- Education and Science
Auditory Sensory Walk for Adults - Learn to Hear Nature and Life
Auditory sensory walk to enjoy nature
What is an auditory sensory walk?
An auditory sensory walk is a pleasant and relaxed walk in nature, while focusing on the auditory (hearing) input. It is easier said than done! A lot of people listen to the sounds of tires, engines, computer fans, air conditioning and creaky chairs for days. This walk lets you appreciate natural sounds, and is really enjoyable.
I was surprised when I first tried this walk, because it is pretty amazing. I spend a lot of time in headphones, listening to music, but music simply does not compare to the full spectrum of sounds of nature!
An auditory walk only takes a few minutes of quiet practice and may accompany or follow a visual sensory walk
Sound all around
Auditory walk experience
Sound is perceived in 360degrees, and an auditory experience can be while sitting still or walking.
- Notice birdsong and bird chatter
- Notice man-made sounds - cars and trucks in the distance
- Hear the sounds that your footsteps and your clothes make
Enjoy the sounds and make sounds your dominant sense for the moment. We perceive so much through sight, put this aside and focus on your hearing. Try to name the sounds.
Next, start to differentiate between natural and man made sounds. The following is a list of sounds that I experienced in just 3 minutes of standing still!
- Notice unintelligible speech in the distance
- Hum ofAirplanes flying overhead
- Roar of engines
- Squeeching tires
- Buzzing of bees
- Leaves rustling
- Grass rustling
- Birdsong -focus on this and this breaks into multiple birds and different conversations
- Soft thuds of Dropping leaves, seeds and tiny branches in the forest
- Slow creaking of tree branches
- A man chopping wood in a distance
- Bangs as car wheels hit potholes in a distance
- Wind rushing against car windshields
- Rhythmic swaying of tree tops
Next, start to count sounds and notice how many sounds you can experience at once. Do not think about this, and just use your fingers on one hand for natural sounds and man made sounds on the other hand. These sounds take another 3 minutes.
- More airplanes - large jets high up versus small propeller planes at low altitudes
- Explosions of motorcycle mufflers
- Air bubbles bursting at a pond
- More bird song and conversations – close by and in the distances
- A squeaking of nearby bird baby
- Turtles swimming in a nearby pond, causing quiet splashes
- A dragonfly buzzing above the pond
- More airplanes humming roaring overhead
- 5 different bird conversations
- Bird song
- The direction of cars driving by
- A man chopping wood and its direction
- A bird catching a fish in the neary pond, a splash, as bird's wings touch the water surface
- Rustling in the grass and leaves, as a small animal moves through
An auditory walk is amazing, because we tune out so many sounds! Try it!
An auditory walk preparation
Walking in nature is a pleasant experience. Ensure you have no distractions with you:
- Hide your valuables in your car and avoid bringing them with you
- Put your cell phone on silent for a while
- Walk at a slow deliberate pace
- Put thoughts of direction and your final destination out of your mind
- Focus your attention on the sounds around you