As someone who has always had very selective hearing this actually helped me to discover how to use that as an advantage. It has always been hard for me to pay attention to things or listen to things for a long period of time without forgetting that I’m listening and letting my mind wander and I seemed to have this problem with doing this exercise at first too. It was hard to not let my thoughts take over and to really just listen and appreciate the sounds. I noticed that I could do it easier if I did it for short periods of time rather than longer bouts. It surprised me how much you can hear when you block everything out and become one with the noises around you. I think that this really helped me become a better listener and opened an entire new way of looking at the world that I had never been exposed to before.

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4 responses »

  1. jennaw10 says:

    Listening Session 1
    Friday, 2/17/2012 3-3:09 Civic Center Basketball game

    Variation 1
    Focus on the noises coming from the court rather than the voices around me
    Squeaks, vibrations, voices, stomping

    Variation 2
    Focus on the noises around me in the civic center
    Voices, smashing, metal, stomping, machines, announcer

    The change from focusing on the court as my center to making it my fringe was unbelievable. It was harder to listen to specific things around me than it was to listen to the court because there was so much variation when it came to my surroundings. When I focused on the court the sound of the basketball sneakers, the variations of high pitched vibrations coming from the impact of the sneakers to the floor were interesting to follow. I tried to connect the sounds with the just the movements of the feet as well which was harder to do than I assumed. When I switched my focus point to my surrounding the sneaker noises seemed to disappear and I was focused on the clanging of the metal as people climbed through the seating. I attempted to hear the furthest thing I could away but found it too difficult to do because of all of the voices that seemed to clutter the sounds.

  2. jennaw10 says:

    Listening Session 2
    Monday 2/20/2012 8:30-8:35 Sugarloaf on the lift

    Variation 1
    Focus on the noises around me outside
    Swish, creaking, voices, wind, wooshing

    Variation 2
    Focus on the lift noises specifically
    creaking, humming, gliding, rocking

    I rode the lift to the top of the mountain and on the way up just closed my eyes and had what I felt was my first real listening experience. Although the wind drown a lot of noises I’m sure I could have had the chance to hear out, I still heard much more than I expected from below when I really put my power into listening. When I changed to just listen to the works of the lift I noticed that it was a completely different experience than listening to the situation as a whole. I compared the creaking with those that were going by on the opposing end and tried to find a rythem and pattern which for about 45 seconds to a minute I was surprised to find. The constant rotation of the lines and the swaying of the lifts from the wind seemed to go in unison with one another at times and at times could have been two completely different variations.

  3. jennaw10 says:

    Listening Session 3
    Wednesday, 2/22/2012 1:00-1:05 A.M. at a party

    Variation 1
    Focus on the sound of the pong game
    Splash, knock, words, bang
    Variation 2

    Focus on all sounds except voices
    Shatter, bang, stomp, knock, swoosh

    The experience of trying to have a sound variation at a party was a different one to say the least. When listening to the pong game I didn’t experience anything out of the normal except the sounds that I would normally hear. When I listened to everything except the voices I really realized how much listening can change on what we experience. As it was a party, much of the sounds I heard were obnoxious sounds like the banging and clanging of things being dropped or broken. When I really focused on listening I could hear the heater and the variances in sound it was making. I was so shocked that out of all the people there I could focus my hearing on something so little as a furnace going. I could also hear smaller things like the flushing of a toilet and the rhythms that could create with the furnace.

  4. jennaw10 says:

    Listening Session 4
    Friday 2/25/2011 1:00-1:10 In bed

    Variation 1
    Focus on the noises of the house around me
    Humming, zapping, creaking, clicking, ticking

    Variation 2
    Focus on my boyfriend snoring
    Nasal, vibrations, choking, air, groaning

    Knowing that I still had to do another sound session I chose to do it while I couldn’t sleep one night. When I listened to the house I tried to create a sort of “symphony” with the sounds looking for any rhythm or beat that might have arose. I wanted to take my listening to another level and become even more of an in depth listener. The thing that really surprised me was when I was listening to the outside noises and I could hear a car from much further away than I ever would have if I was just lying in bed. When I listening to the snore I found the different noises to be strange and it almost made me want to wake him up. I was trying to imagine what was making all the different arrays of sounds from a sleeping body’s mouth happen. The voice box isn’t working and he wasn’t talking yet such a wide range of noises came from his mouth that it really surprised me.

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