Let’s Play with Sound: Improvise!

Let’s Play with Sound- Improvise!

Do you ever let the children improvise sounds?

What do I mean by this? Making sounds up as you go whether that be on an instrument or using the voice.

Instrument play with claves


On the run-up to Easter, in my classes, we singing hot cross buns whilst playing claves but I also give the children the opportunity to experiment with creating patterns on claves too.  I start them off by creating a repeated pattern; they can copy me if they wish or they can create their own.   I also encourage them to watch and copy each others' patterns.  It is great to listen to and watch.  The children really enjoy it and actually, some of the children who are sometimes reluctant to join in are happy to explore patterns and sound.  

I am able to do this activity on this instrument as the children have explored it previously and they understand how to play it safely.  When introducing a new instrument like a clave I use the song Play and Play stop....  It is on Early Years Music Ideas as shake and shake; you can substitute shake for play.

This idea could be done on other instruments too: drums, shakers!  If you have at least five or six of an instrument you could do this as a small group activity.  If you have enough for the whole group then this works really well; I have done it with 20 children.

Vocal play

This can be done through various songs and rhymes.  Here are some that I use and how I explore sound:

Five little men: the children create different vocal sounds when the little man flies off, not just woosh!

The witch says: is great for playing with onomatopoeia sounds.

On my foot there is a bee: the children can make the buzzing sound go up and down in pitch as the bee flies around.  This song is available as a free download with the activity plan, MP3 of me singing the song and help video to show you the actions.  Fill in your details below to sign up.  By signing up you will also receive my weekly newsletter and occasional offers!

There are many songs that you can add some vocal play to.  Songs with onomatopoeias are great or those which have an action: get the children to play with the sound going up/down or louder or quieter on these.

Happy music making!



There are no comments yet. Be the first one to leave a comment!

Leave a comment