when my son was in utero I was in the midst of full blown sensory explorations. taking a course on “deep listening”, writing “explorer”, going to dozens of experimental and avant garde performances here, reading tons of John Cage, and later on conducting experiments and documenting from bed.
I don’t know if it is a coincidence or not (actually I don’t believe in coincidences), but my child seems totally obsessed and mesmerized by sound. He cannot sit still while listening to any music (but has preferences for jazz, guitar, and percussion). But he is also intensely tuned into everyday sounds as if they are also music. I will often catch him “rocking out” (bopping his head back and forth) to the tap dripping, the shopping cart wheels at the grocery store, the dog scratching himself. it is one of the most amazing things i have ever experienced. he is hearing things in a very pure, unlabeled way. much like Glenn Gould did (as in one of my favorite scenes from the film 33 Short Films About Glenn Gould).
because he is so interested in sound (and making sound himself), my husband and I have begun creating it almost constantly with everything in the house. there is barely an object we have not tapped or knocked on, struck, banged or flicked. the house is a veritable orchestra, the instruments are chairs, tables, bathtubs, walls, floors, windows, books, appliances, dishes. we use paintbrushes, cutlery, sticks, hands or whatever is within reach to hit things with. (I am hoping to record some of these sounds so you can hear them.)
It is possible that all babies are this tuned into the sounds in their environment, I have no idea. But as I am working on a presentation on the subject of ‘education and creativity’ the theme of not having labels seems to be my current focus. the ability to experience things without judging.
whatever it is that has given him this love of sound, we are hoping to encourage his exploration of it as much as possible. just be prepared if you come to visit, you will most likely be subject to and asked to make noise during dinner.