de Youngsters Art Party: Bangin’ Beats

By Raphael Noz, senior teaching artist

January 28, 2021

De Youngsters Art Party

Explore the materials in your surroundings through the sounds they make. Give each sound a color. Transcribe, or mark down, the order of your sounds on to music paper. Play back the pattern or rhythm that you made. Record your sound composition using a recording app such as Yellofier.

This project is inspired by the de Young itself and the materials used throughout the building, particularly wood, stone (floors), and metal (copper cladding).


  • Pots and pans of various materials, such as metal, wood, or plastic
  • Wooden or plastic stir spoons or short sticks, to use as drumsticks
  • Objects to make sounds, such as squeaky toys or other nonbreakable objects Colored circle stickers
  • Music paper
  • Pencil
  • Sound recording app, such as Yellofier, downloaded and open

Questions to Consider

  • Stop and listen to your environment. What sounds do you hear?
  • What is the difference between noise, sound, and music?

NOTE: If you use a sound recording app, take 3–7 minutes alone to learn the app so as not to distract from your child’s learning session. There are 3-minute tutorials on YouTube. When ready to record, do so discreetly. As with many activities, pulling out a mobile device may eclipse the attention to the other materials.


1. To start, gather a few pots, pans, and other things to make sound, plus 1 or 2 tapping spoons.

2. After tapping spoons on the pots to explore sounds, label each vessel with a different colored sticker. Decide which color sticker to assign to which object. If you're ready for more complex play, add more objects to tap, plus more stickers to make more distinct combinations.

3. As your child begins to practice a sequence, transcribe their sound pattern on the music paper. For instance, if they hit blue-blue-yellow-red-green-green, put the corresponding stickers in that sequence on the music paper.

4.Take a turn playing the sound objects, repeating your child's pattern by “reading” off the music paper, tapping out the objects to the corresponding colors.

5. Record your child’s sound sequences on a tape recorder, voice recorder app, or sound recording app such as Yellofier. Experiment with including your child’s voice as well.

6. Play the recording back and have a dance party!


After creating your sound piece, consider the following questions with your child: How long did you need to “bang around” before wanting to put it on paper? Did you try any other sounds such as a squeaky toy or your child’s short vocalization? Were you able to repeat your pattern by reading the music paper? Did you expect your banging to sound like it did in the recording?


We would love to hear what you create! Email pics and clips of your soundwork/artwork to or tag us on any social media platform with #deyoungsters.

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