Case Study: Primary School

P1, Leith Walk Primary School, Edinburgh
Teacher: Anna Elliot

Bringing Music to Educators

Leith Walk Primary School is a council run school in Edinburgh’s city centre, that does not currently have instruments for use in their early years classrooms. Soundbops was trialed for a day to see how school-children interacted with the product and its accompanying educational materials, such as song sheets and chord guides.

Introducing the Instrument

The children were introduced to the product after an introductory talk from Soundbops creator Michael Tougher. Their initial reactions were of excitement about the bright instrument, Class teacher Anna Elliot told us that “They (the children) loved how colourful it was, and they loved that they could get involved… I think they enjoyed the aspect that they had to put the block down before they could push it, it wasn’t a case of just making lots of noise, they had to press them down to do that.”

Songs and Scales

Over the course of the session children were encouraged to interact with the instrument and try out some different musical activities, such as laying the bops out into scales, stacking chords, and playing Soundbops simplified sheet music. “There were children who enjoyed following the music and looking at a song, and they were quite structured and organised with the way that they did it, it was really interesting… a few of them commented on how they liked the sounds that it made, and the like… interactive aspect of it.”

Building Musical Foundations

The children involved in the trial managed to take in a surprising amount of information from their time with Soundbops; on the product and her pupils' time with it Anna Elliot explained:“I find it fantastic that you can build the blocks to create a chord. That’s such a complicated concept but seeing it practically in a block format made it so much more simple. You’re asking quite a lot of Primary One’s to understand that but I think a few of them did. I think they enjoyed playing around and discovering that certain sounds sound better than others, and that’s sort of how we build our music.”

Furthering Musical Provisions

Anna Elliot felt encouraged by Soundbops and how it could help her in the classroom: “At the minute we don’t really have any instruments... We do interactive music games and things, but it doesn’t really teach the skills behind music.”... “I think it would be really helpful as a teacher to promote learning notes, and learning rhythm and beats”... “I can see how it (Soundbops) would benefit music teaching, definitely.”