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For nearly ten years Planet Birdsong has delivered tailor-made workshops in schools and other educational settings, lasting anything from an hour to several days, for any age group. We have worked closely with James de Winter, who leads the secondary Physics PGCE course at the University of Cambridge, to align our work with the UK national curriculum, and can also adapt to suit special needs.

Workshops can include whole school and whole class activities, activities for small groups, or a combination of these. Possible modules include:
  • Birdsong Studios
  • Birdsong Walks
  • Birdsong recording using a parabolic reflector.
  • Creating a song for a whole class to sing using slowed-down birdsong
  • Creating soundscapes
  • Lectures on physics and birdsong (for primary or secondary students).
We assume the full involvement of class teachers and group leaders, and leave behind the tools for them to follow up our activities, including a powerpoint lesson plan.

​To watch videos of some of our educational activities, click here.



One Student's Story
Phoebe Review
"We started and ended the day all together, learning about sonographs (used to show the highs, lows and lengths of different notes) and how birdsong is made up of repeated patterns. This included drawing our own sonographs and creating lyrics to birdsong!
Next we were split into smaller groups and got the chance to walk through the grounds, and — with the help of Peter Cowdrey, the founder of Planet Birdsong, we quickly learnt to distinguish between the different birds we could hear. This included the great tit, wren, blackbird, robin, chaffinch, chiffchaff, wood pigeon and more. We also saw a greater spotted woodpecker feeding its young in their nest, high up in a tree.

In my opinion, the best part of the day was the opportunity to ‘sing like a bird’. This concept might appear strange, but it was the most unique and eye-opening experience I have ever had. Birdsong is far too quick and high pitched for a human to sing, so Planet Birdsong have slowed down recordings of birds, to a quarter or even an eighth of their original speed. Then all you need to do is copy the sounds you hear. After a few practices, this is recorded and sped up again, and you really can sing like a bird!

The day was a great success all round and I am sure that none of us will ever think of birdsong as meaningless twitter again!"

By Phoebe Peppé, U4, Kilgraston School, Perthshire



Feedback from Schools
"The team got them involved really quickly, and gave us great material for incorporating into maths, geography and science. The children loved taking the birdsong they'd recorded outside and putting it into Raven, Audacity and Thumbjam. It was really enjoyable and interesting".

The children learned three or four birds they'll be able to identify now and they will definitely continue with an interest in birds.
Sam Jones, Hopton Primary School.

"The children greatly enjoyed it, and are proud of the results of the work. Many were pleased to share the video with their families via the school website. I feel that your work really inspired the children, especially in the area of music. Thank you again for all you have done for our school."
Richard Williams, Holbrook Primary.

"We are extremely fortunate to have participated in this project"
Tamsin Young, teacher, Garboldisham Primary.

"a fantastic event...gave the children an understanding of the complex rhythms of birdsong and helped them to appreciate so many different aspects of music. A brilliant and stimulating educational idea!"
Simon Kingsley-Pallant, Dunhurst School.

"It was great to combine ICT and birdsong. An exciting opportunity for the children."
Class teacher, East Meon Primary.

"I listen to birdsong differently now. It was fantastic."
Pupil, aged 11.

"We learned so much about birds that we didn't know before."
Pupil, aged 10.