Sound, Gr. 3-4

Sound is all around us most of the time. It is produced whenever something vibrates. 


Bash the Trash has directions for making musical instruments and playing them. The Musical Craft Projects page has ideas for some musical instruments students can make. Whenever you make or use a musical instrument, try to figure out how it works. What vibrates? If it can make different pitches, what changes to make the pitch change? The Virtual Museum of Music Inventions has pictures and directions of instruments made by students, along with other sound resources. What's more, you can send in your own invented instrument! See below for more information on how to make your own!

The Method Behind the Music has good pages on music including how instruments work including brassstringed instruments and percussion

Earthsounds/Our Songs has some neat sound resources.

Dr. Woodson is a music educator who has researched children's instruments in various cultures. A common theme among these instruments is that they are simple to make and the relationship between the device and how it produces sound is easy to figure out. Click on the ESP page An Interesting Instrument for instructions for a composite instrument he shared in a workshop at an NSTA conference several years ago.

Dr. Woodson also had an ingenious method for students to compose music which can easily be read by classmates. He uses a symbol to represent each of the instrument sounds. To read, make the instrument sound briefly each time its symbol appears. 

Dr. Woodson's instruments and composition techniques remind teachers that an interdisciplinary approach to science can be very fruitful. When working on Sound, check with a music teacher or other musician for more ideas.

What is soundproofing? Is there sound proofing anywhere in your home or school? How does it work? Is there somewhere you wish there was more soundproofing?

The New York Philharmonic Kidzone offers opportunities to explore instruments, build your own instruments and compose music, great extensions for the ESP Sound unit.

Some people work with sound as a career. Visit the website of the Acoustical Society of America to find out about careers in this field.

If you watch a thunderstorm to observe how sound travels slower than light, visit our page on Thunder and Lightning for safety tips and more.

Also, be sure to check out ESP's An Interesting Instrument page.

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