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Groovy Sounds

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    The Exploratorium

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Groovy Sounds

In this activity related to music and sound vibrations, learners make a phonograph or record player out of simple materials. First, learners assemble the turntable, arm, and sound cone. Then, they use their phonograph to play real music.

Quick Guide

Preparation Time:
Under 5 minutes

Learning Time:
45 to 60 minutes

Estimated Materials Cost:
$1 - $5 per group of students

Age Range:
Ages 8 - 14

Resource Type:


Materials List (per group of students)

  • A sharpened pencil
  • A straight pin
  • Piece of paper (the larger the better)
  • LP - a vinyl record in reasonably good quality (not too many scratches)
  • Tape


  • Physical Sciences
    • Motion and Forces
    • Vibration and Waves
      • Sound
  • The Nature of Science
    • The Scientific Process
      • Conducting Investigations

Informal Categories

  • Music


To use this activity, learners need to:

  • see
  • hear
  • touch

Learning styles supported:

  • Involves teamwork and communication skills
  • Links STEM to other topics of interest such as arts and humanities
  • Involves hands-on or lab activities


This resource is part of:

Access Rights:

  • Free access


  • Muller, Eric


  • All Rights Reserved, Do Science, ©2005


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