Digital Symphony


Educational Outcomes

  • Students will compose a digital symphony by creating a soundscape.
  • Students will learn the traditional descriptive essay mode.
  • Students will draw from personal and professional experience for inspiration.
  • Students will reflect upon their soundscapes.
  • Students will respond to their classmates’ soundscapes.
  • Students will develop technical skills.
  • Students will hone communication skills.
  • Students will apply knowledge, skills, and values learned from this project to new situations.


  • The instructor teaches the traditional descriptive essay, exposing students to amateur and professional examples.
  • The instructor introduces the soundscape in light of Bernie Krause’s “The Voice of the Natural World” (TED Talk).
  • The instructor explores the history of soundscapes so that students appreciate this medium.
  • Students experience soundscapes.
  • The instructor introduces the value of soundscapes and the ethical responsibilities of soundscapers.


  • Students explore the sections of a classical orchestra to learn the value and contribution of each section.
  • Students listen to a symphony in order to identify the qualities, characteristics, and impact of each orchestra section.

  • Students select a place, setting, or environment to record at different times of day and night.
  • Students edit the recordings to compose a digital symphony, limiting it to five minutes.
  • Students write a two-page description of the symphony, detailing the qualities, characteristics, and impact of certain “sections” of sounds.
  • Students play their digital symphonies in class.
  • The instructor facilities discussion/debate in order to identify changes in students’ attitudes, beliefs, and/or behaviors.