Goal: To introduce ensemble storytelling and/or music composition.

  • Intro


Contributed by Rachael Schefrin


To introduce ensemble storytelling and/or music composition.


  • Pick one student/teacher to leave the classroom. Their job will be to guess where they are based on the sounds that they hear in the soundscape.
  • The other students will decide on a location that they will all create through sound,  library, park, beach, movie theater, etc.
  • After a location is chosen, students will close their eyes, imagine what sounds they would hear in that location, and pick a sound. Students will quietly raise their hand once they have chosen their sound. If their sound is the same as another student’s sound, simply tell them when it is their turn to join the soundscape to join in with the student who has the same sound or they can each have their moment.
  •  If you have the time, ask the class to practice their sounds with you as their conductor.
  •  Conductor Hand Gestures: hand going up – make your sound louder, hand going down – make your sound
    quieter, point to a student – student starts their sound, hands in X to student – stops their sound.
  • The student/teacher is invited back into the room and asked to lay down or sit in the center of the circle with
    their eyes closed.
  •  The teaching artist will start the soundscape by using their conductor hand gestures, adjusting students as
    they go, until all students are sharing their sound at the same time. Play with volume throughout. Fade the soundscape by conducting the students to stop their sound one at a time.

Transition into Activity

Transitioning into the activity: “We are going to take ______________ (student/teacher) out of the school
through sound. Where are we going?”

Transition out of Activity

Transitioning out of the activity: “Travel back to your desk using your sound to propel you.”

Classroom Arrangement

Rearrange the desk for Rug Space or Playing Area

Supports/Adaptive Materials/Tools

  • Students can participate by adding a sound, noise, or word to the soundscape.
  • Students who are non verbal can use their bodies or props around the classroom to create sound.
  • Group Brainstorm: Once a location is established, the TA and students will come up with several sounds together to help generate ideas. (Helpful prompts: “Who are the people you see? What sounds do they make?” or “Are their animals? What sounds do they make.” Make sure they get a whole picture.)
  • Side coaching and quietly narrating can help support students who feel frozen and can’t think of a sound.

Role of the Teachers and Paraprofessionals

  • Can participate by creating sounds
  • Can participate by being the center of the circle.

Remote Adaptation

Ask the classroom teacher to leave their desk/screen for a certain
amount of time; when performing the soundscape, unmute and call on students rather
then pointing to them.

Art forms



15 min