June 2016

The Science of Sound

The grade 9 students of Lindsay Place High School all participated in a cross curricular STEAM2 (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, Math, Marketing) project .

The objective of the project was to design, build and be able to perform on their own student-made musical instrument. The guiding question for the project was, "When does sound become music"?

Students worked with teachers (Mrs. Lamb, Ms Waldron - Science & Technology, Ms.Ashraf - Mathematics, Ms Di Ruocco - Français, and Mrs. Strunc – Arts (Music).

Their mandate included the exclusive use of recycled materials.

Students experimented with the sound production of many traditional Western instruments (Strings, Brass, Woodwind and Percussion) to better appreciate the unique sound source and idiosyncrasies of each family of instruments so that they could better design their own instrument -and be able to control for pitch (frequency) and volume (amplitude).

The project outcome included a formal "How it's Made" video, en français, in which each group explained and documented (via video and photos) their learning and building process.

The second product of this project was a performance on their instruments (video below). This work was commissioned specifically for this project (composed by Geof Holbrook). The students practiced performance technique on their specific instruments in order to be able to execute this performance.

Funding for this project from MEES Professional Development and Innovation Grant, Lindsay Place High School, and LPHS Alumni Foundation.