Sounds and Symbols - lesson

Listening - 10 Minutes

The Front Door is a great way to introduce the class to graphic notation, using shapes and symbols to make musical sounds.

Each level will introduce new listening challenges.

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Before you answer the simple question "how many doorbells are there?" get your class to make the sound of each doorbell.

What does a "t" sound like?

And a pig?

What about a line going up?

And one going down?


Play the listening game:

Once you answer the question correctly (eight doorbells) you will be taken to a short listening game.

N.B. Make sure the sound is turned up!

Press the play button.

Identify which line of sounds and symbols you heard.


Front Door Levels 2 and 3:

The second level of the front door introduces different instruments making the sounds.

The third level combines different instruments to make the listing game even more challenging.

Level 2:

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Level 3:

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This activity will randomize each time you return.

You can retry any of these activities with the repeat button at the bottom left of each activity box.


Press Complete and Continue to try some vocal performance!

Performing - 10 Minutes

Now that we have learned to recognise sounds and symbols we can start to have fun combining these in different ways using vocal sounds and some imagination.

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Follow the instructions until you reach this page:


Divide the class into four colour groups: Red, Yellow, Green and Blue.

Each group will have to make their sound when the student at the whiteboard points to their colour.


The "conductor" at the whiteboard.

The student at the whiteboard will be responsible for making the class make their sound and in what order. They can use a pencil or a pointer of some sort.

As different students get up to conduct the class, suggest different ways of conducting:

  • fast
  • slow
  • loud (big movement to point at a symbol)
  • soft (small movement)
  • slow and getting faster
  • repeating symbols

This activity can go on as long as there are volunteers wanting to be the conductor.

The symbols can also be switched using the CHANGE SYMBOLS button.