BangDrum CIC presents
Exciting Science, Accessible Music and Creative Technology through ‘Noisy Toys’.
We have been busy creating new and exciting science based workshops that are now ready to be unveiled in your school!
These workshops are designed to be fun and to give memorable learning experiences through practical 'hands-on' and creative activities. Young people experience Scientific processes directly through musical participation for an accessible and rewarding programme.
Noisy Toys doesn't use computers or shiny expensive technology, we use basic analogue circuitry (batteries, fans, amplifiers, speakers), Piezoelectric (contact) microphones, and acoustic objects, most of which we have salvaged from discarded electronics. There is a strong emphasis on a DIY approach to music and instrument making; we address waste and the culture of disposable goods, and promote re-use and 'up-cycling' of Junk to new uses. And it sound great!
We can deliver several different workshops, which all focus on 'Hands-on' activities, multi-sensory experiences and above all, fun!
- Circuit Bending: the Art of rewiring existing circuits for new musical uses. Battery powered = safe to tinker.
- The Science of Music: An overview of what sound is, how waves work, circuitry, harmony, electro-magnetism & more.
- Instrument making: Acoustic and/or electric instruments made, played and to keep afterwards.
- Improvisation & Organic Composition (No Electronics): Using our bodies, voices and a few found objects to create original music. Groups can combine people who play musical instruments with those that don't.
- Synth building: making simple sound circuits/synths to take home afterwards. Some soldering required. (suited to secondary schools)
- Computer Scavengers: in groups we strip dead PCs and find many potential instruments inside. DIY and up-cycling.
All workshops are led by our ‘mad scientist’ Steve Summers, a qualified teacher with over 10 years experience in education. The above activities can be combined, extended and adapted to suit specific requirements. Participant's ages usually range from upper Primary to adult. All workshops are available as one-off hour-long taster sessions or longer projects.
The Circuit Box Experiment packs many of our core Noisy Toys activities into a workshop format suitable for classrooms or other structured settings. In small groups we open our boxes and take out the contents... then the fun begins as we construct our own Noisy Instruments!
Now it's time to experiment! Using fans, springs, corrugated tubes, plectrums, rubber bands and anything else we find in the trolley of junk, we start to build our instruments. A huge range of interesting sounds can be harnessed from these simple everyday objects. Any participants who play instruments can easily incorporate them if they want to.
“The children were fascinated. It is science they will all remember because they enjoyed it so much."
-Liz Clover, Head teacher, Park Road Primary School
Noisy Toys is all about having fun experimenting with sound, electronics, vibrations and amplification. We learn how it all works in a safe and exciting way. Custom-made multi-sensory equipment allows us to fully experience sound waves with our ears, eyes and fingers, and to literally become part of the circuitry (don't worry it's safe!).
The Goop Test
We will explore the effects of vibrations through different materials; solid, liquid, and somewhere imbetween. There's always an amazed reaction when we bring a Non-Newtonian Fluid to life before your very eyes by putting it in a speaker cone and passing sound through it; see fingers of Goop rise up and dance around to the sounds.
This can be run as a one-off activity or extended into a full workshop, using vibrations to create Symatics patterns in water and turn solid objects into speakers.
Advanced workshops will cover the subject of Resonance- the same process that creates Saturn's rings and annoying 'wolf' notes for cellists.
The Buzz Test
We will investigate a complete signal path from physical movement to magnetic resistance to alternating voltage to amplification, back to magnetic force, which powers physical vibration to produce a sound our ears can hear.
The sound is produced using our own Bass Drives- as we turn the disk the speaker cone moves out and in- both the instrument and the speaker using magentic resistance.
Workshops are delivered in collaboration with Noisy Toys visit www.noisytoys.org for more information.
Exciting Science, Accessible Music, Creative Technology
‘Noisy Toys’ has delivered workshop at the Newcastle Science Festival, Brunel University, Glyndwr University (Wrexham Science Festival), Glastonbury, Camp Bestival, Latitude, The Green Man, The Thames Festival, Beam Day, Manchester Science Festival, The Museum of Science and Industry, Future Everything, The House of Fairy Tales, The Victoria Baths, The Big Bang Fair, as well as at many schools and other events.