Sounds Sounds Everywhere…Do They Affect Your Child’s Learning?

It seems like everywhere you turn today, sounds abound…LOUD sounds. Cars zoom down the road, blasting music through the windows. Sometimes the music is so loud, you can hear it even through closed windows.

During the summer, as you walk down many pavements, music boxes are set up and street performers show off their moves, hoping that some generous onlooker will be moved to put some money in their collection box.

Even churches are not immune to this epidemic. On a few occasions, as I approached a church, not being able to hear the words of the songs being sung, if I didn’t see the tell-tail “churchy” building structure, I would not have been able to tell if it were a dance hall or secular club of some sort.

As I go on my daily journeys, many times I tell young people, “I can hear your music through your headphones. Do you know you are damaging your hearing?” Most times the response is something like, “Oh no! I can hear everything.”

I’ve also seen students studying with loud background music. Upon cautioning them about the volume, they always say, “I can study and concentrate in any kind of music. It doesn’t affect me.”

Contrary to what so many of our youth and some older folk believe today, sounds around us affect us every day, even though we are not aware of it. I’ve learned in my studies and research that noise levels affect accuracy. In fact, the sound scientist and consultant, Julian Treasure, stated that introverts find it very difficult to relate when in a noisy environment while doing group work.

How many students in classrooms all around the country would you say are introverts? Hmmm, I think this requires some thought, don’t you?

Your Turn: Have you ever been in a situation where it seemed that the loud sounds around had a negative effect on your thinking and/or performance?

Florence is the mother of an amazing teenager; an educational consultant, author, speaker, speech-language pathologist, encourager and perpetual optimist. She shares tips, tools and resources with mothers (and other caregivers) of struggling and/or failing children. She is fiercely committed to helping them develop and enhance their children's foundational skills for learning, to grow them to success in school and life. A believer in the unique learning abilities of all children, she is an advocate for those who learn differently.

Please note: I reserve the right to delete comments that are offensive or off-topic.

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8 thoughts on “Sounds Sounds Everywhere…Do They Affect Your Child’s Learning?

  1. The sound of constant speeding or idling traffic going by the front of our home is hard to ignore. Yet, somehow, I manage to disregard it. One thing I can’t abide is noise of any sort from the television when I’m writing. My concentration disappears and I have to get up to close off doors. You’re right, sound plays a big part in our lives.

    • Francene, there’s a part of the brain that allows us to eventually ignore white noise…meaningless sound. The television, however, usually has people talking. It’s difficult to listen to more than one voice at a time. And when you are primarily auditory in the way you take in information, it becomes almost impossible to think in noise made up of voices.

      You are doing a good thing to limit the distraction so you can think. If you have children, it is important to help them discover how they best rake in information. Once that is known, you can make adjustments to help maximize understanding and processing when necessary.

  2. Oh, I love this. I’m an introvert and I do have trouble concentrating when there is a lot of noise around me. And I tend to live in a world of extroverts: my home, my church, the groups I belong to all seem to be peopled entirely by extroverts!! What to do, Florence??

    • I’m sorry to inform you, Peggy, that the world is not getting any better. You need to protect your hearing mechanism by limiting the noise to which you expose yourself, and do whatever it takes to improve your concentration when you have to think and work. Very soft classical music (mostly Mozart) does help. Once we understand how sound works, it’s our duty to teach others.

  3. The sounds affect my son very much because he has ADHD. Many times he just can’t concentrate because of the normal noises around him. Other times he is so concentrated on something that nothing bothers him. But it is true, noise is a constant stress cause in our lives. Wish there were less of it.