Working creatively with sound

Learning Intentions

  • We are learning to explore a variety of vocal and body sounds.
  • We are learning to explore a range of instrumental sounds.
  • We are learning to create sound effects to accompany our stories and rhymes.

What to look for

  • Pupils using their voices confidently
  • Pupils using their voices expressively
  • Pupils controlling their voices to perform effectively
  • Pupils selecting and using appropriate instruments
  • Pupils creating and performing short rhythmic and melodic patterns
  • Pupils using classroom instruments with some control to perform simple music
  • Pupils using gradations of volume and tempi in their music performances
  • Pupils selecting and using classroom instruments to create effect
  • Pupils combining elements of music to create musical ideas and simple structures
  • Pupils creating a recording of their own music
  • Pupils devising a visual interpretation of their music
  • Pupils representing their music in a notated form

Learning Activities

Set musical tasks that involve different uses of the voice. You could ask the pupils to compose poems, raps or chants relating to a particular theme, for example:

  • the weather;
  • litter;
  • recycling;
  • fireworks;
  • Victorians (street calls);
  • Vikings (chants); or
  • or using improvised vocal sounds and words.

Make a range of untuned and tuned instruments available.

Allow the pupils to explore, select and combine instruments to create short musical patterns, for example:

  • improvising and creating musical ‘conversations’;
  • using similar and contrasting instruments to ‘question and answer’; and
  • making echo patterns.

Encourage them to explore, select and combine a range of untuned and tuned instruments to create accompaniments. They could create short patterns to accompany singing or another music-making activity.

They should be able to show an increasing awareness of control over a range of sounds, for example:

  • dynamics (loud/quiet);
  • tempo (fast/slow);
  • duration (long sound/short sound/silence); and
  • pitch (high/low).

Have the pupils explore, select and combine a range of untuned and tuned instruments to create contrasting moods and atmospheres, for example:

  • a stormy sea:
    • crashing or rolling cymbals for the sea;
    • tuned instruments to create melodic patterns; and
    • various ‘blown’ instruments to represent the wind.
  • planets:
    • metallic instruments for a cold, harsh atmosphere;
    • high-pitched instruments for stars;
    • slow two-note patterns on chime bars and triangles;
    • Indian bells making long sounds to depict a burning sun; and
    • a melody to represent a rocket.
  • a Viking raid:
    • a mixture of wooden instruments playing repeated rhythmic patterns to represent the sound of the approaching Viking ship; and
    • drums and cymbals to depict a sense of growing tension.

Help the pupils to develop their ideas into a simple structure, for example:

  • a beginning, a middle and an ending, e.g. a Viking raid including:
    • the arrival of the Vikings;
    • the actual raid; and
    • the celebratory return home.
  • using repetition, including a theme and variations, e.g. making different versions of a well-known song:
    • changing the tempo or rhythm; or
    • adding another part.
  • with a recurring idea (rondo), e.g. create a ‘Pictures at an Exhibition’ piece; the recurring tune represents a person walking from one musical picture to another; or
  • use the Haiku poetry form as a basis for composition.

Provide an opportunity for the pupils to record their compositions and/or performances, for example:

  • on tape;
  • on CD;
  • on DVD; or
  • using other multimedia devices.

Ask them to create a pictorial score of their work, for example:

  • a graphic score; or
  • a grid.

Have them use a form of notation to record their music, for example:

  • standard musical notation;
  • letter-names; or
  • graphic notation.