Mindful Listening

Johnnyrandom Bespoken

PHOTO: Johnnyrandom

The five senses are sight, touch, smell, taste and hearing. A person is mindful when they focus one or more senses on a single thought, emotion, flavor, texture, color or sound. Johnnyrandom is an artist and a mindful listener. He pays close attention to the sounds everyday things make. The sounds interest him so much that he records them with microphones, then creates songs.

Johnnyrandom Bicycle Sounds

PHOTO: Johnnyrandom

Bespoken is the name of a song Johnnyrandom created without piano, drums, guitars, or voice. Every single sound was made by a bicycle. Close your eyes and listen mindfully:


1. What is the main idea of this article?

2. How can a person be more mindful?

3. What does focus mean? Click here for a kids’ online dictionary. Use the word in a sentence with an adverb.

4. Are other animals more mindful than humans? Explain.

5. How is Johnyrandom’s music different from music you enjoy?

6. How is his music similar to what you listen to?

7. If you could create a song with sounds made by a common object like a bicycle, what would it be? Describe what it would sound like. How would you make the sounds?

8. Use the following sentence frame to describe Johnnyrandom: I think Johnnyrandom is (adjective)because…

9. How are you and Johnnyrandom alike (compare)?

10. How are you and Johnnyrandom different (contrast)?

11. How can being mindful make life better?

12. If you could interview Johnnyrandom, what questions would you ask?


E     X     T     E     N     D     .     .     .     .

1. Close your eyes and listen mindfully to the song. Make tally marks on a sheet of paper each time you hear a new sound. Listen mindfully once more. Analyze the sounds and write down as many adjectives as you can that describe them. Use a thesaurus to discover the perfect word for each sound. Click here for an online thesaurus.

2. Do sounds have color? Can they form shapes? Create a drawing or painting that illustrates the sounds and adjectives from the question above. When finished, click here for a video that shows what sound waves actually look like.

3. A soundscape is a group of sounds that come together to form a setting you can hear. Explore the links to blog posts with sound recordings below. Close you eyes and listen mindfully. Create drawings, paintings or sculptures that illustrate the soundscapes of the recordings.

Under the Pier

From the Porch

On Lake Chapman

Valparaiso Funicular

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