What Does Education Sound Like?

We often use words and pictures to describe our world and our experiences in it. But sounds can affect us profoundly, they can express things that we find hard to put on paper or into words. 

At the Rights Studio we believe that we can explore, engage with and understand our world more fully if we use all our senses. However, apart from a small group of musicians, we rarely try to describe our world and experiences by creating sounds. 

This is an invitation for you to participate in our Sound Rights project which will be an exploration of what the UN Convention of the Rights of the Child (UNCRC) might sound like.

The pilot phase we will look at article 28 from the UNCRC: the right to education. The guiding question is: “what does education sound like to you?”

While exploring rights through sound, participants can get a different perspective of their rights, develop new skills and discover the power of sound and music by engaging with people from different parts of the world.

The sounds that are created will be joined by those made by young people across the globe. Workshops are currently planned in the UK, South Africa, Nigeria, India and Brazil. All these individual sounds will be used to create a sound-work which will be launched and ‘performed’ later in 2022.

What does the right to education sound like?

You are free to respond to the question in any way you choose as long as it is sonic, and results in a recording, or a sound file. This could be a single sound, a recording of a soundscape (all the sounds you can hear in a particular place), a montage of sounds, or a short composition. You may be an experienced musician or completely new to the idea of working with sound, we want to hear from you all! The aim is not that you make a perfect soundwork, but one that represents the right to education for you.

For example, a sound could be the tap, tap, squeak of a teacher writing with a marker on a whiteboard, it could be the recording of a soundscape of a school or playtime. It could be a series of sounds recorded one after the other, or a piece of music that you have composed.

There is no fixed way to do this, you are free to do what works for you. As long as it results in a sound recording of less than two minutes, we don’t mind how you go about it!

Email us your sound at sound@rights-studio.org, or visit this page for further guidance.

Further reading

Sound Matters’ by Michele Madden for the Rights Studio Journal

– ‘The Art of Listening’, The Rights Studio Journal

– ‘The Essence of Music’, The Rights Studio Journal

Further Listening

– What Lies Beneath: Movement, Soundtrack to the magazine on Soundcloud or Spotify

Collective Vibrations, with Mel Uye-Parker, crowdsourced everyday sounds turned into live music for the Rights Studio Festival 2021

Beatrice Harrison and the nightingales (1920s), Brainpicker.