Do You Hear What I Hear?

Maxine Edwards and Mary Teal
The Center for Advancement of Teaching





Do You Hear What I Hear?
Lesson Plan
Algebra 1 Level


Objective: Students will be able to retrieve data from graph to be used in calculations. Students will be able to verify frequency of a given tuning fork. Students will be able to perform formula manipulation of Frequency = 1___ Period where period (P) is defined as Time_________ . # of oscillations observed
Stage 1: Discuss various musical instruments and the sounds they produce. Discuss the placement of tones to produce a melodic tone. Discuss different types of music, i.e. jazz, orchestral, rhythm and blues, hard rock, rap and the types of instruments used in each.

Stage 2: Group activity 1) Make a recording of various types of music. (NOTE: The students could contribute to this, however, careful screening of lyrics might be necessary.) 2) Give students the data sheet to record the identified musical instruments from various song excerpts. It is important to let students know that they are not expected to be able to identify all the different musical instruments but rather identify which instrumental group they hear. 3) Play each section for approximately two minutes. This will allow students to identify the different musical groups. Be prepared to play the excerpt more than once. Musical instruments will be identified in terms of the following groups: string, bass, percussion, woodwind and vocal. 4) Students will record groups heard for each selection. 5) Students will make tally sheet (see data sheet) after hearing all selections.

Stage 3: Discuss importance of each group from data. Discuss the way individuals perceive sound. Discuss individual note pitch. Demonstrate high piercing annoying sound. Discuss why the sound is annoying which leads in discussion of frequency.

Stage 4: Conduct experiment.

Stage 5: Students will write and explain the experimental procedures. Students will compare the determined frequencies with the actual frequencies on the tuning fork and be able to identify differences in the results. Students will be given several predetermined periods and use them to find other frequencies.( This will evaluate their comprehension of formula

Developed by:
Maxine Edwards and Mary Teal
Butler High School Matthews, NC

additional help from:
Neal Farley
Independence High School
Charlotte, NC