As an introduction to teaching music to children, this sound classroom activity helps you easily teach children the links between instruments and making sounds. It will train their ears to recognize sounds within music and improve children’s ability to focus and listen.
Aim to collect a large range of musical instruments that can be scraped or shaken such as tambourines, bells, maracas, wooden fish-shaped guiro, and so on.
Show the musical instruments to the children so they can listen to the different sounds they can make. Pass the instruments throughout the classroom and let each child have a go with getting different sounds from each instrument.
Tell the kids what the instruments are called and ensure they remember each instrument’s name as they will be asked to say their names in this sound learning activity.
Choose two kids from the class to come to the front be blindfolded.
While the rest of the class watches silently, start making sounds with one of the instruments by scraping or shaking it, and the blindfolded students must guess which instruments they can hear. They should try to recall and state the name of the instrument and, for an extra point, guess the movement that is being applied to the instrument.
Invite two other children to come up and play the sound game and try to guess the instruments and movements. If necessary, less able children can use pictures of the instruments to guess. With their backs turned to the players, they can point to the correct picture when it is played.
After the activity part of this audio exercise, encourage students to have a discussion about whether it was difficult or easy to guess the instrument and movement. Can they think about different ways sounds can be made with the instruments?
The children will quickly become excellent at listening and telling the difference between the different sounds. It’s your job to push them and increase the number of instruments they have to guess. This will encourage them to really listen carefully and to listen for longer periods.
You can also ask more able children to take a more active role by helping you to play more than one instrument at the same time to those who are blindfolded.
Above all, have fun improving your students’ musical skills with an understanding of key sounds and methods of creating different sounds from different instruments.