SOUNDS ARE US

Following the success of Sound, Water and Babies Water Happy facilitated the organization of in 2019, I’ve been deepening my practice of using sound in water both for learning and for therapy.

As someone who was not endowed with the gift of a ‘good voice’ but with a deep appreciation of the power of sound to heal and transform, I’ve always looked for ways that I could use music and sound in my practices that would not offend anyone’s acoustics.

I’ve enjoyed using singing bowls and hand drums and I’ve even sacrificed a few especially attuned chimes in my healing practices in water but the discipline in this has never quite stuck with me in this manner.

In all honesty, I found bringing sound-producing instruments into the water never quite practical enough for my way of working with water, to make them fast, easy and accessible tools, particularly in salty open seas.

Working with children in the water, however, sound for me became a fundamental aspect of teaching as well as communicating. Sound is a powerful, playful, primal even tool for learning. Using sound around pregnant mothers and newborn babies developed into a form of healing and an awakening process for me to the much deeper foundations of sound during our birth journey and embodiment.

As my early year’s song list in Greek was rather limited and I couldn’t push myself to perpetuate the old paradigms that exist in so many traditional nursery rhymes, I had to find another way to use sound that was not limited to personal history or culture. In fact, the more I worked in water, the more I found words limiting to express the bounty of sound.

And so through listening and observing, I began to hear repetitive sounds that children made that had a universality about them.

Shrieks, laughter, whining, dolphin imitations, bubble blowing, woosh, splash and boing, boing became the new acoustics in the pool. While learning to listen to water, sounds became recognizable learning cues, especially when used methodologically and with intent.

By turning learning inside out, we became the sound instruments ourselves.

By imitating the sound babies and children where making, I was gaining their trust and openness while expanding my own sound vocabulary to include more spontaneous and authentic sounds coming out of my mouth or sounds that came from the ways I interacted with the water.

Exploring sounds in water, embarrassment and apprehension soon left me. Gradually I became less inhibited about how my voice sounded but rather how fully and freely it exited my body. In fact, sound and breath are so profoundly intertwined that it became an additional tool to gauge how comfortable both adults and children actually were in the water.

Looking back, I now realize, how it was babies and children as well as the whales and the dolphins who became my teachers in producing spontaneous sound elements in water that help us settle deeper and deeper into ourselves.

In the meantime, silent communication also became even more apparent, especially in large open-air swimming pools and of course the sea. In fact, the teacher training module I call Learning Through Transmission arose from the understanding that communication is primarily vibrational rather than verbal.

I will be sharing the Water Happy sound practices I use with water for learning and therapy as an online webinar called Bubble Talk in 2021. If you would like to register your interest to participate please send us a wave at iamwaterhappy@gmail.com

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The intention of Bubble Talk is to understand the educational and therapeutic benefits of how sound produced individually rather from an external instrument impacts our bodies from the inside out while immersed in water.  

By becoming aware of how using the sound of our own voices has a profound effect when working with people in the water you can learn how to introduce sound in your aquatic practices with children and other sensitive individuals safely and confidently.

Themes that are covered on this course are:

  • Learning from the inside out
  • The combination of sound and water
  • The impact of working with sounds in water
  • The Water Happy practices used with children and adults
  • How to introduce sound in your practices
  • Self practices

Those who will find this course most beneficial are:

  • Aquatic educators of all ages
  • Aquatic therapists
  • Speech therapists and occupational therapists

Here are a couple of questions to ask yourself:

  • Do you sing in the shower?
  • Do you speak your truth easily?
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