ASA 4 kyds

Subject: ASA 4 kyds
From: Kevin Austin (
Date: Thu Jul 29 2004 - 06:44:16 EDT

My experience (long ago) explaining sound(s) to children was that it
is possible to explain some difficult concepts even to the very
young. They will not understand them as they will later, but that's
not the point.

The analogy of sound being like a big three-dimensional moving jigsaw
(well-known from 'Transformers', Tron-like movies and TV) says that
things are not always as they appear to be.

Play sound games. If it's a group, have them form a circle. Put one
child in the middle. Have her/him close their eyes, block one ear,
and have those who form the circle call out numbers 1 - 5. The child
in the middle points in the direction of the sound, and holds up the
number of fingers of the word.

At first this is done with one number a time, and then two numbers
close together, then more than 2 numbers together.

The children see that directionality requires two ears. They will see
that there is a delay between 'hearing the sound' and 'responding' --
the sound and reaction need time to be processed. (Perception of
sound is not linear.)

When sounds come very close together, this processing may be much
more difficult. When there is too much information, the individual
voices form mass structures (a particular type of integration).

Have one boy and one girl walk around the outside of the circle in
opposite directions, each repeating a different number. Even though
there are two sounds at the same time, what is heard is two 'event
streams' -- streaming (or channelization). Try this with three
children, two moving, one standing still. Repeat this with those in
the circle blocking one ear to see that streaming, while assisted by
directional cues, is a function of perception.

Have the children who sit in the circle close their eyes. Ask them
each to focus on only one of the voices and ignore the other voices.
Add a fourth child to the 'walking around'. How many voices can there
be and still have segregation and streaming? At what point does 'mass
structure' occur.

Some of these ideas can be modified to work with one or two children.

Play a popular song. Have the children listen only to the singer.
(Hands up when there is no voice). Have them hear only the bass
"thommmp!" (use filters / tone controls). Use the pan control and
have them 'watch' the sound go from one speaker to another. Repeat
with them blocking one ear.

Have 2 or more ghetto blasters with the same CD playing out of sync.
Can they follow both? (either). Try the same with voice (radio) and a
song -- segregation and streaming.

Have them create imaginary internal soundscapes. One bird; a car
drives by, but don't 'stop' the bird; a car goes from right to left,
and a bus on the other side of the street slow, stops and then leaves
-- and remember the bird. A group of kids runs by shouting - remember
the bird - and a truck goes by and is so loud that the other sounds
are masked; and now a mother and daughter pass by, and you can hear
the words of the conversation, and the kid on the bike has a small
ghetto blaster -- and the bird keeps singing.

In the distance, a church bell chimes 3 o'clock, and the ice-cream
truck's bell emerges from that. Ice cream time!! yeah!!

They are our future. Invest in them.



At 02:39 -0600 2004/07/29, macCormac wrote:
>how would you best describe / éscribé in éspace Auditory Scene
>Analysis to KYDs aged 9-14

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