Monday, October 20, 2008

Comstock & Hocks: Voice in the Cultural Soundscape

Comstock, M. & Hocks, M.E. (accessed 2008); Voice in the Cultural Soundscape: Sonic Literacy in Composition Studies,

Here's a quote from Comstock & Hocks that I love, "we argue further that sonic literacy changes and transforms how we view text and images. Therefore, teachers of composition need to begin developing sonic literacies just as we have with visual literacies--by starting small and encouraging our students to do the same. In the following discussion, using research in film studies, music, psychoacoustics, and audio technology as a starting point, we will focus on what our students and our own experiences with creating voice-over narratives and musical soundtracks tell us about the process and effects of sonic literacy in the composition classroom." - BINGO. Let's extend this a bit to the high school classroom. How would encouraging students to write the audio of their life benefit the writing goals of a k - 12 program? How do we bring our schools to update themselves to the 21st Century? Better yet, how do we stop horrible State assessments and exchange them with performance writing that is more in line with what students in 2008 do?

To Comstock and Hocks, "sonic literacy" is "a critical process of listening and creating embodied knowledge, of understanding our soundscapes as cultural artifacts, of achieving resonance with particular audiences, and of developing the technological literacies involved in recording, amplifying, layering, and mixing sound."

In the age of the i-pod, and the history of NPR radio, why aren't we totally going hog-wild about the potential of teaching writing for audio outlets!?

They conclude, "Adding sonic literacy to the composition curriculum does not substitute for textual or visual literacies, however; instead it relies upon and enriches them."

I wish I could read this to you so you could hear it instead.

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