Sounds of music

Usha Raman

It’s all around us, whether we like it or not, and even when it’s not, we notice its absence, or create it in our heads. Sound is an essential backdrop to our lives. A project on sound offers so many possibilities for all subjects and so can become too vast for a teacher to control. Instead, why not concentrate on one familiar kind of sound – music – that holds within its study all the properties, concepts and illustrations that we need to learn? This project does just that. All music is sound, but only some sound is music, and that very fact leads us to all kinds of discussions about sound, music, noise, silence and speech.

Even a teacher with limited resources can handle this project satisfactorily. You don’t need an expensive science laboratory or fancy gadgets. Even if you do not have access to a CD player, never mind, your students can create enough music to fuel the project! Our outline concentrates on the scientific aspects of music and sound but there’s plenty of scope for language activities, and history and geography too. Think about it.

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