Separating loud/quiet (loudness) from high/low (pitch)
Teaching Guidance for 5-11
Frequency and pitch
Wrong Track: There are more vibrations, so it will be louder.
Right Lines: There are more vibrations each second, so the frequency will be higher, giving a higher pitched sound.
Amplitude and loudness
Wrong Track: With bigger vibrations it will be a higher sound.
Right Lines: If the amplitude of the vibration of the source is bigger, the sound produced will be louder.
Thinking about the learning
The central learning challenge for children is for them to develop a clear understanding of the difference between describing sounds in terms of loudness (amplitude) and pitch (frequency). There are two separate ways of describing sounds here, and the aim must be to help children differentiate between them.
Thinking about the teaching
Using terms such as
more vibrations or
it vibrates more is likely to lead to confusion among your children. Be clear in specifying either.
More vibrations in a second (pitch or frequency) or each vibration involves a greater to-and-fro movement of the source, or of the air (loudness or amplitude)
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