What is growing sound?

Growing Sound is a cross-curricular workshop and collection of teaching resources, for primary and secondary schools. It explores music, the physics of sound and plant biology and culminates in students making musical instruments from fruit and vegetables.

In the following videos two workshops are described one at Lightoaks Junior School, Salford the other at St Saviour's and St Olave's School.

Video1 download in quicktime or windows media player format

Growing Sound uses group discussion and problem solving to encourage children to develop original ideas. As the work is based on oral and physical activities ,all pupils have an opportunity to demonstrate their ideas, regardless of their literacy skills or special needs.

Pilot workshops have been successfully carried out at a number of schools and a large resource of teaching materials have been developed which are accessible on this site.


Kids making music veg

The aims of growing sound are:

  • To work on the music/engineering/science interfaces to inspire pupils to realise all are capable of being engineers and scientists.
  • To increase pupils’ understanding of the physics of sound, including echoes, sound absorption and resonance.
  • To increase pupils’ understanding of plant biology, i.e. the underlying biological characteristics of the materials.
  • To demonstrate that engineering encompasses many disciplines.
  • To provide opportunities for teachers to work together across the curriculum.
  • To show pupils that science can be creative and fun!

Meet the growing sound team

Growing sound is part of a collaborative project called Sound Matters which aims to promote engineering and science. Growing Sound has been developed by a network of Universities (Salford and Southampton) and top science communicators in the UK.

Ray Mathias

Ray Mathias is a biologist and experienced science communicator.

Eugene Skeef

Eugene is South African percussionist, composer, poet, educationist and animator.
Steve Mesure
Steve Mesure a professional science communicator and physicist.
The rest of the team
The project is coordinated from the Universities of Salford and Southampton and is supported by academics from both institutions.


Growing Sound was funded via the EPSRC Stages award, Sound Matters (jointly held with ISVR, University of Southampton and Acoustics research centre, University of Salford) Sound Matters supports a range of public engagement activities in Acoustic Engineering.





Prof Trevor Cox
University of Salford
0161 295 5474

Dr Steve Dorney
University of Southampton
023 8059 3759