Acoustics refers to how sound behaves within a closed space. If you’ve ever been to a stadium then you’ll know that the way sound behaves in a location like that will be very different to the way it behaves in a smaller, more enclosed space. Larger spaces with high ceilings tend to produce an echo and it can make hearing more difficult; if one person is trying to speak to you from one end of a huge room then you’re not going to hear them unless they shout, and if they do shout then the sound reverberation ends up distorting the words.
Of course, the way that sound does behave in an enclosed space doesn’t mean it necessarily should behave that way; it depends on the purpose of the environment. A large space can work well for something like a live music event but for educational purposes it’s completely inappropriate. How can the students hear what the teacher’s trying to say when the room is too big? It doesn’t benefit anyone to have learning spaces like this.
Learning and teaching require a lot of listening, and it’s incredible just how easily the sound quality within a room can be affected. For example, a room with lots of hard surfaces, such as a science lab, can cause reverberations that blurs sound and affects the way that speech is heard. This can go on to affect the learning process, which is entirely preventable and should be avoided as much as possible.
Room acoustics in schools are very important, because requirements vary from room to room. What are the acoustics like in the auditorium compared with a mathematics classroom? Is the music room prepared for high noise activity and the library suitably quiet? All of these things are important and must be considered when developing educational environments to ensure that the spaces are suitably conducive to learning.
The best solution to the issues of noise in school is to bring in acoustic soundproofing where appropriate. Acoustic soundproofing effectively absorbs sound and would be ideal in teaching areas that have been experiencing issues with reverberation and echo.
There are various types of soundproofing, but Lignotrend is easily one of the best for acoustic soundproofing. Easily available from soundproof stockists like Acara Concepts, Lignotrend absorption panels can be used to reduce sound and create better learning environments. Once a school has gone through the process of soundproofing walls , ceilings, floors and so on, it can begin reaping the benefits, including:
- Improved concentration for everyone involved – teacher and pupils alike!
- Improved behaviour and responsiveness to learning;
- Better retention of information;
- Reduced stress and anxiety;
We are all more sensitive to sound than we realise, and this is no more evident than within a school. Echo and reverberation can negatively impact on the learning experience in more ways than you might imagine, but soundproofing can make for a better, happier and more efficient space for learning and teaching. If you work for a school and think that the environment could be improved, look into options for room acoustics treatment today.