The following are testimonials from participants of the HomeSounds project. They cover the project's lifespan, include all ages and roles, and a range of activities including sound-walks, environmental listening sessions, creative listening sessions, microphone building and installation, staff training events and after-school clubs.
"I love listening to the sounds going on in the woods and the birds and stuff, there’s a whole other world out there. All the sounds are fascinating; and I like spending the time with my friends”.
"It is interesting, the sounds - the nature sounds; sometimes I hear nature sounds at home too".
"I could listen to people before, but I can do it for a lot longer now."
"I enjoyed this trip. I learnt to pay attention to the sounds we were recording. Usually I wouldn't pay attention."
“I found the training from our youth work team away day useful. Martin spoke about the equipment, helping us understand how it works. He shared with us some recordings from a sound walk, and gave an example of how engaged one particular young person was, who in other settings would have found being focused more challenging. Sound walks also link in well with some of ‘Five Ways to Wellbeing’, such as taking notice, which was particularly useful as this is something we speak about a lot with young people as part of looking after their own emotional wellbeing."
"It's a small group, its fun - the editing and youtube I've learned to do (it takes ages!). I've also leaned that birds
are a nightmare to identify!"
"I didn't understand how microphones work, but now I do."
“Homesounds is a great way for young people to use their listening skills, to really pay attention to the sounds around them that often they have missed in the hustle and bustle of everyday life. During a Homesounds walk around Strumpshaw Fen in the summer, I witnessed young people who are normally loud and excitable, walk around in silence, holding their recording equipment to capture the sounds of a swan cleaning itself, leaves moving, insects fluttering and various other natural sounds. They communicated to each other through facial expressions and hand gestures so not to interrupt each other’s recording, showing respect for one another and the task, but also demonstrating that they could communicate in non-verbal ways. The group then joined together at the end to play back the recordings, trying to guess what the sound belonged to, with the swan causing lots of giggles.”
"...more aware of sound and opened up my hearing...I felt relaxed and happy...It felt like my ears had been opened in a good way."
"It was very fascinating listening to the bird’s chirping. I have learnt that nature is very important...you have to be quiet.”
"Having the opportunity to invite Broadland YAB Young Commissioners to this experience has been truly wonderful. It was so nice for me to see many young people keen to engage with sound/wildlife and being outdoors. The initial learning of the sound recording equipment was both exciting and educational, I enjoyed it too. And finally, the lovely walk, exploring Wheatfen was thoroughly enjoyed by all. It has reminded me as a practitioner, the value of being outdoors, being mindful and appreciating nature."
"I enjoyed when we went through the woods and the sun was down. I learnt that I should start taking more time to listen to the sounds around me. I felt that it was very relaxing for me and calmed me."
"I learnt that being silent is good."
"I’ve tuned in so many times (to the Titchwell Live-Stream) to escape to the sounds of the reedbeds and the sea. I’d like to keep doing that. Please return!"
"I go to sleep at night listening (to the live-stream microphone at Titchwell Marsh) and get woken in the night by loud owls, or at dawn by warblers and chattering geese. I'm going to miss it."
"It was very relaxing and calming. I loved when we recorded a duck quack."
"The microphone has enabled us to place Titchwell Marsh in people’s living rooms during the period of lockdown. We have recorded species when we were unable to visit the reserve. We've reached out to a new audience who are inspired more by the sounds of nature, birdlife and North Norfolk. The partnership and your conduct was always very professional and courteous."
"(The microphone) added incredible value to us in that period when we couldn't get out to the reserve (Titchwell Marsh)."
"I learnt how/what noises sound like under water and I felt very relaxed throughout the walk and I was exposed to new noises around me which was very enjoyable."
"The first part - walking silently without the tech - was really hard but almost acted like a detox for my mind."
"I'll be sad to lose the (Titchwell) mic. It's been wonderful."
"I'm really going to miss the (Titchwell) mic. It's been wonderful, especially during lockdown."
Thankyou for the (Titchwell) mic. It was so nice to hear the birds instead of seeing them over lockdown...it was good for everyone's mental well-being."
The experience was really intriguing, calming and enjoyable. It made me respect the environment and wildlife we experienced even more."
"It was a brilliant experience and I would love to do it again."
"It was brilliant and really opened my eyes, and ears, to the sounds of nature. I loved the experience and it felt amazing to be surrounded by wildlife."