Session 12: Interpreting the sound drawings through Keezy

In this session we decided to combine John’s drawings from a previous session and the Keezy app. John selected eight drawings and we matched them to a colour on the Keezy sound board. The pupils had to record their own sound for each drawing in that tile using a variety of instruments or sound.

Pupil discussion 

Pupils at the end of the session discussed their thoughts with John on a selection of drawings that he had created.

Kevin and Curtis discuss their thoughts on this drawing with John.


Kevin and Curtis discuss their thoughts with John on this image.

Kevin felt that the drawing was made up of a variety of sounds. That each part could  have a different sound to it.

This drawing prompted a lot of discussion. Rhys and Curtis thought that this drawing could be a plant breaking out of the ground, whereas Kevin felt that the drawing looked like a splash.

Kevin and Rhys felt that this image represented the wind. They were both able to create different sounds for the image.

John signing off for another week!

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Session 10: An introduction to Keezy

Today in class, John introduced us to a sound recording app called Keezy.

John teaching the children how to use Keezy.

“Keezy is a musical instrument for toddlers, professional musicians, and everyone in between! You get 8 colored tiles. You can record a sound into each one. After recording, tap the tile to play it back, or press & hold to loop. Once you’ve got it down, record a jam to share with your friends!”

The Keezy app board 

John recording notes from a xylophone using Keezy

John set us the task of using our tin whistles to record different notes on each tile of the Keezy app.

Rhys recording his tin whistle.

Rhys composing a piece of music using his recorded notes.

Sean-Michael discussing his work with John

Sean-Michael playing his composition for John.

Finn using his recorded notes to play ‘Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star for the group.

Erin playing the notes she recorded for John.

We all had great fun and we’re looking forward to using Keezy more in our next sessions!

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Session 9: Sound drawings

We began by discussing our favourite parts from last week’s session. How we can use our imaginations to draw symbols or illustrations for sounds.

The children discussing our favourite parts from the last session.

John sent us a series of drawings to explore today in class. We discussed what they looked like:

Kevin thought this one (bubbles) looked like bubbles, making popping sounds.

Curtis thought this one (criss-crossing lines) looked like a cat scratching something with its claws, making a ‘scrrrrr scrrrrr scrrrr’ sound.

Group discussions

The children separated into groups, were given a copy of John’s drawings to add vocals to. Some group began describing what the drawings looked like:

Rhys, Kevin & Curtis – This drawing looks like the inside of a cabbage.

Finn & Corey – This drawing looks like a car revving its engine.

Caitlin, Sarah & Erin – This drawing looks a baby chick

Daniel and Oscar discussing their sound ideas for a drawing

Daniel and Oscar – This drawing looks like a monkey making an “oh, oh, oh” sound.

The children discussing their favourite drawings.


The children explored the sound each drawing might make and decided amongst themselves which sound best suited. We set up a camera in a quiet area. Each group went out and recorded a sound for a drawing. We then set about editing the videos together to create a sound performance.


Rhys interpreting one of John’s drawing with sound

Curtis interpreting one of John’s drawing with sound.

Kevin interpreting one of John’s drawing with sound.

Caitlin, Sarah and Erin interpreting one of John’s drawings

Daniel and Oscar interpreting one of John’s drawings

Finn interpreting one of John’s drawings

Rhys interpreting one of John’s drawing with sound

Kevin and Rhys discussing their thoughts on a drawing by John.

Kevin – “It reminds me of  a rollercoaster, going up and down.”

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Session 7 & 8: Exploring letter sounds

We set about exploring the different movements are mouths made depending on the words or letters we used.

We began by looking at the alphabet and splitting the letters up into consonants and vowels.

John discussing with the children the actions or movements our mouths & tongues make when we are using different words or letters.

We focused on the letter ‘a’ and set about exploring the different movements and sounds depending on the word.

The children were given the task to write as many words containing the letter ‘a’ as possible and sort them into groups depending on the sound.



Corey discussing the different sounds with John

Curtis discussing with John his selection of words

Caitlin, Kevin and Erin sorting their words into different groupings

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Session 6: Testing Sounds


With the Christmas break, a distant memory we began by discussing what we enjoyed from the previous sessions. All the children really enjoyed the animal sound journeys. We began by watching the different performances from the session before Christmas. We reviewed the different sounds we made for the animals, how large symbols/drawings could represent loud sounds with small symbols/drawings representing quiet sounds. The children enjoyed watching themselves back with some pupils surprising themselves with how well they performed or added actions to their sounds.


John introduced us to a new sound game calling it “Pass the sound around.” The children took it in turns to create a new sound and the rest had to mimic the sound the best they could. The children were beginning to vary and they were starting to put greater expression into their sounds.


John set us the challenge of listening to sounds that he would create and interpret them in a series of drawings. The sounds varied from loud to quiet, sharp to soft, long to short. We drew what we imagined those sounds to look like. At the end a few children felt confident enough to make a series of sounds that we could then try to draw. We are becoming more creative in our approaches to drawing and interpreting sounds.

Rhys responding to a ‘whirly’ sound created by John

Daniel’s response to the ‘whirly’ sound

The children’s explanations of their drawings to John

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Session 4 & 5: Composing and performing

We began with the children recounting the animal sounds that they had heard in the Zoo from the previous session. Following on from our last session the children are beginning to use their imaginations to illustrate different sounds using either symbols or pictures.

The children list and demonstrate the various sounds for John and myself. The children were able to tell John, how the lion sound was a “low rumbling sound” or a “loud roar”; how the elephants made noises through their trunks describing it as a “long sound that might start quietly and get louder.” Curtis described the sound the bearded dragon made, saying “it sounds like a cracking sound. Its mouth was making funny shapes.” Curtis drew a cracked line to illustrate the breaded dragon sound.

Rhys described the sound a toucan made, “it sounded like it was saying ‘greee, gree, gree.’ Rhys drew a loop with ‘greee’ sound travelling around it. Daniel drew a beak shape to illustrate the sound of the toucan, “it is like it’s opening its beak.” Oscar chose to draw a series of different sized circles because he thought “it is like its mouth is opening, the sound starts quiet (the small circle) and gets louder (bigger circles). Finn described the toucan sound as a ‘rrrreerrr’ , drawing the sound as a zig zagging.

After much discussion we decided that the animals and sounds that we liked as a groups were: a gorilla, snake, lion, parrot, elephant and Prairie dog, We then decided to give symbols to each animal sound

  • Gorilla – 0
  • Snake – a wavy line
  • Prairie dog – paw print
  • Lion – a star
  • Parrot – a beak
  • Elephant – trunk shaped

After testing us on whether we could remember the different symbols.

John questioned the children:

  • ‘What might a large star mean?’ à Kevin “a loud roar from a lion”
  • ‘What would a small wavy line mean?’ à Rhys “a snake quietly hissing”
  • ‘What would a small star, large paw print, big 0 mean?’ à “a low roar, then a loud roar than a big gorilla ooh ooh’

Composing and performing

After a quick revision of the symbols and sounds, we were then set the task of creating a ‘Journey through the Rainforest.’

The children working in groups to compose their journey through the Rainforest

Corey explaining his journey through the rainforest graphical score to John. He created a piece in which the sounds were arranged in a circle, so that it could be repeated.

The children in groups had to create a graphic score using our symbols, remembering to use different sizes to represent a quiet or a loud sound. The children set about working together to create their soundscape. The children practice the sounds in their groups, some adding actions to help with their performances. Finally when ready we perform for John, using the sounds and symbols. It was fantastic to see the all the children itching to perform for John. They really got into the spirit of the performance adding actions and varying their sounds from quiet to loud.

A group performing their graphic score for the class and John.

Another group performing their score for John and the class.

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Session 2: Relaxing and listening

Today we’re going to learn how to listen.

“Everyone find a space on the floor and lie down”

The second session began with John teaching the children breathing and listening techniques.

“Everyone breathe in … now out … breathe in and out”

The children found this extremely calming, they were now ready to listen.

John instructed us to listen out for any sounds that we could hear inside and outside of the classroom.

4-5 minutes of silence

“What could you hear?”

People chatting in the next room, birds chirping, people breathing, high-heel shoes walking out the corridor, the buzzing of the whiteboard, the phone ringing in the P7 room, the hum of the lights, shuffling of shoes, the trees rustling, the wind howling, the rain on the windows ….

“How could you tell it that the sound was high-heel shoes? Can you describe the sound?

It went clip clop … the sound was spaced apart … it sounded like my Mum’s shoes in the kitchen.

How could you make that sound in the classroom?

???????????? I know, you could use the legs of the chair on the hard floor by the sink! Rock the legs back and forth!

“How could you tell that people were talking in the next room? Can you described the sound?”

I couldn’t make out any words but I know that sound … it sounded like this (cue hand on mouth and a murmuring sound)

“Who heard the buzzing sound?”

I did, it sounded like a bee … buuuuuzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz

John was really getting the children to think about the different sounds that they heard.

After lunch, the children were able to tell John about the different sounds that they heard in the play ground.

Children shouting/talking/playing, footballs bouncing, the wind rustling the tree leaves, doors opening and closing, bells ringing

John spoke to us about how some of these sounds were high and other sounds were low.

We discussed how we could draw a sound and John demonstrated by drawing us one of the sounds from our list.

Is it a bird? Is it the buzzing whiteboard? Is it the ball bouncing? Is it people talking in the playground? Yes!!

It looks like lots of speech bubbles

John then challenged us to draw him a sound and he had to guess. We thought about the marks we were making, the colours we were using, the shapes we were drawing.

The children enjoyed the session and are looking forward to next week!

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