The leader or one member of the group acts as conductor, whilst the rest of the group are the ‘orchestra’. Using their voices (and body percussion if appropriate!), the group paints a soundscape of a particular theme or mood, for example the seaside, a city, a jungle. The leader can control the shape of the piece by raising her hand to increase the volume or bringing it to touch the floor for silence. You may also use simple percussion instruments for this exercise.

Use the player below to hear a pretty convincing rainforest soundscape created by a dozen talented teachers on one of our Primary Drama INSET days. Another, more poetic soundscape follows.

Here is another soundscape, this time from a course on teaching Shakespeare. I took a speech by Caliban (from The Tempest) which talks about strange and magical sounds and asked the group to come up with sounds to put behind the speech. I also got them to echo words from the speech and then we improvised this soundscape. See what you think.

My young drama group love all your games but their favourite is the sound orchestra – we were all in hysterics during this. They came up with their own original noises too. We had a lightsaber from star wars, a flushing toilet, washing machine and my favourite a bear growl amazing especially for the play we are performing.

Diane Kingsland

This one is made by students on the Literature and Drama for Language Teaching course at NILE Norwich, August 2018 with David Farmer. I guess we should have had some wine glasses too!