-active movement.

This is a combined session of music and physiotherapy for children with PMLD and developmental delay, in which music is used along with movement. Here, the physiotherapist helps Romilly to create sound by tapping two sticks together through co-active movement. She sits behind Romilly, enabling her to use the same muscle set required for the movement in Romilly's arms, while also holding her head for support. The practitioner seated to the left can also be seen to be using co-active movement in the same way.

Let's All Listen Information

Song 18

Commusication Songs Information

1-11


P1C activities to promote sound production and/or control occur in a range of contexts

Different contexts appear to have no impact on intentionality in sound production.

Strategies

Activities to promote sound production or control should occur in a range of contexts. Children and young people should have the opportunity to work in specialist environments such as Lilli Nielsen’s ‘Little Room’, which enhance the effects of sounds that are made while minimising auditory clutter (see R.1.c). Of course, other environments are potentially valuable too, including one-to-one teaching/therapy spaces, classrooms, corridors, halls, and different locations outside. The social contexts in which sound production is encouraged are also important. For example, the experience of making sounds alone, with a practitioner, with classmates, and at a whole-school assembly are all quite different (see I.1.c). Sound production may be augmented with vibration by using a ‘resonance board’ or vibroacoustic chair. Practitioners and carers should bear in mind that a child's developing willingness and ability to create sounds intentionally may be affected by a range of factors, such as the time of day. Internal influences may also be significant, including fluctuating medical conditions, for instance.

Evaluating engagement
  1. No evidence
  2. Sound production and control is encouraged in at least two contexts
  3. Sound production and control is encouraged in at least three contexts
  4. Sound production and control is encouraged in at least four contexts
  5. Sound production and control is encouraged in at least five contexts
  6. Sound production and control is encouraged in at least six contexts
Gauging consistency
  1. The contexts in which children and young people can make or control sound are rarely integrated into day-to-day programmes of living and learning, and/or there are sessions devoted to sound- and music-making involving different contexts that occur around once a fortnight or less
  2. The contexts in which children and young people can make or control sound are occasionally integrated into day-to-day programmes of living and learning, and/or there are sessions devoted to sound- and music-making involving different contexts that occur around once a week
  3. The contexts in which children and young people can make or control sound are regularly integrated into day-to-day programmes of living and learning, and these programmes are coherently related to sessions devoted to sound- and music-making involving different contexts that occur around twice a week
  4. The contexts in which children and young people can make or control sound are frequently integrated into day-to-day programmes of living and learning, and these programmes are coherently related to sessions devoted to sound- and music-making involving different contexts that occur three or four times a week
  5. The contexts in which children and young people can make or control sound are consistently integrated into day-to-day programmes of living and learning, and these programmes are coherently related to sessions devoted to sound- and music-making involving different contexts that occur every day
Resources
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Videos Information

In the outdoor garden of the school, E is encouraged to play the bells in front of her by using a switch placed behind her head. When the switch is pressed, the bells rotate, creating sound. As E is still learning to use her head switch at this stage, the teacher presses the switch for her.

Let's All Listen Information

Song 27

Commusication Songs Information

1-11


P1D some activities to promote sound production and/or control are multisensory in nature

Multisensory outcomes appear to have no effect on sound production or control.

Strategies

Almost inevitably, activities that promote children's sound-making or control will involve other sensory engagement, whether it is the shimmering of the cymbal, the smell of the gourd shaker, the feel of the vibrating ocean drum or the strings of a guitar, the rough surface of the scraper, the smoothness of the tubular bell, the intriguing shape and changing weight of the rain stick, or the cool feel of the bars on the glockenspiel. Such complex multisensory experiences are part and parcel of everyday life. Feedback can be enhanced through the use of specialist environments such as the Little Room or electronic amplification. Individual sensory elements may be controlled with some precision through the use of electronic mechanical switches or ultrasonic beams linked to lights, fans or vibration. With so many possible combinations, practitioners will need to be particularly attentive to any responses a child may make to their guided efforts at participation, or any attempts to repeat what appeared initially to be an accidental movement, for example.

Evaluating engagement
  1. No evidence
  2. At least one activity to promote sound production and/or control is coherently linked to other sensory input
  3. At least two activities to promote sound production and/or control are coherently linked to differing forms of sensory input
  4. At least three activities to promote sound production and/or control are coherently linked to differing forms of sensory input
  5. At least four activities to promote sound production and/or control are coherently linked to differing forms of sensory input
  6. At least five activities to promote sound production and/or control are coherently linked to differing forms of sensory input
Gauging consistency
  1. Opportunities to make or control sound in multisensory contexts are rarely integrated into day-to-day programmes of living and learning, and/or there are sessions devoted to sound- and music-making involving multisensory outcomes that occur around once a fortnight or less
  2. Opportunities to make or control sound in multisensory contexts are occasionally integrated into day-to-day programmes of living and learning, and/or there are sessions devoted to sound- and music-making involving multisensory outcomes that occur around once a week
  3. Opportunities to make or control sound in multisensory contexts are regularly integrated into day-to-day programmes of living and learning, and these programmes are coherently related to sessions devoted to sound- and music-making involving multisensory outcomes that occur around twice a week
  4. Opportunities to make or control sound in multisensory contexts are frequently integrated into day-to-day programmes of living and learning, and these programmes are coherently related to sessions devoted to sound- and music-making involving multisensory outcomes that occur three or four times a week
  5. Opportunities to make or control sound in multisensory contexts are consistently integrated into day-to-day programmes of living and learning, and these programmes are coherently related to sessions devoted to sound- and music-making involving multisensory outcomes that occur every day
Resources
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Videos Information

E is taking part in a multi-sensory activity which promotes sound through the use of Optimusic. This is a technology in which sound is activated by a sensor when the user breaks the coloured beam of light. E's teaching assistant is also helping her to produce sound through co-active movement (see P.1.B).

Let's All Listen Information

Song 35

Commusication Songs Information

1-11



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