When Sophia Michalopoulou from Water Happy first suggested we collaborate with Javier Gonzalez from Sound in Water, my mind went to my default setting of being ‘naturally curious.’ I already knew of the many benefits of music and sound. Having experienced sound baths, feeling the vibrational well-being after-effects and seeing for myself how sound effects our classes in the water.
- The loud overwhelming sounds that can be there in noisy pools.
- The muffled background sounds that might not be at first noticed by many, but picked up by our sensory children straight away.
- The way our voices can be used in the pool to orchestrate a sense of calm.
- How songs and music can change the whole mood and tempo of the class.
Sound surrounds us, we can’t escape it, we embody sound every day of our lives.
Curiosity and ethos
I was curious to meet Javier and learn more from him, not necessarily to introduce singing bowls into the water with our babies but to learn more about the benefits and vibrational effects of sound.
My mind was buzzing with so many questions. Reflecting back, I can now see the link to my curious mind with my childhood, which has put me in good stead. I’m open to collaborations, whereas for others in our industry can appear closed. I see collaborations as a chance to grow, to ask questions, to learn more. Collaborations fit perfectly with our Aqua Sensory ethos #togetherwemakeadifference. I am a big believer that, brains that fire together, wire together to make new connections and create new findings.
I am also open to learning and open to learning more ways we can protect our babies and sensitive sensory children in the water. The ethos of Aqua Sensory is to combine dry land therapies and bring them alive into the pool. Rather than seeing something that looks good and simply adopting it fully into the water, without considered thought.
Tried, tested, tuned
We stand by our TRIED, TESTED and TUNED approach.
I am saddened by images on the net where I see some swim schools encouraging parents to dress up their babies in the pool with masks or headbands in the name of sensory or introducing big gongs under the water, without understanding all the emotional and psychological after-effects, in the name of baby sensory swimming.
We must stop and re-think the WHYs of our activities in water and relook at the Aquatic Classroom from the child’s eye. Ask yourself the question, what benefit is this activity having on them? Are they giving us their total consent?
There also needs to be sensitivity when dealing with sound in water. Javier showed us many techniques of just how much the vibrations of sound can travel through the skin, and in water, the parent is very much the shield for the vibration. Sound in water requires special caution and if introducing sound therapies in water with babies, I urge aquatic professionals to learn from sound therapists.
You may feel I am…. too outspoken? Too over-protective?
I see myself as CURIOUS and CAUTIOUS. Inquisitive and encouraged to understand more. To explore my boundaries outside and to ask appropriate and genuine questions. To have an open mind, to be present in the moment and to come from a place of love and support for our children.
Where did my curious mind come from?
Reflecting back, I was always a curious child. The one that asked all the questions ‘why’, ‘how’, and ‘when.’ I had a fascination with the world.
Everything in my world was fresh, new, and ooh so interesting! I am sure I was quite annoying to my parents in many ways, asking so many questions in every situation, but luckily they never squashed my interests and questions. They fostered my natural curiosity. And I have to say that my curiosity to question the world around me has never diminished in my adulthood.
My curiosity has put me in good stead. My frustrations have now passed. I now realise my curious personality has allowed me to grow. I don’t automatically think ‘I know everything,’ I don’t mind making mistakes and I don’t mind asking lots of questions.
For sure, I may be annoying to some people around me. I might appear a little stupid as I flurry them with questions as I seek the answers to quieten my hungry mind. I may even appear a little childlike!
But luckily people have accepted my shortcomings and it is only now that I see my inner natural curiosity as a strength and not a negative. I love to read, write and reflect every day. In fact, I allow myself to have a ‘monthly theme’ whereby I full myself up with stimulating articles, documentaries, Ted Talks, and talk and connect to ‘experts in their fields.’
My creative mind quickly translates my sensory curiosity to the water, across all my brains domains.
Circle of collaboration
When I met Javier, my default setting was to protect, respect, and go slow when introducing sound to babies in the water. I am so grateful to Sophia to have organised a sharing circle with Javier and Laura Piest, who is an early years’ aquatic educator from Spain.
Our circle allowed us to ask questions, to ponder, and reflect as we translated our findings carefully from Spanish to English. Nothing was lost in translation. It was wonderful to learn from Javier and connect with Laura, who equally shares our interest and principals for respect. Sophia set the tone and allowed the circle to flow. Her passion to convey child respect and CONSENT shined through our discussions.
Sound has an amazing way of transforming our pool spaces, which we call the Aqua Sensory Aquatic Classrooms. Here at Aqua Sensory, we write our own songs, introduce music into the pool in a sensitive way, choose our resources with considered care, and we TRY, TEST and TUNE all of our practices.
We know first-hand how much Aqua Sensory has impacted the tone and feel of our classes. Listen here to our before/after audio. Aqua Sensory has transformed the way our classes SOUND and FEEL.
We share our resources with our Tribe members, so we all can learn, share and grow together.
So, here’s to more collaborations for Aqua Sensory! Here’s to expanding our knowledge and learning more for our new world demands we support our multi-dimensional children. I am feeling the urge and the hurry, are you? In our changing world, we need to find new ways of working, new approaches to our teaching.
I am going to keep on being curious and seeing this as a positive. My brain buzzes with excitement. Releasing a rush of endorphins, when I ask questions, ‘why, what, how.’ I am going to feed my impulse to find out more, to feel and expand my social connections. To use all of my senses.
At Aqua Sensory we have a saying: “we use our senses not to simply to survive, but to thrive.” I would love to journey with you, to benefit our children of today and of tomorrow.
CURIOUS TO FIND OUT MORE ABOUT OUR SOUND WATER AND BABIES RESEARCH AND FINDINGS? Drop a comment below or email firstname.lastname@example.org and we will whizz across our Fact Sheet research and findings for you, in Spanish or English.