Music to your Ears

Science Made Simple

How do we make sounds, record sounds and see sounds? This exciting presentation, with lots of demonstrations and audience interaction, reveals the secrets from the basics of sound to the latest in music technology. Witness the ultimate ‘hands-free’ instrument and see a musical instrument played with a blowtorch!

“I never knew that you can amplify sound using a table!” – Student

Discover what sound is, and see what it actually looks like. Find out how our ears pick up sound, and how they can be damaged by loud music. Uncover the mysteries of how CD players and MP3 players work, and have some fun with synthesised voices!

This show can be adapted by the presenter to suit a wide range of audience ages, and is suitable for family or adult presentations too. This is our longest running and most popular show!


45 or 60 minute versions available

Suggested audiences

Can be adapted for different ages. Particularly suitable for primary, secondary, and family audiences.

We will need the venue to provide

  • Power sockets
  • Projector screen
  • Two long tables
  • Rooms that can be darkened

Curriculum Links

Key Stage 2

  • Compare everyday materials and objects on the basis of their material properties
  • Describing changes that occur when materials are heated or cooled
  • Friction
  • Sounds are made when objects [for example, strings on musical instruments] vibrate but that vibrations are not always directly visible
  • How to change the pitch and loudness of sounds produced by some vibrating objects [for example, a drum skin, a plucked string]
  • Vibrations from sound sources require a medium [for example, metal, wood, glass, air] through which to travel to the ear
  • Use appropriate scientific language and terms

Key Stage 3

  • Carry out practical and investigative activities, both individually and in groups
  • Energy can be transferred usefully
  • Forces are interactions between objects and can affect their shape and motion
  • Use real-life examples as a basis for finding out about science

Key Stage 4

  • About the use of contemporary scientific and technological developments and their benefits, drawbacks and risks

Watch a sneak peak of our Music to your ears show

Try out one of the demonstrations from the show - make your own musical instrument

Expected outcomes

Key Stage 2

After watching the show Key Stage 2 pupils should:

  • Know that sound is produced by vibrations
  • Be able to describe the main parts of the ear
  • Understand that sounds can be altered by varying pitch and volume
  • Recognize that music is the result of controlled sounds
  • Know that music can be recorded, altered and reproduced.

Key Stage 3

After watching the show Key stage 3 pupils should:

  • Know that sound is produced by vibrations travelling in waves
  • Be able to describe how sounds are detected by the ear
  • Be able to use the terms amplitude and frequency in relation to sound waves
  • Know that harmonics and resonance are important in making music
  • Be able to describe the difference between digital and analogue recording

Key Stage 4

After watching the show Key stage 4 pupils should:

  • Know that sound is transmitted as a longitudinal wave.
  • Be able to describe the function of the pinna, ear canal and cochlea in hearing
  • Understand the effect of varying frequency and amplitude on sound
  • Understand the importance of resonance and harmonics in musical sounds
  • Be able to describe the harmonic series with relation to standing waves
  • Understand the need for sampling in digital recording
  • Be able to describe in simple terms how digital compression is used in audio recordings
To book this activity, please contact:
Science Made Simple

Science Made Simple
14-17 The Parade
CF24 3AA Cardiff United Kingdom

The STEM Directory is provided as a service to support you in finding enrichment opportunities. The activities are offered by external providers and are not endorsed by STEM Learning. We are not responsible for their content or delivery.


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