Expressive Arts and Culture (31/01/2019)

Within our input this week we were working in the music studio with a variety of different musical instruments discussing graphic soundscapes and how they are a good way to begin introducing music to primary aged children. This gave us the ability to broaden our knowledge on how to teach music and lesson ideas in which we could do this that were creative and also gave children freedom to create their own pieces of music.

I had never seen or heard of a graphic soundscape prior to this session so I found this a very useful idea and was keen to take part in the learning surrounding this. A soundscape is when a particular instrument or sound is related to an icon or picture which altogether makes up a key. Each icon displayed in each column are all played together when instructed to. This is useful when creating an atmosphere using sound. As a class we began to create a soundscape for fireworks night. We included the sounds; music, bang, talking, eating, generator, whistle, countdown, sizzle and crackle. This was a good starting theme to base our ideas upon as there are a wide variety of sounds that can be heard at a fireworks display. Another reason that this was a good starting theme was that many children will have experienced this before or can imagine the wide range of sounds that may be heard there, this would allow all children to take part in this task. We were all then given a sound and we had to choose a suitable instrument or way to produce a sound that would relate to the one given to each pair. We then performed it as a class. Below is the soundscape that we had created as a class.

We were then split into smaller groups to create our own soundscape which we would later perform to the class. We had to begin with choosing a theme, we decided to base ours upon the Rainforest. We then had to list the different sounds may be heard there and create icons or pictures that would relate to the instrument. We then performed this in front of the class, below is our soundscape that we had created.

I believe this is a useful activity to incorporate into teaching music to children as it is easy to follow and creates a strong basic understanding of instruments, timings and how to follow simple pieces of music. It is also very useful for children to explore a variety of different instruments, what they sound like or how they can be played. This soundscape idea could also be incorporated into an art lesson as the depiction of the images is something that children could be given the opportunity to become creative with. It may also become cross curricular as children can incorporate digital technology within this as they may have to use the internet or recording tools to create these individual sounds that can then be pieced together. One experience and outcome that could be connected with this lesson may be “inspired by a range of stimuli and working on my own and/or with others, I can express and communicate my ideas, thoughts and feelings through musical activities. EXA 0-18a / EXA 1-18a / EXA 2-18a”.


Education Scotland (2004) – Curriculum for Excellence; Experiences and Outcomes [Online] [Accessed: 12 February 2019]


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