Sound Wave
Light Sound and Waves

Musical Tea

Enrichment Activity for 5-11 11-14

What you need

  • A teacup or mug
  • A teaspoon
  • Good ears


  1. If you tap the rim of the teacup by the handle, opposite the handle or at the two points half way round the rim, then you hear a low pitched sound
  2. But if you tap the rim of the teacup halfway between those points, you hear a sound that is higher in pitch

Results and Explanation

Tapping the rim causes vibrations around the cup, but at the handle the movement is always at a minimum.

So tapping at the specific points on the rim sets up vibrations with different wavelengths and you hear notes of different pitches, or frequencies.

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