Games for Exploring Timbre

Music (and Science) For Young Children


Games for Exploring Timbre

For his fourth birthday, Brycen received a rhythm band set. He enjoyed playing with all the instruments, and his mom, Kyleigh, was delighted that he seemed to be musically inclined. Then one day she found him playing with the maracas in a rather unusual way – he was stomping on them! “Don’t do that,” Kyleigh said instinctively. “You’ll break them!”                

Brycen calmly explained, “I’m trying to break them. I need to see what’s inside them that makes the noise.”

Most children don’t go as far as Brycen, but all young children are fascinated by sounds. Naturally curious, they want to know where sounds come from, how they are made, and why different objects make different sounds.The unique sound quality of each instrument, object, or material is called its timbre (pronounced tamber).

Timbre exploration helps young children to develop sensitive listening skills. Listening skills are critical…

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