What does your environment sound like? We’re used to looking at the world around us, but how much time do we spend listening? What happens when we concentrate on our soundscape as much as our landscape? And what can we learn about other communities and other locations through the medium of sound?
Sonic Postcards is a unique and innovative national education programme which explores these issues and encourages participants to “open their ears”. The project enables pupils from across the UK to explore and compare their local sound environments through the composition and exchange – via the internet – of sound postcards with other schools.
The project focuses on the impact of sound on our lives and demonstrates the possibilities for creativity through the manipulation of sounds with technology. As with an ordinary postcard it offers the opportunity for people to exchange information about their local environments; providing windows into a variety of places, lives and cultures in rural, urban and coastal locations.
Sonic Postcards is aimed at young people between the ages of 9-14 in primary, secondary and special schools, PRUs (Pupil Referral Units) and community groups across the country.
The project links a number of curriculum studies at Key Stages 2 and 3, including music, geography and ICT, as well as English, citizenship, art, history, biology and physics and is pertinent to key government initiatives for e-learning and for the environment. Sonic Postcards follows both good practice and government guidelines for working with young people.
I worked with 2 Primary schools in Cumbria in 2005 – Barrow Island and Lindal and Marton and then 2 Pupil Referal Units in 2006, West Cumbria Learning Centre in Disington & Gillford Centre in Carlisle.
Visit the Sonic Postcards website for examples and find out more about the project