1
Can You See Sound?
Adventures in Film and Animation
About the Author

Darryl Bedford
Darryl Bedford is an Apple Distinguished Educator and an Advanced Skills Teacher
working ...
ONE BEST THING
Visualizing Sound - Adventures in Film and Animation

A collaborative exploration of the senses. Deaf stude...
Big questions are fun... don't you think?
I teach deaf and language impaired children in central
London. My role in recent...
Learning is
Social

Often students are required to
work independently. Powerful
learning, however, is social.

Inquisitive...
Creative
Balham

South London schools came together to create, animate,
edit and express.
This project was a collaborative...
Oak Lodge School students were asked to explore
their understanding of sound and document the process
for several neighbou...
8
TECHNOLOGY
This project features activities where 4 to 5 students share one iPad, engaging in
transformative classroom act...
My aim is not to create tutorials for specific apps, but to focus on process. Many of
my apps belong to a genre and I aim ...
Additional Technology

Applications

Itunes

Photo Booth

Videator

Tripod, Monopod, Movie Mount, Microphone, Light.

11
EXPLORATION
Students and teachers united to explore alternative ways of
experiencing sound and music. This section outline...
VIBRATION
“We experience sound
through vibration. This is picked up in hollow
spaces within our body.” 

Nick Cattermole
N...
Deaf Students
and Music

In the past deaf students
were disapplied from formal
music lessons. However modern pedagogy espo...
The Science of
Sound

Quantum Mechanics tells us
that everything in the
universes is a wave and thus
has its own frequency...
Abstract Art

Abstract art comes from
within, it taps in to all our
senses. This is a great
starting point for experimenti...
Careers

VJ
Visual Jockeys often work alongside DJs to visualize and
intensify the experience of music. Visual vocabulary ...
CREATION
My students’ began by investigating iPad ‘sound’ apps. They
sketched their interpretation of wave formations and ...
Responding to
Music

With the help of Nick
Cattermole, students’
developed an understanding of vibration and how the
body ...
Visualising
Sound

Using the iTunes ‘classic’ visualiser, students’ played a musical composition by artist and
composer, A...
Animating

Animation is a great way to
learn sequencing of
information and story telling. I created a simple flip book
usi...
Flip Books

This was a great way of teaching the concept of “onion skinning”, the previous image is
seen through the notwb...
Kaleidoscopes

Repeating and reflecting an animation or live video
can imitate visualiser effects and result in surprising...
Kandinsky

Kandinsky’s artwork offers a wonderful way to explore the
depiction of music and develop complex compositions.
...
Materials

Experimenting with materials is one of the most enjoyable parts of animation. Providing a
choice of materials c...
Vocabulary
Development
Animating words and titles is a great way to
reinforce vocabulary. This task really showcases a
tra...
Stomp

Class visits provide valuable learning experiences. Oak Lodge
students’ visited the West End performance of ‘Stomp’...
Music and
sound

A collection of objects for sound and music experiments.

The visit to Stomp sparked a host of experiment...
Independent
Exploration
Working independently to explore the theme,
extends students in directions that draw on
their stre...
Filming an iPad Visualiser app results in stunning results.

A student’s app recommendation
drives exploration.

Top: Crus...
REVIEW
My story started as a question and grew in directions totally unexpected. The results have now
become the basis of ...
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Can you see sound?

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A collaborative exploration of the senses.  Deaf students use film and animation techniques to broaden their understanding of sound.
This chapter offers a range of cross curriculum activities with a difference.

Before we begin, I have a question for you...

...Can you see sound?

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Can you see sound?

  1. 1. 1 Can You See Sound? Adventures in Film and Animation
  2. 2. About the Author Darryl Bedford Darryl Bedford is an Apple Distinguished Educator and an Advanced Skills Teacher working in central London. He is an Art teacher at Oak Lodge School for Deaf Children and works closely with several local mainstream schools. He works across all key stages, providing advice, support and training focused on future technologies in the classroom. He has extensive knowledge and experience of creative cross-curricular project work featuring Apple technology. Darryl utilises video, animation, portable devices and Internet technologies to encourage collaborative learning and crosscurricular links.
  3. 3. ONE BEST THING Visualizing Sound - Adventures in Film and Animation A collaborative exploration of the senses. Deaf students use film and animation techniques to broaden their understanding of sound. This chapter offers a range of cross curriculum activities with a difference. Before we begin, I have a question for you... ...Can you see sound? 3
  4. 4. Big questions are fun... don't you think? I teach deaf and language impaired children in central London. My role in recent years has enabled me to work with neighbouring mainstream schools. This has allowed me to reach out to many different audiences and develop Collaborative Learning Collaborative learning is not a new concept. Throughout time, man’s collaborative efforts have lead to an acceleration of the creative process resulting in surprising outcomes. approaches that cater for all key stages (5-19 years). My Collaborative working practices are well established within story will hopefully inspire you to try some of the the workplace and employers look for evidence of suggested activities, adapting them to your own communication, group work and problem solving. curriculum. Student centered, collaborative learning allows for Almost any theme or concept can be animated. Your freedom of enquiry and draws on student strengths and students can demonstrate their understanding of subject interests, equipping them with the skills for future matter by transforming concepts into new forms.
 employment. Similar to the Challenge Based Learning This process highlights Bloom’s higher order thinking approach, a main question or theme commences the skills. Creation being the highest order, involving a process and students respond creatively to the stimulus, transformation of knowledge in order to communicate developing skills of problem solving and group work along understanding through a new medium. the way. An educational revolution is underway; recognising the need to nurture flexible, creative minds. If we as educators can instill in our students a love for learning and a fervor for enquiry they will then have the tools to embrace change and to succeed. 4
  5. 5. Learning is Social Often students are required to work independently. Powerful learning, however, is social. Inquisitive Minds Tara Bell, Head of Curriculum Design at Oak Lodge School has developed an enquiry Many modern educationalists have studied this based curriculum aimed at year 7 and 8 students (11-13 phenomenon. Years). The ‘Curious Minds’ curriculum draws on modern Professor Sugata Mitra, (Professor of Educational Technology at Newcastle University, England) provides strong evidence of the benefits of learning in a social context. I highlight his studies because he is specifically interested in technology and how it can encourage productive interaction in the classroom. His ‘hole in the wall’ project focused on children developing and sharing skills independently. His work is centred on classrooms in pedagogy, intertwining personal learning and thinking skills with language development. One day a week, the timetable is collapsed for staff and student to focus on thematic enquiry. This involves three phases; enquiry, design and perform. Teachers form many different curriculum areas work together to plan and deliver student centered learning activities. Students have an active role in guiding their learning pathways and in reaching a shared outcome. which student’s work with one computer between four Experiential learning helps our students build a better pupils; researching, developing and presenting conceptual understanding of their world. understandings in groups. In this model, the teacher becomes a facilitator; checking, directing and refining skills and content. The freedom to enquire and develop knowledge and skills has had huge learning gains. Technology plays an integral role within this process. The freedom to explore ideas has resulted in many innovative projects. ‘Education is a self-organising system, where learning is an emergent phenomenon.’ Professor Sugata Mitra 'Innovation is the fuel that drives the global economy and it must be fostered in our nation's schools'. 'School of tomorrow’ www.mmiweb.org.uk 5
  6. 6. Creative Balham South London schools came together to create, animate, edit and express. This project was a collaborative effort, in the vein of Project Based Learning, to address a real world challenge. The main participants were four neighbouring schools. Read about these projects in the slider to the left. This chapter will focus on contributions from Oak Lodge School for Deaf Children. Oak Lodge School for Deaf Children A small group of year 7 and 8 (11-13 years) students participating in a collaborative project based curriculum entitled “Inquisitive Minds”. Drag to read more about this project! 
 Creative Balham 6
  7. 7. Oak Lodge School students were asked to explore their understanding of sound and document the process for several neighbouring mainstream schools, whom would later participate in similar enquiry. If students have a clear understanding of the purpose for their efforts then engagement is dramatically improved. My story focusses on a collective exploration of knowledge and experience. Technology and modern teaching methods drive the process. This chapter can be viewed on several levels. Primarily as an example of how technology can impact on the teaching and learning process, as a study of the collaborative process or as a collection of engaging film and animation activities. Technology opens doors to new creative ways of working! Enjoy! 7
  8. 8. 8
  9. 9. TECHNOLOGY This project features activities where 4 to 5 students share one iPad, engaging in transformative classroom activities. Professor Sugata Mitra would be proud! The beauty of Apple technology is its ease of setup and intuitive use; paving the way for truly engaging, transformative learning activities. Animation Animation is social by nature. Rarely do animators work alone as the process can be time consuming. Many hands not only make light work, but drive the creative process. I believe the group dynamic created during this activity is the reason for my fascination with animation within the classroom. Animation is also a lot of fun! Apple Products 9
  10. 10. My aim is not to create tutorials for specific apps, but to focus on process. Many of my apps belong to a genre and I aim to highlight the features to look out for. Portability The power of the iPad lies in its simplicity and portability. The aim is to maximise workflow in order to capture, composite, edit and share amazing content. Never before has it been so easy to produce quality images, video, audio and animation on the go. For over 10 years now, animation has been relatively simple task, thanks to portable laptops and user-friendly software. The iPad further simplifies this process. When technology rarely interrupts the creative process, you know you’re on a winner! Interface Apps are constantly improving- new apps are harnessing the power of Apple’s portable devices’ multi-media inputs with simple, intuitive interfaces. Thus making creative story telling an intuitive process. Apps 10
  11. 11. Additional Technology Applications Itunes Photo Booth Videator Tripod, Monopod, Movie Mount, Microphone, Light. 11
  12. 12. EXPLORATION Students and teachers united to explore alternative ways of experiencing sound and music. This section outlines some of our discoveries, leading to a broad range of cross curriculum activities. Can you see sound? 
 Are there some processes that complement our auditory perception? What other senses are in play? If we are to focus on these senses, are we able to develop a new relationship to sound? That would be a truly transformative outcome! How do we experience sound? SENSES We use our senses to “read” our environment. It’s commonly thought, the loss of one sense heightens other senses. This is clearly evident when considering blind people and touch. 12
  13. 13. VIBRATION “We experience sound through vibration. This is picked up in hollow spaces within our body.” 
 Nick Cattermole Nick Cattermole, a professional musician and instrument maker worked with my students, broadening their understanding of sound, vibration and alternative ways of perceiving sound. Oak Lodge students discover vibration with help from Michael Ormiston and a Tibetan singing bowl. Experiencing vibration through their feet. 13
  14. 14. Deaf Students and Music In the past deaf students were disapplied from formal music lessons. However modern pedagogy espousing the importance of providing students with a ‘whole education’ has reversed this opinion. This requires covering all areas of creativity and allowing students to develop skills that may reveal themselves as talents, interests or life long pursuits. Several deaf people have gone on to become professional musicians. Of greatest importance is the value music has for the developing brain. Visualisers I have been fascinated with visualising sound for many years. My initial interest was sparked during an annual school disco for deaf students. Many students enjoyed the social aspect of the disco but had no way of accessing the music apart from standing close to the speakers and experiencing the vibrations. The original music visualization programme was written in the mid 90s. I think my first exposure to the idea of `visualizing music was in the movie ‘Electric Dreams’. Studies have shown the benefits music has for the development of language 14
  15. 15. The Science of Sound Quantum Mechanics tells us that everything in the universes is a wave and thus has its own frequency. The iPhone App ‘SoundBeam’ is projected and used to visualise a student’s voice. A Chladni Plate experiment for Nancy Duarte’s iBook ‘Resonate’. Of all the visual representations of waveforms on the Internet, the Chladni plate impressed me the most. It’s also a fantastic starting point for talking about the visual vibration and the visual properties of sound waves. Many mobile apps are available to generate and display sound waves, bringing the science lab into the classroom! Investigating wave forms by running a tone generator and a signal processor in tandem. 15
  16. 16. Abstract Art Abstract art comes from within, it taps in to all our senses. This is a great starting point for experimenting with animation techniques because of the creative freedom it inspires. Some people can see sound! Wassily Kandinsky was one such person! Wassily Kandinsky was the ‘Father of Abstract Art’. He strove to document music using colour, shape, lines and vibration. His paintings were records of musical compositions. Kandinsky was a Synesthetic. He truly could see sound or, at the very least, he was able to splice two senses together and process them as one. One of my student’s interpretation of Kandinsky’s ‘Small Pleasures’, 1913 Re-imagining Kandinsky’s artwork. 16
  17. 17. Careers VJ Visual Jockeys often work alongside DJs to visualize and intensify the experience of music. Visual vocabulary is imprinted in our youths’ visual vocabulary. MTV and YouTube make this art form immediately consumable and common place.
 
 VJ's create a visual for music; heightening our emotive connection by multiplying sensory input. Animators
 Animators draw on their skills of acting, story telling, artistic creation and creative/scientific experimentation. Often working in large teams, breathing life into the inanimate! A short animation in homage to Jan Svankmajer. 17
  18. 18. CREATION My students’ began by investigating iPad ‘sound’ apps. They sketched their interpretation of wave formations and started to make connections to pitch, tone and volume. They were fascinated with sound waves, leading to a string of experiments. What does sound look like? Experiencing Sound 18
  19. 19. Responding to Music With the help of Nick Cattermole, students’ developed an understanding of vibration and how the body responds to vibration within its many hollow spaces. They created musical instruments and developed a deeper understanding of sound. They explored the musical qualities of membranes, and strings. They experimented with air and lengths of tubing. They engaged in individual experiments and devised new activities for responding to sound and vibration. Their investigations were filmed using iPaps and the video was reviewed at the end of the session. 19
  20. 20. Visualising Sound Using the iTunes ‘classic’ visualiser, students’ played a musical composition by artist and composer, Arnold Schoenberg, a friend of Wassily Kandinsky. The expressionist music was perfect for triggering fantastic visualisations. Students’ used capture software to create screen shots. Keeping only the best examples. This was a great opportunity to discuss composition and develop a shared visual vocabulary. Students’ applied the new vocabulary by titling their screen captures. Classic iTunes visualiser, pulsating rhythms of light. 20
  21. 21. Animating Animation is a great way to learn sequencing of information and story telling. I created a simple flip book using Keynote for iPad to illustrate the concept of frame by frame animation. Animation Setup Using an iPad mount allows for the simplest setup of an animation station. The tripod raises the camera above the action. I used iMotion HD as my animation app of choice. Digital Flip Book: Keep tapping the button! 21
  22. 22. Flip Books This was a great way of teaching the concept of “onion skinning”, the previous image is seen through the notwbook paper, allowing the student to make slight alterations to each consecutive image as the pages were turned. Each student started animating with the same shared shape. Once complete each book was digitally animated, one after the other, to make one animation. Individuals came together to produce a shared work! The success of this project lies in a shared aim, in this case it was to respond to the ‘visualiser’ investigations. Students used line to express movement and vibration. A video documenting the capture process. 22
  23. 23. Kaleidoscopes Repeating and reflecting an animation or live video can imitate visualiser effects and result in surprisingly professional results. ‘Videator’ for Mac was used to create real time video processing. Students’ attempted to imitated rhythm and movement from their previous investigations. 23 Videator
  24. 24. Kandinsky Kandinsky’s artwork offers a wonderful way to explore the depiction of music and develop complex compositions. Animating using colour, shape and lines removes the restraints of realism and allows students to focus on group work and the generation of ideas. “There is no MUST in art, because art is free!” Student interpretation of Kandinsky’s ‘Moscow 1’ 1916 Wassily Kandinsky 24
  25. 25. Materials Experimenting with materials is one of the most enjoyable parts of animation. Providing a choice of materials can result in very individual responses to a task. Begin with one or two different types of materials, allowing students to explore their unique qualities without drawing away from the desired aim. Start with two dimensional work and progress to three dimensional work. Using an ‘arial’ animation setup simplifies the task! A variety of materials to engage students in the art of creation. 25
  26. 26. Vocabulary Development Animating words and titles is a great way to reinforce vocabulary. This task really showcases a transformational classroom activity that focusses on group-work skills. 26
  27. 27. Stomp Class visits provide valuable learning experiences. Oak Lodge students’ visited the West End performance of ‘Stomp’, their energetic impromptu response to the visit was filmed in the subway. They created poetry and used ‘MovBeats’ for the iPhone to record a movement piece. 27
  28. 28. Music and sound A collection of objects for sound and music experiments. The visit to Stomp sparked a host of experiments with homemade musical instruments. MovBeats for iPhone provided the perfect interface for capturing, processing and playing sound and movement creations. 28
  29. 29. Independent Exploration Working independently to explore the theme, extends students in directions that draw on their strengths and allows curiosity to lead the creative process. Oak Lodge students’ discoveries feed new areas of enquiry and had a profound effect on the subsequent instruction and direction of the project. Independent exploration of sound utilising iPad apps. Ingenious visualising of drum sounds. A student documents the learning process. 29
  30. 30. Filming an iPad Visualiser app results in stunning results. A student’s app recommendation drives exploration. Top: Crushed pastel on a drum. Below: Processed using ‘Videator’. 30
  31. 31. REVIEW My story started as a question and grew in directions totally unexpected. The results have now become the basis of a larger project that I have implemented in many local schools, encouraging teamwork and developing new film and animation approaches. I facilitate creative use of technology within the classroom with the aim of instilling staff with the confidence to explore technology further. I know that technology has the potential to transform learning and is already transforming the way many schools view their curriculum and structure their learning activities. I also know those that benefit the most are our students. If our students take control of their learning they are more likely to be life long learners and life long achievers. Hopefully, this chapter will inspire you to try some of the ideas. I have included many starting points to commence enquiry. But before you begin, I have a question for you... ...can you see sound? 31

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