Groundbreaking series of four Sound Education international seminars now completed in 2012


The Sound Education*(1) seminars have created a legacy of online resources including filmed presentations on four YouTube playlists per event in local languages, research, study downloads and an App*(5) launched for the events. Moreover, the latest TED talk* by*(4) Julian Treasure has taken the acoustic message to a higher level and highlighted the importance of the Sound Education events in raising awareness on school acoustics.

During 2012, Sound Education has been one of three key events which are linked and highlight the relationship between sound and teaching and learning. They are integrated via the platform “Sound Education” – brought to you by Ecophon, has started a call for action for the future of optimal learning environments. The audience participating in the Sound Education events came from key education groups consisting of local authorities, teachers, politicians, architects, acousticians, occupational health staff, teachers’ unions, local presidents of acoustical societies etc.

Some of the subjects covered during the events are listed below;
– Acoustics in schools
– Voice aspects
– Case studies
– Noise and memory
– Acoustics and inclusion
– The architects’ view regarding sound and design
– Teachers’ and school leaders’ perspectives
– Pupils’ acoustic challenges
– Acoustic and human response

During these events, news and updates were published in social media such as Twitter and Facebook. Newspapers and radio also reported on classroom acoustic issues in connection with Sound Education. Another unique part of Sound Education events is the cross-border international cooperation both regarding speakers and participants. Ecophon’s own Education Concept Developers were all on stage presenting their unique conceptual knowledge approach. The events have been held in London, Stockholm, Munich and Copenhagen and the individual event/language YouTube playlists are available by clicking below as follows;

London / english
Stockholm / svenska
Munich / deutch
Copenhagen / danska

Click here to see a snapshot of the London event.

Four times TED*(4) talk presenter Julian Treasure has been keynote speaker at the series of international seminars which have taken place throughout the year. Julian is chairman of The Sound Agency, a UK-based consultancy that helps clients like Harrods, Nokia, Honda, Unilever, Marks & Spencer, Colgate-Palmolive, Nestlé and BAA achieve better results by optimising the sound they make in every aspect of business. Julian is author of the book: “Sound Business, the first map of the exciting new territory of applied sound for business”

The first Sound Education event was organised to coincide with “Noise Action Week” and the launch of The Essex Study*(2); a ground-breaking classroom acoustics study published this year to coincide with the event in London. Julian moderated the London event and is keynote speaker at the three venues. Following on from the extremely positive reaction to and level of engagement during the Sound Education events, Julian’s latest TED talk skillfully presents a compilation of the knowledge shared at the Sound Education London event; the Essex Study research and material from the presentations, to build a powerful message.

The talk; “Why architects need to use their ears” *(3) focuses mainly on the need for good acoustics in schools whilst making a passionate plea to start designing spaces for our ears.
Julian Treasure gave us an insight into his involvement in these events;

“I have two children and I listen consciously to the world, so naturally I care about the sonic environment we are creating in our schools. It is sad and indeed shocking that so many schools are not fit for purpose – and therefore so many children are receiving a sub-standard education and indeed being taught NOT to listen. It’s vital that parents and teachers know the effects on behaviour, results and health. Since the TED talk I have had many architects contact me saying thank you for raising this issue – and many more teachers and parents. With around a quarter of a million views so far, I do hope that this talk is making a big difference out there. It has been a privilege to help create the Sound Education programme of international events with Ecophon and now watch the online videos of talks from eminent experts. Now the effects of event series and the Essex study are starting to be seen, in the form of increased public and government awareness of this massive but hitherto hidden issue affecting our children’s health, learning and behaviour.”

The objective with Sound Education is to raise awareness around the need for optimised acoustics in teaching and learning environments. To encourage an ongoing dialogue between Head teachers, teachers, students and parents in relation to these issues. Long term for everyone to understand the need to go beyond minimum acoustic standards to not just benefit acoustic theory and data only, but also the way we actually perceive sound and how it affects teaching and learning performance and behaviour in reality.

For more information contact Colin Campbell

*(1) All Sound Education presentations can be found here: including some of the short edits (1-2mins films) which are designed to make understanding classroom acoustics more accessible for teachers and parents.
*(2) The Essex Study – optimised classroom acoustics for all. The report is now published by the OECD in their CELE Best Practices for Educational Facilities Investments and is available here
*(3) Julian Treasure’s latest TED talk subtitled in 22 different languages the talk is featured within the TED platform.
*(4) TED is (Technology, Entertainment and Design) is a global set of conferences owned by the private non-profit Sapling Foundation, formed to disseminate “ideas worth spreading.”
*(5) Study App is a free download developed by the Sound Agency which delivers 45 minutes of scientifically designed productivity boosting sound that can mask ambient noise, help focus, improve cognition and reduce fatigue. For information and downloading click here

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