Soundscaping is a way to create images using only sounds. These sounds can be made from any variety of things. The students can start by deciding what they want to soundscape. The best results come from places that have a variety of noises. The key to an effective soundscape is to layer sounds one over top of another. Think about any place that you have been recently there is always a soundscape taking place. Even when you are sitting in a silent kitchen late at night typing up a blog post for your drama class there is a soundscape (too specific?!? Nah!). Listen closely and you can hear the fridge running, some light traffic noise outside, your heartbeat, your keyboard clicking. You can even soundscape places that don’t exist. Soundscapes can be made using objects, instruments, sound effects or just the human body.
Soundscape creation is a great way to start to look at the world through a slightly different lens. The more aware you are of what sounds make up a space the more effective your soundscape will be. The subtle noises layered in with the obvious noises can create a really amazing effect when all students are participating. The joy of a soundscape is that it is all imagined noises, so you can soundscape an alien planet if you think carefully about what types of things might go one there. There is no limit to the soundscapes you can create. The benefit of soundscape creation is that it requires students to listen actively and think creatively. In the case of a larger group of students the initial sounds will often be the most obvious but it is the more subtle sounds that truly create an amazing soundscape.
- Small group soundscaping: have many groups attempt to create a soundscape from the same prompt, when they present have them compare and contrasts the sounds they heard
- Additive and subtractive soundscapes- have the students add to the soundscape in a particular order then have them remove their layers of sound one by one in an order as well. A great way for students to see the sounds their classmates are making while still participating.