World of Sound

The intention of this session is to use different types of sound in a controlled and sensitive way to create an inclusive and experiential atmosphere where students can relax and enjoy the world of sound.

The instruments used are chosen carefully for their particular sound and pitch and are played separately or in small combinations to encourage more profound experiences. Silence plays a big part in creating the atmosphere of the session. Silence is used in a powerful and deliberate way, giving space for children to experiment with their own vocalisations within a supportive environment. We have found that creating silence invites the child to communicate without pressure and within their own skill level; our children have shown us their ability for profound communication and interaction experiences.

As many of the students in the sessions are extremely limited in forming speech but can make sounds, we use ‘vocable’ style sounds rather than words to accompany any melodies that develop. We use simple melodies, rhythms and notes created from instruments such as hand drum, flute and didgeridoo to a jaw harp and a 32 inch gong! We experiment with dynamics, pitch and tempo to create different atmospheres to excite, enthuse and stimulate students to a degree which would make them feel safe and confident enough to evolve their own style of communication.

Any sounds made by students during the session would be integrated into the session, either through song or echoed back to them as a group. Through this approach we believe this empowers our children to communicate and to understand the joy of personal relationships, the joy of language, communication and interaction. We believe our children gain confidence through understanding that their voice is heard. Within these sessions our children are heard and every communication, however small, is celebrated and valued.

This session delivers opportunities to experience many of the core values of the SMSC (Social Moral Spiritual Cultural) framework for our students and encompasses Intensive Interaction approaches. Its relaxed but purposeful style allows students to feel safe and secure whilst experiencing a unique range of sounds and have time to process the resulting feelings in their own way. It helps students to develop the fundamentals for their communication of listening and responding, boosting confidence to try and communicate using their own unique abilities. These skills can develop within the session then be transferred outside of the session, empowering their connection to the world around them.

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