DENVER — The next time you hear a friend complain about the noise at a music class, you might want to consider the fact that the sound isn’t coming from their ears.
“I don’t know how they can get through that noise and still be enjoying music,” said student Amanda Storrs.
In recent years, more than a dozen Colorado schools have started offering classes in “sound amplification” or “sounds” to help teachers teach students how to listen better to music.
The classes offer students an opportunity to listen to music through headphones or earbuds.
It’s a move that some parents and teachers say helps their children feel more connected to their music.
“It’s a way for them to connect to music and listen to it, and feel a connection to it,” said Laura Osterholm, who has two kids at Colorado School for the Deaf in Boulder.
“It helps them listen to other things that they can’t hear or feel in their own homes.”
The Colorado school, which has been offering sound amplification classes for nearly two years, has students listening to more than 20 music styles and genres.
Osterholm and her husband, Bob, started offering sound-enhancing classes when they moved to the Colorado Springs area.
They were surprised by how many parents wanted their children to learn how to use headphones and earbud technology.
“They were really excited about it,” Bob Osterholms said.
“We have a big family here and we had some parents who were concerned about it.
They weren’t happy.
They said it was too invasive and they were worried about their kids hearing other people’s music.”
Sound-enhanced classes also help teachers make sure they have appropriate equipment for the task.
“The kids are really excited.
They like to hear music,” Bob said.
“They are really interested in hearing it.”
In addition to the classroom sound amplification, OsterHolms said the program has given her and Bob the chance to listen and talk about music in a new way.
“One of the great things about it is that we can talk about it with the students, which is really important for them,” she said.
Bob Ostermills is still trying to find a sound-alike for his children.
They are using headphones, but not through earbuns.
Ottoholms hopes to have her students use their own headphones for class.