Science of Sound


Science of Sound workshops can be incorporated within the Science curriculum to explore the relationship between science and sound using drums and percussion instruments from around the world.  From African hand drums, Latin American congas and bongos to Brazilian samba drums, each instrument group has its own unique quality of sound and timbre:


*          African – resonant hand drums using djembes and djun-djuns from Ghana

*          Latin American – recreating the Cuban sound with congas, bongos and maracas

*          Samba – powerful Brazilian rhythms using surdos, agogo bells and ganzas

 (NB. many more instruments are used in the workshop than are listed above)


Within each workshop, I explain how the instruments are made and give a brief demonstration as to how they should be played.  Then as a group, and with each pupil playing a different type of drum or percussion instrument, we experiment with rhythms to produce a diverse and contrasting texture of sound.


I use Boomwhackers to examine the scientific properties of pitch and how tuned pipes can be rhythmically and musically played within a group.  I also demonstrate how friction can be used to produce sound from an instrument using a cuica, tambourine and a wine glass!

"Surdo Drum Aluminium - 20" x 24"" 

2006111500 Sound-Wave-Banner


These workshops are ideal for Key Stage 2 children (aged 7-11 years).  A typical timetable for classes of up to 40 pupils would be:


Year 3

9:15 – 10:15



Year 4

10:30 – 11:30



Year 5

1:15 – 2:15

Year 6

2:15 – 3:15


Due the number of instruments used, Science of Sound workshops should be located in a large hall and be of one hour’s duration.


Please click here for an instrument chart.