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Year 3 investigate the difference between volume and pitch

Year 3 investigate the difference between volume and pitch

This half term, Year 3 have been learning about Sound. They posed some very interesting questions at the start of the topic such as: ‘Why can we not see sound?’, ‘Can you hear in space?’, ‘Can all animals hear the same sounds?’, ‘At what distance do we stop hearing sounds?’ 

One of the most common misconceptions revolved around defining volume and pitch. Many children initially believed these two terms to mean the same thing. This week, the children investigated the difference between volume and pitch, proving that you can produce a high volume with a low or high pitch and a low volume with a low or high pitch. ‘Volume is about how loud or quiet a sound is, and pitch is about how high or low the note sounds. So you can have different combinations. It is easy to show the difference using your voice!’ (Orla, 3CO.)

The children felt confident that they knew how to produce a variety of volumes on different instruments, so they next focused on explaining what affects different pitches, by creating their own panipes with rubber tubing, playdoh, and tape. They were given the opportunity to perfect their measuring skills as they measured the length of each pipe to the cm. (If they were not accurate, they knew that their pipes would produce the wrong notes!) 

‘The smaller pipes make the highest notes as the air being blown has less space to vibrate off the inside of the tube. The longer pipes have more space for vibration so this makes a lower note.’ (Felix, 3CO.)

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