For KS3/4 physics show the different impact of materials on sound This clip features a demonstration of how musical instruments sound different when they are played in different environments. It is ideal for use as a lesson starter in KS3/4 science.

The presenter plays a saxophone in a room with brick walls, then in a room with walls made of foam. There are marked differences in the sounds.

The questions for students to consider are: What is the difference between the sound heard in the brick room and the room with the foam walls? What causes the difference?

See the accompanying teachers’ notes for a full explanation of the science underpinning the demonstration, plus suggested extension activities.

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