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 specially attuned chimes in my healing practices in water but the discipline of this has never quite stuck with me in this manner.

In all honesty, I found bringing sound producing instruments in water never quite practical enough to make them fast, easy and accessible tools particularly in salty open water.

When I started working with children in the water, however, sound became a very prominent aspect of teaching as well as communicating. Sound became a simplified, playful, primal even tool for learning.

My nursery rhyme playlist in Greek was rather limited and so 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. They slowly became recognizable learning queues, especially when used methodologically and with intent.

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

#waterhappy SOUNDS ARE US

By imitating the sound babies and children where making, I gained their trust and openness as well as expanding my own sound vocabulary to include more innocent and authentic noises coming out of my mouth or sounds that came from the ways I interacted with the 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 and additional tool to gauge how comfortable both adults and children actually were in the water.

Looking back, I now realize, how it was children rather than whales or dolphins who became my teachers in producing spontaneous sound elements in water that help us adapt deeper and deeper into ourselves.

Silent communication 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.

In my global search for practitioners who were already working with sound in water I came across Javier Gonzalez and paused my attention on his practices, because of the sense of integrity in his use of sound that I was picking up on.

Some collaborations are meant to be it seems when you allow them to unfold in their own time. Perhaps five years ago in Corfu, Greece was not the right time and it is indeed now, with a much larger scope of impact and the potential depth of enquiry.

I am very #waterhappy to announce the SOUND, WATER AND BABIES Teacher Training Workshop on the 12th May 2019 in Royal Leamington Spa in the UK with Javier Gonzalez.

The workshop is being organized in collaboration with Aqua Sensory and hosted by Swim Works International Aquatic Centre.

The intention for this workshop is to raise our awareness of how sound impacts our bodies by experiencing it ourselves, so that we can use it safely and consciously in our practices around children and other sensitive individuals.

It is an introduction to the use of sound in water and its impact on the human system. Becoming aware of how using musical instruments or the sound of our voices has a profound impact when working with people in the water, can lead to more aware and safe practices.

For Bookings please contact:
Jo Wilson at
Sophia Michalopoulou at