I was a retired teacher before the role of visual, auditory and kinaesthetic learning became the trend. Unsurprisingly, I’m not a kinaesthetic learner, but I am disappointed not to be a visual learner. There are works of art and photographs that I find moving and inspiring, but perhaps there is more to learning than an emotional response. I don’t remember when I discovered On the Map 1937 by Sir William Coldstream but wherever it was, I bought the poster. The smudgy colours are soft and soothing. The two characters are on a journey, yet there is nothing of any significance on the horizon. One is seated, looking towards the destination, but seems to have given up on ever reaching it. The other, stoical, has the map, and is looking, searching, hoping but knows he will have to convince his travelling companion to walk any further. It’s beautiful, troubled and yet serene.
So, I’m an auditory learner, apparently, which probably explains why I prefer reading out loud, to the solitary practice of silent, in your head, lips not moving, reading. I love music, songs and lyrics; I notice accents and unfamiliar phrases used in conversation; I sing; and I hone in on those sounds that lift the spirit: the laughter of children in the playground, birdsong, clapping, cricket, waves and horses galloping. When I first moved to Otterspool, seventeen years ago, a friend said I would be able to see the white horses. I thought, regardless of their colour, they would make a fabulous sound as they galloped along the prom. ‘Great!’ I realised later, foolishly, that she was referring to the waves breaking the surface of the River Mersey. Fortunately, they too have their sound.