Sound + Dyslexia

A project working with young people with dyslexia.

A pilot project working with 6/8 students with a diagnosis of dyslexia within Year 8 at Lady Manners School, Bakewell. The project was designed to explore dyslexia, creativity and learning through an artistic process. Students were tasked to create a sound installation using recorded sound and spoken words. Dyslexia + Difference was funded and supported by D-LAB

A six week research project at the Level Centre, working with students with a diagnosis of dyslexia within Year 8 at Lady Manners School, Bakewell.

SOUND + DYSLEXIA was a both a research project, examining how a creative and multi modal process may influence learning with dyslexic students and an opportunity to introduce creative aspects of dyslexia and encourage pupils to explore the notion of difference as a positive.

To achieve this we worked collectively to produce and create a new digital sound installation, using the process to explore sound as sense, sequencing sound and information, the science of sound and personal manifestations of dyslexia. This included:

  • Exploring a collective and individual perception of sound.
  • Developing a good understanding of the underlying scientific principles of sound (covering all Key Stage 3 learning requirements). This included vibration, propagation, measuring and visualisation of sound (Frequency & Amplitude), propagation through various mediums, human hearing and sound as a sense.
  • Exploring our collective understanding of dyslexia.
  • Exploring how dyslexia can manifest itself in both positive and negative terms
  • Exploring systems for managing some aspects of dyslexia
  • Examining examples of people who have embraced its creative potential.

The final audio installation was to mix written and spoken words generated through a workshop process together with recorded environmental sound and generated sound.

Each session was carefully structured to supply information about an aspect of sound and dyslexia and also provide time dedicated to the creation process for the final sound installation. Tasks were a mix of spoken information, practical demonstrations and hands on activity. Emphasis was placed upon repeating information using variance in both methodology and media. For example we would talk about sound as waves, listen to some sound represented by images of sound waves, look at drawings of sound waves, make our own visual representations of sound waves, look at sound using an oscilloscope and watch a video of sound propagation taken using schlieren image capture (Invented by the German physicist August Toepler in 1864 to study supersonic motion). Each example would not be presented in sequence, but interspersed with other information so that we could return to the subject using another medium to reiterate information and explore the topic further. It was hoped that this use of multi model structure (varience in visual, aural and spacial data) would provide more time and alternative pathways for students to process and retain information.


All information was presented in this manner with each session taking place within an informal ‘small group; environment. The mix of practical, visual and aural information was also accompanied by group discussion and games using sound, rhythm and visual stimulation. These games (once learned) were led by the students as a result they were required to act as leaders and deliver information to the group in a relaxed, informal setting.


Sound + Dyslexia Project Installation


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