Apply Now
Open Sidebar

Sound Studies

March 1, 2023 | Cindy Kuperus

How is sound made?

How do our ears hear sound?

Can we see sound?

Can we feel sound?

What are vibrations?

These are some of the questions we have begun to answer in our study of sound. Students began their studies by making sounds using bottles, rubber bands, wooden sticks, and more. It was a cacophony of sound!  Students found creative ways to describe the sounds, and learned about onomatopoeia along the way: clink, bang, tap, plink, snap, zzz, rattle. They recorded their work in their lab journals.

Next, students used tuning forks to hear, feel, and see vibrations and sound. First, students tapped the fork on the table and brought the fork to their ears and heard the sound.

After hearing sound, students tapped the fork again, and brought the tines of the fork to their hand to feel the vibrations caused by the tap.

Finally, students tapped the fork and brought the tines to the surface of a cup of water. Voila!  Students “saw” the effect of the vibration as water began to move and even splatter out of the cup!

Students also tried to blow a strip of plastic held tightly between their thumbs and blowing air into a comb nestled between pieces of waxed paper. While trying these things, some students heard screeching or felt tickling.

Two Mondays ago, Calvin University (Grand Rapids, MI) brought some instruments to school and treated us to a concert (Thank you, Calvin University!). Musicians shared how each made sound with their instrument. We were delighted to hear the woodwinds, the brass, the percussion, and the strings make music. Several students even took their turn at conducting!

On Friday, we took the light rail to NJCU and watched the ways only THREE music virtuosos made music on 50 different instruments. Daniel’s mom, Natalie, arranged for students to ask questions of the three musicians after the concert – and we were even invited on stage! Thanks, Natalie!

Here we are in the theatre.

Here we are after the show. Michelle is making sound by tracing her wet finger around the rim of the glass. We also heard an instrument, the waterphone, or whalophone, shown here, in the second photo. (There is water inside the base of the instrument).

After playing at a nearby park, we took the light rail back to school.

Along with many further investigations in the classroom, in the Shared Space, students will build instruments that can play high and low pitches and produce loud and soft volumes. They will use the knowledge they received at their field trip.

We’ll be sure to invite you to see (and HEAR) the results!

Cindy Kuperus

Teacher, Grades 3&4

Ms. Kuperus attended a small Lutheran grade school and has always been a student in multi-grade classrooms. She became interested in teaching, in fact, when she would assist classmates when the teacher was busy helping others. Her 5th/6th grade teacher, Mrs. Roman, encouraged her to think broadly about the world beyond their small town (population: 500), giving stickers to those who could answer a question from the World News segment from television the night before. She would be thrilled to learn that Ms. Kuperus has taught internationally in Masaya, Nicaragua, and Chengdu,China.

After graduating from Calvin College, Ms. Kuperus taught students in grades two-six for almost 10 years in Kentwood, Michigan. In 1994, Ms. Kuperus sought a teaching position in a school in the Northeast, anywhere but New Jersey. She’s now taught for over 23 years in NEW JERSEY! Two of her former students, Becca Brasser and Sam Martino, are now on staff at MSS.

Ms. Kuperus loves opportunities to travel, interact with the people, and taste the foods of the world. She’s also a person who ‘travels” with the characters in the books she reads!

It’s important to Ms. Kuperus that people’s voices are heard and that their needs for shelter and food are met. To that end, she volunteers for organizations like First Friends and the Sharing Place.

Related Stories

January 25, 2023


Learn More
December 7, 2022

The Nutcracker

Learn More
November 2, 2022

What is in Soil?

Learn More