Soundscape: Recess at Chaparral Elementary School, Oct. 9, 2014 just before 10:00 A.M.

During recess

End of recess


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Location and timeThe primary-grades playground of Chaparral Elementary School during first recess.  The recorder (a TASCAM DR-40) was on the eastern edge of the playground.

About the Soundscape.
Kids are talking, yelling, and screaming.  There is the sound of tetherball chains rattling. We hear balls bouncing off the handball wall or the ground, and the soft thuds of rubber balls hitting black top. There is rhythmic bouncing of balls from the handball wall to the ground. There is also the sound of kids kicking the soccer ball. Ropes and shoes quietly click and shuffle as kids jump rope.

When the bell [actually a loud electronic tone] rings at the end of recess, everyone squats down until a whistle says to get up and go inside.  It gets quieter after the bell rings and louder after the whistle. Some indications that this is an elementary-school playground include the high-pitched voices of kids, the sounds of playground games such as tetherball, and the sound of the bell.

—By the students in Mrs. Andrade’s 3rd-grade class