What to expect from a child functioning primarily at Sounds of Intent Level 2
Assess the child’s level of musical engagement through careful observation
Children functioning at SoI Level 2 experience the world in a sensory way. They do not process the repetition and regularity in the environment that would enable them to make sense of what they perceive and anticipate what may happen next.
By the same token, while they may deliberately make sounds, they do not intentionally create patterns of movement – or sound.
And while they may respond to the sounds made by others, they do not imitate them or recognise themselves being copied.
Choosing musical activities for the child
Children functioning at Level 2 are likely to benefit from musical activities that are primarily sensory or multisensory in nature.
However, their development may also be enhanced by seeking to engage them in activities at Level 3 that promote the recognition and creation of patterns, alone and with others, and by exposing them to resources that focus on motifs (Level 4) and whole pieces (Level 5).
Remind parents that it’s important to give their child plenty of time to listen to all the sounds that are going on in different outdoor spaces; they may need to take care that their child isn’t overwhelmed in very noisy places – though some children may enjoy loud sounds if they are predictable.
Ask parents whether it is possible for them to take their child to a family farm. This would mean the child could feel which animal was making which sound in a safe and controlled environment.
Remind parents that it is important for their child to experience the rain and wind – in moderation!
Most forms of transport make a sound: cars, motorbikes, trains, boats and planes. Even bicycles make some sounds, and they often have different bells and horns; these are easy for children to explore safely themselves. Maybe they might like different bells and horns to play with?
If possible, go out with the parents and their child and make some recordings of outdoor sounds to play back later. Tell them what is happening using simple language and give them first-hand experiences wherever possible.
Go outside with the child and their parents and take it in turns to stamp along the pavement or scrunch along a gravel path or push through long grass.
Take it in turns to throw pebbles in a pond – notice the different sounds that pebbles of different sizes make. Throw them near and throw them far.
In the autumn, make a big pile of leaves and jump with the child into the middle of it.
Find somewhere that echoes (like a cave at the beach or underneath the railway arches in town or a long corridor in a public building) and yell and stamp your feet.
Go into the middle of the park or a field and walk away from the child and then go round and round them, calling their name. Encourage them to do the same. Notice how the sounds of your voices seem to change according to how far away they are and which direction the sounds are coming from.