Using Sounds to Tell a Story

An activity that introduces music notation and composing. 

step 1

The teacher writes a list of words on the board (example, rain, snow, ice, wind). The teacher can ask students to donate words (nouns) to the list.

step 2

The teacher then asks the students to make a sound that reminds them of that word, a wind sound, the sound of crunching snow, etc. 

step 3

The participants will brainstorm (in groups) sounds to represent different words. For example, they have to come up with sounds for words like rain, wind, hot, cold, etc.

step 4

Once the students are comfortable with this, we proceed forward with translating simple sentences into sound pieces. Small groups can share their sound pieces (sentences of sound) with the rest of the class.

step 5

Then the teacher and students move onto paragraphs, and finally short stories.  The teacher can invite students to use instruments to create their sounds.

step 6

Along the way, the teacher will ask students questions to help the students refine their sounds and compositions. Once the compositions are finished, they can be performed for their classmates.


An additional step, the teacher will ask the students to find a way to write down their composition in a form that other people can read and play. The students may use pictures/drawings to represent their sound pieces. They can be organized into boxes or in a line, like a sentence. This is another exercise that should be done in small groups first and then individually.

Art Making

Story books