Silence Activity

After you have the attention of all the children, “Shall we do something together, all of us? Anyone who
hasn’t made up his mind to join with all of us can go somewhere else. To do what we are going to do,
everyone here must take part.” Prepare the environment to create as quiet producing environment as
possible. Have everyone sit comfortably, you also. “You know what we’re going to try to do? To keep our
feet still (look at your feet) and not move them at all.” Do this for one or two minutes. “Shall we do it
another time? Tomorrow? Someone will remind me?”The next time keep feet and claves still. Then feet,
calves and knees. Then everything you’ve been keeping still and also the thighs; then on up the body
until you get to the eyes. Until the moment comes when everything we can control is brought under
control, by this time the time is up to five minutes, and then silence descends upon us. The experiencing
of silence is in two stages:
1.        Tasting the silence
2.        Becoming aware of small noises, until we can hear the sounds which our ears can’t even hear,
when our ear stops “looking” all over for things to hear.

Once the silence activity has been established, that absence of all controllable noises and sounds can be
used for other activities, acoustic activities.

First Activity
“When it is completely silent, I will go (name someplace where you can’t be seen) and I will call each one
of you one by one but very softly. The child who hears their name comes to me and tries to come to me
without making any noise. When you have come to me I may still have to call many other children. So
while you’re standing next to me you must stand not making any noise.”[When there is silence, call them
one by one in an aphonic voice (even the vowels are unvoiced).] Call the most restless children first. If a
child should not hear you, they may have fallen asleep, call them again a little later, even a third time
near the end. If one child has trouble hearing call them last in a soft phonic voice.

Second Activity
Before the silence is made, “When there is silence, I may drop something. Whoever hears that I have
dropped something will not say so, but try to show it with a gesture.”
Later you can tell the children that you will ask, in a low voice, what they heard drop; they should answer
in a low voice.
Objects for dropping: nail, beads, rubber eraser, pin, wooden match, etc.
You can also, making as little noise as possible, crumple or tear different types of paper; open something
(door, box, window, etc.); close something; turn a page; jumping in different types of footwear and
barefoot; grinding different things; cutting vegetables, scraping; getting up from a chair.

Third Activity
Take something that makes a little noise, e.g., bell, clock. Let the children listen to it. Tell them that after
this sound and they should tell you when they start (or stop) hearing it. You can come and go in various
directions in relation to all the children or one child. Have the children (child) signal not speak. At some
point you can draw their attention to the acoustic illusion: if you expect a noise to be heard you may hear
it before it is there and after it is gone; it echoes physically then psychically.
Age At Presentation
There is a certain amount of development necessary before this activity can be presented:
1.        Enough coordination of movement to have gained mastery over one’s body
2.        Sensorial preparation helping to build up acoustic consciousness
3.        Certain development of intelligence to be able to understand what is required
4.        Social consciousness, to be able to give oneself to the community
Karen Ryce Presents...