Year 4 School of Noise Workshop

Our Year 4 pupils took part in a fascinating ‘School of Noise’ workshop this week. It began with a short presentation about sound. It was full of scientific information and demonstrations and several fun facts.

The School of Noise workshop was amazing, fun and interactive!” (Kirstie)

I liked hearing about the praying mantis. It has only one ear on the centre of its chest.” (Nuriya)

I didn’t know that the loudest voice ever recorded was a teacher who shouted the word, ‘QUIET!’ (Abigail)

The first activity was the Foley sound effects activity where everyday objects were used to create sounds for movie clips. The sounds were recorded and played alongside the film clips.

“I made the noise of a seagull with leather gloves and feathers.” (Margot)

I did the sound of feet of a human walking in the woods. I had to use leaves and twigs and dunk wellies in them. “(Maya)

I was the front hooves of a horse- using coconut shells.” (Jaycee)

I made the sound of a person walking in snow with a sock filled with sand that had been covered in duct tape.” (Charlotte)

After making the sound effects, everyone tried out a range of activities.

My favourite activity was the telegraph key. I liked it because I like learning different ways to communicate and I have always wanted to try morse code.” (Lilla)

I enjoyed the theramin because I like how you have to move your hand and body to make the sound.” (Harriet)

The theramin is an oval shaped instrument with a metal pole. When you move a body part to it, it makes a note. The closer your body part is, the higher the pitch. On the other side of the theramin is a flat semi-circle which controls the volume. If you touch it and put another body part near the metal pole at the same time, no noise will come out. There is a switch which can be turned to give you a different music genre. My favourite genre was the mini blues. I liked it because it was very jazzy. “ (Ellie)

My favourite activity was the Chladni plate because when you turned the dial of the transmitter really high, it made really nice patterns on the metal plate.” (Aadyaa)

My favourite activity was the omnichord. The omnichord is an instrument that is shaped like a guitar but it has buttons to make a chord and little strings facing up at the very end, showing the types of music you can play.” (Aideen)

I also loved playing the omnichord. It makes a really minor sound and has a see-through screen that looks like it plays strings.” (Safah)

For the final activity, many sounds were created by the class and recorded, sampled and sequenced on the computer to produce an amazing rhythm that would make a perfect backing track. The sounds included clapping, mooing, whistling, stomping and clicking.

Even if you weren’t at the workshop, there are lots of sounds you could try to create and record at home. Here are some of 4J’s top tips:

  • Try popping bubble wrap and crinkling foil and snapping dry leaves and twigs to sound like a fire.
  • Put some corn flour into a sock and cover it in tape. Squeeze it together to create the effect of walking on snow.
  • Rub two bean bags together to sound like clothes brushing as people walk.