In order to facilitate sports teacher Emma’s working day, her school thought outside the box. They allowed Roger SoundField to be installed in the school sports hall. This way the sound system will amplify her voice to improve listening conditions for students. When asked whether Emma notices any difference in her students’ behavior, she replied that the students are more focused.
Emma said the students always hear her clearly, which leads to them being quieter. Because of SoundField, the noise level is reduced. Despite the buzz in the background, the students can always hear her and she can retain their focus.
“My voice is heard more, despite the fact that the strain on my own voice has been greatly reduced,” Emma said. “The most important difference is that I can speak in a quieter voice and still make myself heard in a simple way. It creates a better atmosphere and the students themselves keep to a lower sound level. I stopped wearing earplugs in lessons when we started using SoundField. I no longer need them!”
Emma always uses SoundField in assembly or when she needs to give the students instructions. She often wears the microphone throughout the lesson and turns it off when she doesn’t need to say anything to the students. She sometimes take it off when Ishe’sm doing something active or if she needs to demonstrate an exercise.
“I then notice straightaway what a little voice I really have,” she said. “No one can hear me anymore! That’s why I try to use it as much as possible,” she said with a laugh.
The students recently cooked blueberry soup on a camping stove and then discussed in groups what safety considerations should be kept in mind. When the groups reported on this, they used the microphone and passed it around. Emma noticed that the students felt more secure with the microphones. “A lot of children and young people have very quiet, thin voices,” she explained. “But by using the microphone, they can talk in their natural voices because they are still always clearly heard by the others.”
If Emma asks a question, everyone wants to have the microphone when they answer. In fact, it also encourages those who otherwise wouldn’t want to speak up in front of the entire group.
Emma said that she has noticed a major difference in her voice. Before the system was installed, she felt very tired after the end of the working day. Her voice was worn out. The sound system helps her to reach students during the lesson without having to strain her voice. One benefit of using the sound system is that, in addition to clearer speech, the working environment is also better. The surround sound and buzz in the gymnasium has been reduced thanks to SoundField. Emma therefore experiences less mental fatigue and is less sensitive to sound when she goes home after a day at work.
“I wish I could take my system outside because I still have a problem being heard during sports lessons outdoors,” she said. “Without a loudspeaker system and walls and in a larger space, my voice disappears. A portable version of SoundField would be a fantastic addition,” she suggested with a laugh.
Cruz, A. D. da, Silvério, K. C. A., Ribeiro, V. V. & Jacob, R. T. de S. (2016). Dynamic soundfield system impact on the teacher’s voice: case report. Revista CEFAC, 18(5), 1260–1270.
Read the original in Swedish