This week we thought we’d do something music-based that helped us think about how we used sound as communication. We got into two teams and arranged our chairs in two long lines, each team facing the other. I explained that the aim of the activity was to walk from one end of the room to the other down the aisle between the two teams. There were just two problems: 1) there were obstacles along the route and 2) the person would be blindfolded.
We discussed how we can use sound to get people’s attention and came up with a plan to guide ‘the walker’ past the obstacles and to the goal (a Creme Egg). We decided that the team on the left would make noise if the blindfolded person should move left, and that the team on the right would do the same for the other direction. The louder the ‘woo-woo-woo’ noise the team made, the more the walker would move towards them. If both teams were silent, the walker would move forward.
We tried this with a few of us and found it quite successful, although it was tricky to make everyone on the team stop making a noise when the walker had come far enough in a particular direction.
Next we stopped making noises with our mouths and tried clapping instead. This seemed to work better – perhaps because we could see our team members clapping as well as hear them? It might have been easier to change the volume of clapping than it was to change the volume of woo-woo-woo noises.
Halfway through the activity, someone noticed that the way the walker swapped between sideways steps and forward steps made them think of the way robots moved. So whenever anyone came up for a go as the walker after that we gave them a robot name too – “Grant-O-Matic”, “Alana-Tron 3000”, “Mark-Bot 2000” etc.