Developing scientific methodologies to evaluate audio works for babies, toddlers and vulnerable groups

Evaluation of audio artistic works for babies, toddlers and vulnerable groups is still underdeveloped and scarce. In order to create space for interdisciplinary research of artists and scientists to create programs and audio works for babies, toddlers and vulnerable groups we are developing different methodologies for evaluation.

We evaluate how sound and music address babies, toddlers and adults who care for them, and what are the basic prerequisites of listening materials that is helpful and meaningful for the child. Special focus is paid on creating evaluation strategies for monitoring the sound-art production developed for hospitalised children, deaf and hard-of-hearing children and children with severe physical disabilities.

Evaluation methodology is based on observation research, expert groups insights, interviews with teachers and parent's observation. On the basis of our observations the action research is conducted by artists' and scientists' joint creative processes. In this interdisciplinary work of artists, psychologists, teachers and parents, the observation protocols, interview questions, and criteria for the interpretation of behavior, play and drawing of babies, toddlers and vulnerable groups are made.
One of the main scope of our evaluation is also understanding the effect of joint listening of babies and their caregivers. The analysis of audio works that helps caregivers to better connect with their babies and toddlers and to build secure and attuned relationship is conducted.
A special part of evaluation is devoted to making audio art with children as performers in radiophonic theatre plays. The methodology used for this purpose is game-based research, as well as focus groups with the adult creators and performers of the radiophonic theatrical plays. Through this research, the question about audience and community development arose as crucial in times of crisis.

Our main goal is to develop guiding principles of high quality artistic creation that will address the vulnerability and potential of babies, toddlers, vulnerable groups and their relationship with caregivers. The evaluative process of creation is thus immersed in collaboration of artists, psychologist, teachers and parents to explore and work together in order to support mutual development and enrichment. From such a collaboration integrated guidelines will be created to promote relational audio artistic production.