Musical Children in the Making

Activity of the Month​​

Tone Color

Submitted by Ebony Jenkins

Tone Color or Timbre is about the qualities of the different sounds all around us. An easy way to experience this is while walking with your child. Whether on an Urban walk around the neighborhood, or a Nature walk in a park, you can ask your child to identify the different sounds that they hear. Do the birds have a high sounds? Does the dog have a low, short bark? Does the shopping cart have a wheel that makes a long squeaky sound? The sounds around you may be deep and low, high and chirpy, short and sharp, etc.
Another fun way to explore Tone Color is to create shakers with different objects. For this, you can use bottles or containers you already have around. You do not have to fill your container. Place things like, sand, rice, cereal, sticks or leaves into different bottles. What kind of sounds do you get when you shake the bottles? Does the rice shaker sound the same as the bottle with the cereal? What makes them different? 

Finally, you can add vocal sound effects to stories that you and your child/children read together. In the story of the "Three Little Pigs", for example, you could begin the story with the sounds of the pigs oinking. Then you have the sounds of the straw rustling, the sticks tapping together and the scraping of cement to bind the bricks. And of course, the huffing and puffing of the Big, Bad, Wolf. These are just a few examples of activities that you can do with the theme of Tone Color. Have fun exploring the infinite number of sounds around you!