Working creatively with sound

Learning Intentions

  • We are learning to explore sounds made by simple percussion instruments.

What to look for

  • Pupils making sounds using simple percussion instruments, for example tapping, shaking and scraping
  • Pupils handling instruments correctly and carefully
  • Pupils making loud and quiet sounds
  • Pupils making fast and slow sounds
  • Pupils beginning to choose sounds to create effect
  • Pupils making sounds in response to given stimuli

Learning Activities

Focus circle time on helping the pupils to explore ways of handling instruments and making sounds, for example:

  • ‘Pass the instrument’ around the circle; have the pupils produce a sound using the instrument, while saying:
    • their name;
    • their favourite colour; or
    • their favourite animal;
  • ‘Pass the beanbag’ (or a small cuddly toy) around the circle while everyone sings a well-known rhyme. At the end of the song, invite the pupil holding the beanbag to select an instrument from the centre of the circle. Ask him/her to find and play an instrument that they can:
    • tap, scrape or shake;
    • play quietly or loudly; or
    • use to make a sound that reminds them of, for example, running, tiptoeing, an elephant trudging through the jungle or fish swimming.
  • Hold up pictures as stimuli and invite the pupils to suggest corresponding sounds.

Use instruments to explore together and elicit sounds to accompany stories, songs and rhymes, for example:

  • Three Little Pigs:building houses, e.g.
    • straw – maracas;
    • sticks – claves/coconut shells;
    • bricks – tambour; and
    • wolf – drum;
  • Mix a Pancake: making the pancake, e.g.
    • mixing – bells;
    • stirring – scraping tambour skin;
    • sizzling – maracas;
    • tossing – cymbal; and
    • catching – drum;
  • I Hear Thunder: listening to the rain, e.g.
    • raindrops – fingers on tambour;
    • another simple story or poem on CD to which children can add appropriate sound effects.