Update of Sound-based Creativity in Schools

In the summer of 2017 researchers at DMU developed a series of 4 workshops to be used in schools for introducing pupils to sound-based creativity.

These workshops were trialled in 2 different schools in the midlands, UK with Year 5, Year 6 and Year 10 pupils. As part of these workshops pupils participated in listening training, made recordings using digital recorders and then used this material to create their own compositions on computers.

The photo below shows Year 5 and 6 pupils taking part in a gong listening exercise designed to focus the pupil’s listening.


Following this the children took part in a soundwalk, which is where a group (or a single person) walk quietly through a chosen area listening closely to the sounds around them. As part of

this the pupils were given soundwalk instruction sheets (see below) to complete. These were designed to help draw their attention to different aspects of the soundscape and to also encourage them to consider their own responses to the sounds. This listening training provided a foundation for choosing which sounds to record in the following workshop as well as deciding how to arrange those sounds in compositions in the final 2 workshops.


In the second workshop the pupils were given digital recorders to collect sounds from around their schools. This was presented as a sonic treasure hunt where the pupils decided on types of sounds they wanted to find when recording.


In the final 2 workshops the pupils used these sounds to create their own sound-based compositions on computers. They arranged sounds in sequences and often created rhythmic loops out of the sounds. They also transformed the sounds using effects such as by slowing them down or speeding them up, which changes the pitch and length of the sound. Examples of their work are given here.