The Sounds of Summer and the Skill of Listening

Close your eyes and visualize. What comes to mind when you think of the sounds of summer?

Some possibilities might include:

  • Sprinklers running
  • Lawn mowers rumbling
  • Children playing
  • Pool water splashing
  • Birds chirping
  • Ice clinking
  • Ice cream truck music tinkling

Certainly you could add many more to the list. Each of those suggestions instantly brings an auditory memory to your brain, doesn’t it?

When moving around your life and days you may hear these sounds without even realizing that you’re hearing them. Unless you train your attention, you may not even notice them at all. But when you engage in active listening then you hear a whole host of things.

Active listening is an important skill, one that we seek to develop in every Kindermusik class. It’s not just listening. It’s listening. Children spend so much time making the noise they don’t often sit down to understand the sounds around them. And so we practice.

We rub our ears from top to bottom to stimulate the auditory nerve and its neural pathways. We say “Listen, listen, listen, shh” as a way of cueing our children’s brains to pay attention and hold still. We play a mystery sound and ask them what it was. We mimic the sound. We repeat the sound and listen again.

This skill can help children in their social development, cognitive development, and more. The ability to perceive, process, and comprehend the sounds around us is a key ability that hearing people need to foster. We could all spend a little more time listening, don’t you think?

So this summer, spend a little time listening. By yourself or with your child. In the cool of twilight, sit on your back porch and listen. What do you hear? Help your child identify the sounds of summer. And as you listen yourself, you’ll find a little more calm, a little more peace. Who couldn’t use that?

Happy listening.