Qtorial: The Science of Sound!

by Abby @ Quaver on September 20, 2011

in In the Quaver Classroom!,Qtorials,QuaverMusic.com

Today we bring your our second Qtorial – a weekly series of lesson & activity ideas from Quaver’s Marvelous World of Music!

Each week’s Qtorial will give you a peak at the way Quaver’s on and offline resources can come to life in your music lessons. Feel free to take these ideas and run with them! This week – let’s bring a little science into the mix!

Qtorial 2: “My Goat Ate My Socks” – A Science Project

Missing socks?

Set up: This is a smaller style project stretching over a few weeks and could be a cross-curriculum study involving the science department.

Aims: To create sound effects/soundscapes for a short three-line story and during the process to understand more about the science of sound.



Task 1: Use of Science in Music. Watch from Unit 1 Episode 6 “Pitch” and from Unit 2 Episodes 3  “The Percussion Family” and 6 “Vocals.” Episode 6 introduces students to waveforms and how sound is really invisible waves.

Task 2: Competing in the Global Economy. Listen to Episode 1 tracks 1, 2 and 10 since all of these tracks were created on a keyboard. How? Sound can be electronically created on computers and synthesizers. If students want to write music for a job anywhere in the world they will HAVE to know the basics of synths and sound production. (Probably about 75% of all the music they hear is created in this manner and much more in the future.)

Task 3: Relating to Others. Tell the students this story.

Line 1: A man hears a strange noise in his dark basement.

Line 2: He walks down the creaky stairs

Line 3: He finds to his relief that it is his pet goat Mildred eating his socks

*Discuss the story, the feelings that the man might have, and the sounds he might hear.

Task 4: High-Level Math & Science Achievement. Using QSynth™ explore and show students how to create unique sounds by changing the reverb, attack, phasing, decay and waveform in this “creative.” Show students how to save their unique sounds.

Task 5: Working Together Cooperatively/Group Problem Solving/Creative Thinking Skills. Split the class into groups of 2 or 3 and have them create 3 unique synthesized sound melodies for the three different lines of the story. This is done by exporting their QSynth™ sound into QComposer™ and writing a melody on the staff in QComposer™.

Task 6: Working Together Cooperatively/Group Problem Solving/Creative Thinking Skills. Have students make those sounds into melodies (melody lines).  Watch Episode Unit 2 Ep. 3 “The Percussion Family,” and see how percussion is also used for SFX (sound effects). Add percussion SFX to your melodies live in the classroom over the top of your synthesized sounds.

Task 7: Working Together Cooperatively/Presentation. Have a performance lesson where different groups perform their SFX music to the reading of the story.

Have fun and let us know how your students enjoy exploring the Science of Sound!

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