4 minutes reading time (721 words)

Interview with Hayes Greenfield, Author of Creative Sound Play for Young Learners


Summer is here, which means the children are home and enjoying time with the family. If you're planning any road trips this summer, you may be wondering what are some fun ways you can keep your kids engaged during the long drive. One simple but often overlooked way to keep kids happy is to use sound to create fun and entertaining games.

Musician and author of the new book Creative Sound Play for Young Learners Hayes Greenfield is a master at using fun sounds to create fun games, for both teachers and parents at home. Greenfield says, "Until now, simple sound-making has been completely overlooked in early childhood education. This profound, entirely play-based educational tool and resource for teachers and parents reaches and inspires all children. There is little else that I know of that can make children happier, more focused, and better engaged than when they are encouraged to create all types of intentional sounds in all kinds of deliberate ways."

In an interview with Garden State Woman, Greenfield explains different sound games to help keep kids engaged and the benefits these games have on children development.

Q: As a Jazz musician, how has your musical background influenced your approach to creative sound play?

A: As a musician, enhanced active listening skills and executive functions—inhibitory control, working memory, creativity, and mindfulness are essential ingredients for creating quality music regardless of idiom or genre. As someone with dyslexia who is a much more fluid intuitive learner than intellectually, improvising music through the language of jazz provides me with the medium to be creative, communicative, and express myself artistically through sound. Probably the most operative word here in terms of my history is that I'm dyslexic which I feel has enabled me to see the world in much bigger terms, and appreciate the profound power that sound provides for everyone. Because sound is intuitive, one doesn't have to learn anything new or special, and by just being oneself, we can control our environment or at least the sound we make in it.

Q: What are some fun sound-based activities to keep kids entertained and engaged?

A: • Actively listening to and identifying sounds around you, and then trying to make them.

• Having a conversation without using any words just sounds.

• Counting using different levels of volume.

Q: How does sound play contribute to a child's development and learning?

A: Learning through play for children is always the best way to learn. I've never met a child that doesn't love to make sounds whether alone or in a group. Sound making provides children with the opportunity to play and make intentional sounds in deliberate ways which develops their executive function skills, mindfulness, SEL, hand eye coordination and much more. Sound knows no language barrier and works with any curricula and subject matter.

Q: What can teachers and parents expect from your book, Creative Sound Play for Young Learners?

A: That sound is not music, that making sound is fun and engages children immediately, and that everyone can do it easily.

That sound is generative, and as parents and educators challenge their children with making an intentional type of sound in a deliberate way, their children will love to do it, and love it more when they are challenged again by adding in a simple variation to what they just sounded out and mastered.

That when children have the opportunities to actively listen to all kinds of sounds, discuss them, and then make and interact with others, they realize and internalize that what they do matters and that they are a part of a larger community.

And finally, that as parents and teachers embrace regular listening and sound making in thoughtful ways, their children will develop their independence, take agency, and want to naturally lead, enabling everyone to manage their children more effectively.

You can purchase his book, Creative Sound Play for Young Learners, here.

About the Author

Hayes Greenfield is an author and educator, and he is a jazz musician endorsed by Yamaha, Vandoren, and Eventide. He has released 10 critically acclaimed albums, and his music has been wonderfully received and reviewed in the The New York Times, The New Yorker, Wall Street Journal, Billboard, Child Magazine, Downbeat, Jazz Times and more. (All press HERE). More at https://www.creativesoundplay.com and https://www.hayesgreenfield.com.

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Monday, 22 July 2024

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