Working creatively with sound

Learning Intentions

  • We are learning to explore ways of making sounds using everyday materials.

What to look for

  • Pupils making sounds using common everyday materials
  • Pupils making loud and quiet sounds
  • Pupils making fast and slow sounds
  • Pupils beginning to choose sounds to create an effect
  • Pupils adding sound effects to nursery rhymes and stories

Learning Activities

Set up a music corner. Allow the pupils to play there and explore the sound properties of a range of everyday materials, for example:

  • containers and bottles made out of plastic and metal;
  • cardboard boxes;
  • dried peas and lentils;
  • sand;
  • plastic bags;
  • paper;
  • kitchen utensils;
  • wooden building blocks; and
  • corrugated cardboard, with sticks to scrape its surface.

Set up an outdoor music/sound area where pupils can play with and explore the sound properties of larger items, for example:

  • buckets;
  • plastic tubing;
  • brushes; and
  • sticks.

Allow some time for the pupils to investigate and discuss together how they can make different sounds with the materials available. Focus on whether these sounds are loud or quiet, and fast or slow.

Provide pictures of objects or creatures which make sounds, for example:

  • a kitten;
  • a butterfly;
  • snow; and
  • a lion.

Challenge the pupils to produce an appropriate sound for each picture.

Have them choose sounds for a particular purpose, for example:

  • a scrunched up bag – rustling leaves;
  • a drum – giant steps; or
  • fingernails scraping on a desk – mice scurrying.

Encourage them to choose a nursery rhyme or story and add sound effects, for example:

  • Humpty Dumpty as he falls off the wall; or
  • I Hear Thunder.

Explain to everyone how to play ‘Choose a sound’:

  • Place a selection of appropriate materials/items in the centre of a circle.
  • Pass a bean bag round the ring while singing a rhyme or song.
  • The pupil holding the bean bag at the end of the song comes into the centre of the circle. Suggest an appropriate sound or a type of sound; the pupil should select an object that will make that sound. Possible sounds include:
    • loud;
    • quiet;
    • leaves rustling;
    • someone running;
    • someone walking;
    • a clock ticking;
    • an elephant; and
    • a mouse.