Making Sound Visible

Sound is usually heard. Sound can be felt, but it can also be visible. To help young learners see sound waves we used Apple Voice Memos to quickly capture sound and see the waves created. We used markup to annotate a screenshot to label where students thought it was the loudest, quietest and compare and contrast the sound waves they saw/ heard. Students then had a chance to record their own voices using the alphabet, counting or a sentence of their choice in various voice volumes. Teachers were able to check for understanding by having the students annotate their own screenshot or discussion.


A sound wave is shown with various areas circled to label loud and quiet portions of the sound wave.
An annotated sound wave screenshot of comparing and contrasting different points of the wave.

#OPSProud #OPS_Kennedy

All Comments

Posted on April 07, 2023

What a great activity and a wonderful way to use voice memos! I'll be sharing this with my pre-service music educators. 👍🏼

I'm not sure what grade levels these students are, but this activity could also be expanded to measure duration (time or millimeters) of sounds and for students to try to guess which instruments made each audio waveform [snare drum 🥁 (short, no decay), guitar 🎸 or piano 🎹 (even decay), or trumpet 🎺 (likely a sustained block of sound)]. Also, students could determine if the beat is steady or unsteady by measuring the distance between transients/blips. You've ignited my creative mind with this. Thanks, TechZ! 😎🎵🎺

Posted on April 08, 2023

What a great use of Voice Memos! Thanks for sharing!

Maximum file size: 400MB

Insert a video

Insert an image

Insert an image

125: 125
220: 220

This action can’t be undone.

Error Message

Are you sure you want to continue? Your changes will not be saved.

This post contains content from YouTube.

If you choose to view this content, YouTube may collect and process certain personal data. You can view YouTube’s <a href="" target="_blank">privacy policy here<span class="a11y">(opens in new window)</span>.</a>

This post contains content from YouTube.

You’ve rejected content from YouTube. Tap the button below to change your consent.