R.1 encounters sounds

General observation

Children and young people appear to pay no attention to sounds to which they are exposed and no consistent responses can be observed other than reflex reactions.

Interpretation

Sound is not interpreted as a distinct or meaningful sensory experience.

R1A is exposed to a rich variety of sounds

Despite the rich variety of sounds to which they are exposed, children and young people make, at most, reflex reactions - startling at sudden noises, for example.

Strategies

Offer children a rich and stimulating range of auditory experiences, including music. Be imaginative but systematic: imaginative in introducing young people to a wide range of sounds in a variety of contexts; systematic in observing and noting any reactions they make (that may be taken as potentially positive or negative responses) to inform the planning of future experiences. To children’s ears there is often nothing more stimulating than the human voice and the sounds associated with it: talking, humming, singing, whooping, or just whispering. Other body sounds, including clapping, clicking, tapping, slapping, scratching, and stamping may excite attention too. The sounds available from musical instruments – acoustic or electronic – may be no more potentially engaging than those that can be made using everyday objects, such as rustly paper, rattly containers, saucepan lids, chains, pieces of wood and plastic pipes. Suspending some objects will enable them to resonate, enhancing their sound-making properties. Hence, through very simple means, young people may be exposed to sounds of all kinds: high and low; short and long; quiet and loud. They may be rich in harmonics or pure; they may be bright or dull. They may emanate from any position: in front of a child or behind, from the left side or the right, above or below. Sounds may be stationary or moving. They may occur in isolation or together, forming homogeneous blends or contrasting clusters. Streams of sound may be quickly moving or ponderous, describing flowing lines or jagged contours.

Evaluating engagement
  1. No evidence
  2. Is systematically exposed to at least one type of sound
  3. Is systematically exposed to at least two types of sound
  4. Is systematically exposed to at least three types of sound
  5. Is systematically exposed to at least four types of sound
  6. Is systematically exposed to at least five types of sound
Gauging consistency
  1. Auditory stimulation is rarely integrated into general programmes of learning, and/or there are sessions devoted to listening around once a fortnight or less
  2. Auditory stimulation is occasionally integrated into day-to-day programmes of learning, and/or there are sessions devoted to listening around once a week
  3. Auditory stimulation is regularly integrated into day-to-day programmes of learning, and these programmes are coherently related to sessions devoted to listening that occur around twice a week
  4. Auditory stimulation is frequently integrated into day-to-day programmes of learning, and these programmes are coherently related to sessions devoted to listening that occur three or four times a week
  5. Auditory stimulation is consistently integrated into day-to-day programmes of living and learning, and these programmes are coherently related to sessions devoted to listening that occur every day
Resources
All Join In Information
Videos Information

Kasim is being exposed to a rich variety of sounds within this musical interlude. Practitioners play the flute and guitar in close proximity to him as the piano accompanies.

The children in this class are being exposed to a variety of sounds during this activity including the piano, voice and various instruments given to each child such as a drum and tambourine.

Let's All Listen Information

Song 28

Commusication Songs Information

1-11


R1B is exposed to a wide range of music

Despite being exposed to a wide range of music, children and young people make, at most, reflex reactions to the 'surface' features of the music, sudden loud chords causing a 'startle' reflex, for example.

Strategies

Nothing offers a richer auditory experience than music, and nowhere are the qualities of sound organised with such precision and mapped our with such perceptual clarity. Sounds with different qualities that are structured in different ways result in differing musical styles and genres, each of which offers a distinct type of auditory experience. Hence effective music programmes for those with complex needs in the early stages of development are likely to include exposure to a wide range of music. There are a large number of possibilities: from ragtime to reggae, folksongs to fugues, and from symphonies to spirituals, for example; using instruments ranging from the piano to the panpipes, the drum kit to the didgeridoo, and the gamelan to the electric guitar. There are high-energy pieces with loud, rapidly-changing streams of sound, and quiet, reflective works that present slow-moving auditory landscapes. Remember that familiarity is important for all of us, and that children and young people with complex needs may require a high level of repetition for learning to start to occur. As ever, an imaginative approach coupled with systematic observation is most likely to be productive.

Evaluating engagement
  1. No evidence
  2. Is systematically exposed to at least one type of music
  3. Is systematically exposed to at least two types of music
  4. Is systematically exposed to at least three types of music
  5. Is systematically exposed to at least four types of music
  6. Is systematically exposed to at least five types of music
Gauging consistency
  1. Music is rarely integrated into day-to-day programmes of living and learning, and/or there are sessions devoted to listening around once a fortnight or less
  2. Music is occasionally integrated into day-to-day programmes of living and learning, and/or there are sessions devoted to listening around once a week
  3. Music is regularly integrated into day-to-day programmes of living and learning, and these programmes are coherently related to sessions devoted to listening that occur around twice a week
  4. Music is frequently integrated into day-to-day programmes of living and learning, and these programmes are coherently related to sessions devoted to listening that occur three or four times a week
  5. Music is consistently integrated into day-to-day programmes of living and learning, and these programmes are coherently related to sessions devoted to listening that occur every day
Resources
All Join In Information
Videos Information

Edvard Grieg's 'In the Hall of the Mountain King' is played for Matthew, exposing him to a piece among a range of music and sound that he experiences during his music sessions.

Within this class the teacher plays a range of music between and within activities for the children to hear, listen and react to.

Within this class the teacher plays a range of music between and within activities for the children to hear, listen and react to.

Let's All Listen Information

Song 33

Commusication Songs Information

1-11


R1C is exposed to music in different contexts

Despite the range of contexts in which children and young people are exposed to musical and other sounds, they make, at most, reflex reactions.

Strategies

It is essential to consider carefully the environments in which exposure to music takes place. For at least some of the time, children and young people should have the opportunity to work in an otherwise quiet area with the minimum of distractions. In small, enclosed spaces, such as Lilli Nielsen’s ‘Little Room’, the effects of sounds are enhanced, and auditory clutter – the background noise of the classroom, for example – may be reduced or eliminated. In this way, any attention that young people are striving to bring to bear will be guided to a single, relevant stimulus, rather than them having to figure out what to listen to among the ‘great blooming, buzzing confusion’ (as William James described it) that would otherwise assail them. Of course, other listening environments are potentially valuable too: consider, for example, the differing qualities of one-to-one teaching/therapy spaces, classrooms, corridors, large, resonant indoor spaces such as the school hall, and different locations outside. The social contexts in which listening occurs are also important. For example, the experience of listening alone, with a practitioner, with classmates, at a whole-school assembly, and as a member of a large (unfamiliar) audience are all quite different, and it is worth considering what each has to offer the child or young person concerned. Auditory input may be augmented with vibration by using a ‘resonance board’: a hollow wooden platform that amplifies any sounds that are made on it or passed through it (using loudspeakers, for example). A number of vibroacoustic boards, beds, and chairs are commercially available, through which young people can bring a large body area into contact with musical vibration. Practitioners and carers should bear in mind that perception may be affected by a range of extraneous factors. The time of day may be an important variable, for example, and internal influences may also be significant: a child’s capacity or willingness to make the effort to attend to sounds may be subject to a fluctuating medical condition, for instance, or simply a change of mood.

Evaluating engagement
  1. No evidence
  2. Is systematically exposed to music in at least one context
  3. Is systematically exposed to music in at least two contexts
  4. Is systematically exposed to music in at least three contexts
  5. Is systematically exposed to music in at least four contexts
  6. Is systematically exposed to music in at least five contexts
Gauging consistency
  1. Exposure is rare – occurring around once a fortnight or less
  2. Exposure is occasional – occurring around once a week
  3. Exposure is regular – occurring around twice a week
  4. Exposure is frequent – occurring around three or four times a week
  5. Exposure is consistent – occurring every day
Resources
All Join In Information
Videos Information

This Year 3/4 group is taking part in an activity which combines hiding and finding instruments in an outdoor space, and playing the instruments as they are hidden and found. This is a new acoustical environment and a new activity for the class. The teacher plays the chime, while walking with Fatima. Fatima is being exposed to the sound within the context of an outdoor space of the school.

As Rudi is brought into the sensory suite, music is programmed to play when the door opens and the words 'Welcome to the Sensory Suite', are spoken. This exposes Rudi to music and sound in a different context as well as introducing musical sound that symbolises other things (R.3.D).

Let's All Listen Information

Song 31

Commusication Songs Information

1-11


R1D is exposed to music and musical sounds that are systematically linked to other sensory input

Children and young people make, at most, reflex reactions to the multisensory experiences to which they are exposed.

Strategies

Music may be combined with other sensory stimulation such as touch, movement, light, or even scent, and it may be that some children and young people first come to respond to sound through an integrated approach. In fact, complex multisensory experiences are typical of everyday life; it is the precise control of their individual elements that can be difficult to achieve. However, multisensory environments can be constructed that allow the input to different sensory modalities to be managed with a high level of precision. Here, visual stimuli, such as the colour and intensity of lighting, can be made to vary in response to changes in sound, for instance. Consider also that one of the most basic ways in which people respond to music is through association: music once heard in combination with a particular person, place or activity, for example, may become mentally connected to it, so that rehearing the piece concerned brings to mind the related experience and its emotional connotations. Practitioners and carers may consciously seek to introduce this notion to children and young people with complex needs by consistently connecting particular musical and other sounds with significant people, locations and activities. Such connections have the added advantage of promoting early communication. For example, key figures in a young person’s life may wear sound-making accessories – necklaces and bracelets or badges, for example – that can be used to augment the experience of meeting and greeting; of reinforcing a person’s presence. Similarly, locations and activities may have sounds associated with them, which may be integral (for example, a tambourine used to represent music) or additional (for instance, windchimes meaning ‘classroom’).

Evaluating engagement
  1. No evidence
  2. Is systematically exposed to music and musical sounds in at least one multisensory context
  3. Is systematically exposed to music and musical sounds in at least two multisensory contexts
  4. Is systematically exposed to music and musical sounds in at least three multisensory contexts
  5. Is systematically exposed to music and musical sounds in at least four multisensory contexts
  6. Is systematically exposed to music and musical sounds in at least five multisensory contexts
Gauging consistency
  1. Exposure is rare – occurring around once a fortnight or less
  2. Exposure is occasional – occurring around once a week
  3. Exposure is regular – occurring around twice a week
  4. Exposure is frequent – occurring around three or four times a week
  5. Exposure is consistent – occurring every day
Resources
All Join In Information
Videos Information

In the sensory suite Emily lies on a waterbed while a practitioner supports her physically. The lights of the room change colour as the music plays and the practitioner holds small strings of lights for Emilie to see, which also change colour.

This is a combined session of music and physiotherapy. Here, the children are being exposed to music that is linked to movement as the therapists and practitioners assist the children in their exercises.

Let's All Listen Information

Song 34

Commusication Songs Information

1-11



Additional information