What to expect from a child functioning primarily at Sounds of Intent Level 3
Assess the child’s level of musical engagement through careful observation
Children functioning at SoI Level 3 are pattern-seekers. They process repetition and regularity in the environment to enable them to make sense of what they perceive at a basic level and to anticipate what may happen next.
They intentionally create patterns through repeating sounds that they have made, by singing and playing sounds with a regular beat, or by changing them in a consistent way (for example, by getting gradually faster or higher or louder).
They copy the sounds that other people make and realise when others are imitating them.
Choosing musical activities for the child
Children functioning at Level 3 are likely to benefit from musical activities that use simple patterns in sound.
However, they are still likely to enjoy purely sensory activities (Level 2), and their development may also be enhanced by seeking to engage them in activities at Level 4, that promote the recognition and creation of motifs, and by playing and singing them whole pieces (Level 5).
Using everyday sound-makers and percussion instruments to make the same, simple tapping pattern. Try doing this on different instruments such as a drum and a tambourine.
Use your fingers, then a stick – let the child feel what you are doing if they can’t see.
Tap the tambourine gently on the child’s hands.
Scratch your nails to and fro on a drum; tap on a resonance board so the child can feel the patterns of vibration on their body.
Use switches or motion-sensitive technology, and let the child watch or feel what you are doing.
Amber Plus Card 19Make simple patterns of sound that go up and down in pitch or get louder and quieter
Using melody instruments, make short patterns that go up and down on a keyboard for the child to listen to – remember to let the child feel what you are doing if they can’t see.
Now do the same using a touchscreen, or a beam or gesture-recognition technology.
Make simple patterns using a glockenspiel or xylophone, then do the same on a wind instrument, such as a recorder.
Make short patterns that go up and down on a string of a ukulele or guitar.
On a single note or chord, start playing quietly, then get louder and louder, and then gradually quieter again.
Amber Plus Card 20Help the child to understand the world and what is going to happen next by using sound symbols
Use sounds consistently to signal other things, or to reinforce their identity.
Hang different windchimes in the doorways of important rooms in the child’s school and make sure they sound as the child goes in.
Give key people in the child’s life different jangly bracelets to wear to enhance their identity; and give the child and their classmates distinct ‘personal soundmakers’, to use at times of greeting and other social activities.
Help the child to anticipate activities by using sound symbols, such as a jingly bell for music and a clanky chain for the swing.
Make a ‘sound diary’ of activities that happened during a morning or afternoon, so that the child can be helped to remember the experiences.
Copy sounds round a circle of people to give the child a sense of belonging to a group.
Have the child sit in a circle of three or four people. One makes a sound with their voice, the next person copies, and so on, round and round.
Now do the same activity with body sounds, like clapping.
Then use musical instruments or other soundmakers. Use the same ones at first, and then add variety.
Gradually add more people to the circle to increase the level of social and musical challenge.
Using sound and music to promote other areas of understanding, development and wellbeing
Amber Plus Card 29Show the child how different patterns of movement can be used to produce different patterns of sound
Consider the different patterns of movement that the child can potentially make.
For example, they may be able to use their hands and fingers to make patterns of sound with an instrument or on a touchscreen. They may be able to move their arms up and down to produce patterns of sound using beam technology.
They may be able to use their feet to kick a beat on a bass drum.
They may be able to use their head or even their whole body to break a beam and make a musical pattern.
They may be able to use a motion-sensitive beam on their eyelids to convert regular movement to patterns of sound.
Find out who the child would like to sit next to by offering them a choice of two jangly bracelets that two of their helpers wear.
Find out where the child would like to go by playing one windchime then another that are used to identify different rooms.
Find out what activity the child would like to do by offering them sounding objects of reference for one activity and then another.
Give the child plenty of time to choose and be sensitive to the way they may express a preference – by looking, vocalising, moving, stilling or smiling.
Reverse the order in which soundmakers are presented, to ensure the child is not just choosing the first or the last thing they hear. And once they can choose between two things reliably, try three or even four options.
Amber Plus Card 32Show the child how simple patterns in sound can help them to understand the way the world works
Let the child experience the patterns of sound that contribute to the experience of everyday life.
For example, let them hear footsteps that get louder as someone gets nearer.
Let them hear the sound of a car engine getting louder and then quieter again as it passes by.
Let them hear the beeping of a microwave indicating that some food is cooked; the dripping of a tap that needs to be turned off; the ticking of a clock and the dong of its chimes.
Record the patterns of sound for the child to enjoy listening to in different contexts.