Carnival time in Trinidad & Tobago is not the quietest period but there is still something calming about the event in general. Subjective to say the least, but sometimes silence exists even in the loudest of places.
There are so many sounds. From instruments to the music blasting from the "big trucks" to the chatter from the mouths of people. A sound is always present. It is wonderful to just immerse yourself in sound. Listening with intent and trying to make sense of what your ears hear, especially during an event that relies deeply on sound.
Some may complain and say, oh it is definitely too noisy, while others may just simply take it all in and allow the sound to impact their internal and external functions.
You see it when you look at the masqueraders, as they listen to their favorite songs being pumped out of the speakers secured to the top of trucks. They show how that sound is impacting them through movement. They dance and smile and verbally express their contentment by making happy cheering sounds. You see it when you look at the audience's reaction to the wonderful sound of the steel pan. They too show how that sound is impacting them through movement and verbal expression.
Sound influences and impacts so many things and people during the Carnival season and without it, things wouldn't be the same.
When we think of the important role sound plays in our lives, it encourages us to want to share this level of consciousness with our students.
The following activity is an easy going sound meditation exercise. Students will sit on their knees with eyes closed and be encouraged to "meditatively" immerse themselves in the sounds they hear, sounds you will play for them. The focus of this activity is to consciously experience the sounds being played and at the end, talk about the internal and external impact. The idea is to get your students to develop an understanding that sound can create dynamic shifts in the human body.
How did it go?
Lately, our students have excelled at the quieter moments of yoga class. In this case, meditation exercises. So this activity went well. The discussion aspect of this activity was the most rewarding, especially for us; the teachers. It was interesting to get feedback from our students about how the sound affected them and the dynamic shifts they felt internally and externally. Of course, the feedback was a generous mix of fictional and non-fictional information and for honesty's sake, a children's class wouldn't be a children's class if it lacked that fictional expression. But within the scope of things, our students really tried to let their bodies and minds be immersed in the sounds they were hearing and regardless of how factful their opinion was, it was clear when observing them throughout the activity, they were impacted by the sound in varying ways.
If you decide to use this activity with really young children, you may want to skip the feedback aspect of it. Maybe just walk around the classroom and pay attention to each student and the physical effect the sounds have on them. You will be able to visually notice changes in their body and behavior.
To ensure success with this activity, especially with your older students, if possible, dim the lights in your classroom and remove any other type of distraction. A darker room will help them keep their eyes closed and encourage their bodies to fall into the activity more innately.
Take a look!
Looking for a sound meditation activity? Then we have a simple one for you! Just watch the video. You will hear the audio guide and see the general flow of the activity.
Listen to the Sounds,
Tiva & Randa