Music to your Ears

Wendy with headphones

Wendy with headphones

How do we make sounds, record sounds and see sounds?

This exciting presentation, with lots of demonstrations and audience interaction, reveals the secrets from the basics of sound to the latest in music technology. Witness the ultimate ‘hands-free’ instrument and see a musical instrument played with a blowtorch!

Discover what sound is, and see what it actually looks like. Find out how our ears pick up sound, and how they can be damaged by loud music. Uncover the mysteries of how CD players and MP3 players work, and have some fun with synthesised voices!

This show can be adapted by the presenter to suit a wide range of audience ages, and is suitable for family or adult presentations too. This is our longest running and most popular show.

“I never knew that you can amplify sound using a table!” – Student

Curriculum Links

Key Stage 2

  • Compare everyday materials and objects on the basis of their material properties
  • Describing changes that occur when materials are heated or cooled
  • Friction
  • Sounds are made when objects [for example, strings on musical instruments] vibrate but that vibrations are not always directly visible
  • How to change the pitch and loudness of sounds produced by some vibrating objects [for example, a drum skin, a plucked string]
  • Vibrations from sound sources require a medium [for example, metal, wood, glass, air] through which to travel to the ear
  • Use appropriate scientific language and terms

Key Stage 3

  • Carry out practical and investigative activities, both individually and in groups
  • Energy can be transferred usefully
  • Forces are interactions between objects and can affect their shape and motion
  • Use real-life examples as a basis for finding out about science

Key Stage 4

  • About the use of contemporary scientific and technological developments and their benefits, drawbacks and risks


Learning Objectives

Key Stage 2

After watching the show Key Stage 2 pupils should:

  • Know that sound is produced by vibrations
  • Be able to describe the main parts of the ear
  • Understand that sounds can be altered by varying pitch and volume
  • Recognize that music is the result of controlled sounds
  • Know that music can be recorded, altered and reproduced.

Key Stage 3

After watching the show Key stage 3 pupils should:

  • Know that sound is produced by vibrations travelling in waves
  • Be able to describe how sounds are detected by the ear
  • Be able to use the terms amplitude and frequency in relation to sound waves
  • Know that harmonics and resonance are important in making music
  • Be able to describe the difference between digital and analogue recording

Key Stage 4

After watching the show Key stage 4 pupils should:

  • Know that sound is transmitted as a longitudinal wave.
  • Be able to describe the function of the pinna, ear canal and cochlea in hearing
  • Understand the effect of varying frequency and amplitude on sound
  • Understand the importance of resonance and harmonics in musical sounds
  • Be able to describe the harmonic series with relation to standing waves
  • Understand the need for sampling in digital recording
  • Be able to describe in simple terms how digital compression is used in audio recordings


  • 45 or 60 minute versions available

Suggested audiences

  • Can be adapted for all age groups

We will need the venue to provide

  • Power sockets
  • Projector screen
  • Two long tables
  • Rooms that can be darkened
What people say about us

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    • “You had an attentive and appreciative audience, quite an achievement when you consider that there were eight hundred 14-16 year olds in the auditorium”
      R. Newby, The Training Partnership
    • “Zoe was very pleasant, enthusiastic and engaged the children throughout each show. A very enjoyable day, everyone commented on Zoe’s enthusiasm”
      Uplands Junior School
    • “The show was organised, professional and creative. Many thanks for your hard work and commitment.”
      J. Ford, Barry Comprehensive
    • “We would like to thank you for a fantastic morning of science. We like the way you included us in your presentation and experiments and gave us an insight in science throughout our life”
      Students at Carshalton High School for Girls
    • ‘science made simple have always been a pleasure to work with – not only when they’re presenting amazing science shows for our family audiences, but through training our own staff on their journey to becoming excellent science communicators.’
      Liz Smallman, Head of Learning , Eureka
    • “Your contribution has drawn extremely positive comments from all sections of the school community – pupils and staff, parents, governors and others”
      K. Geary, Marlwood School, Bristol
    • “Loved how much the children were involved, and the enthusiasm of Zoë – amazing”
      Thomas’s Clapham, London
    • “It was an amazing experience, and all the experiments were informative and exciting. It is an event we will never forget”
      Year 7 Student, Stanchester Academy
    • “We all thoroughly enjoyed the two different shows that you put on for us! The children were all talk about them the following day! The teachers were too!”
      Mary Mother of Hope School, Dublin
    • “We had around 2700 visitors. 98% of visitors rated the event as ‘excellent’ or ‘good’. Your session was also named by a number of guests as their ‘highlight’ of the festival”
      J. Heaton-Marriott, Lancashire Science Festival
    • “This was the best show. Amazing story! Heartfelt, emotional but furthermore very informative and I found a lot out!”
      Visitor, Lancashire Science Festival
    • “David was very clever, funny and kept the children engaged.”
      Cross Gates Primary School
    • “There is no doubt at all that you made a big impact on the pupils, on the parents and indeed on all those who were privileged to be present”
      R. Court, Birkdale School, Sheffield
    • “The students loved every minute of it.  The shows were incredibly well put together, resourced and performed and it is a testament to Zoë for the hard work she puts into the prep work and the performance on the day”
      Sevenoaks School
    • “Both the staff and pupils thoroughly enjoyed watching the shows and taking part; it was a very welcome addition to our Science Day which provided and opportunity to present science to the children in an exciting way.”
      Thomas Jolyffe Primary School