Sounds like a story

Today we are going to think about the sounds of a story. We are going to make a story using sounds. that we make from things around the house. These could be sounds of things that are happening:  – wind blowing, footsteps running, a giant swallowing a large pudding or a spider tiptoeing across a table. They could be sounds that tell us about the mood of the story – are your characters happy? Is there something terrible approaching? Is the day calm and sunny? The sounds can help us to imagine those things. Some composers tell stories in music and they give different characters their own tune, their own sound. In Peter and the Wolf, Peter, the cat, the bird, the wolf and grandfather all have their own tune played by a different instrument.

You probably know ‘We’re Going on a Bear Hunt’. The family go looking for bears and they go through the long grass, ‘swishy swashy swishy swashy’ and through mud, ‘squelch, squelch’. Our story will be full of sounds, so before you begin you should gather together a collection of things that make good sound effects.

There will plenty of things in your house that will make good sounds -though check with adults first!. Experiment. A piece of newspaper can make a crumpling sound, a tearing sound, a flapping or thwacking or swishing sound, depending on how you use it. Different kinds of paper are good – writing paper, foil, greaseproof….. I had two empty water bottles. I put dried peas in one, and split lentils in the other. They make different sounds. A ball or marble running round a bowl or plate makes a great travelling sort of sound. Wooden spoons are good, big metal kitchen implements like spoons and slices can sound like bells when hit. Hang them from a loop of string. You may have things that are made to make a sound. I have an old bicycle bell. That gave me the start of my story.

You could begin by making a story board for your story. To be honest that felt quite hard. So I began by thinking about a small creature who lives in my house and rides a flying bicycle. I drew her. The bicycle bell is her sound. I began to think of the story, but I really wanted to play with the sounds to see what happened. So I did.

A journey is a good shape for a story with sounds. Decide on your character and give them a signature sound if you wish. Then set them off on their journey. The sounds you make will tell us where your character goes and even who they meet. I really liked the idea of the spider on the table and so there she was – and her sound was a small handful of pins dropped gently on the table. Work out your story. Rehearse it and then tell it to someone who would like to listen. 

Have fun. You never know, you might make a story that you would like to write down. You might even a make a book for it.

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