Sound Scavenger Hunt

A sleepy tabla player rests his hand on the drumhead

Age Range: Elementary

Learning Objective: Students will train their ears to hear specific instruments.

Note: Some support needed for younger students.

ENGAGE students

SAY. “In a regular scavenger hunt, you go looking for things. Today, we will try a sound scavenger hunt, where you get to listen for the sounds of five instruments that all start with the letter ‘T.’ Your job is to find these five sounds by listening to the music below:

  • Triangle

  • Tam-tam

  • Tablas

  • Timpani

  • Tambourine

LOOK. Guide students to look at a picture of each instrument below and see if they can hear what that instrument sounds like in their heads.

Instrument chart
Wikimedia Commons

EXPLORE sounds

LISTEN. Listen to the pieces below. Have students say the name of the instrument when they hear it. As another option, print and pass out pictures of each one, and ask students to flash the card when they hear the instrument. Students might not hear the scavenger hunt instrument right away when they hear the music. A few of these are listening only, and a few have videos that might help. Students might find a few of the sounds more than one time.

WRITE. Make a grid like the one above and write the name of the piece under each instrument when you hear it. You might find a few of the sounds more than one time, and a few pieces have more than one "T" instrument sound in them.

Traditional Japanese arr. Matra
Fanfare for the Common Man
by Aaron Copland, recorded by Minnesota Orchestra; Eiji Oue, conductor

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Clean Water Land and Legacy Amendment

This activity is made possible in part by the Minnesota Legacy Amendment’s Arts & Cultural Heritage Fund.

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