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Minute of Listening X SOTYA

For this year’s partnership between Sound of the Year Awards and Minute of Listening, we are inviting children to create a graphic score and submit their own 60-second soundscape exploring the theme of ecosystems. Don’t miss this opportunity to try new ways of making music in the classroom and at home, and for your score and recordings to be featured on the Minute Of Listening website for other classrooms to respond to in the future!

Submit your soundscape and graphic score before 8th May 2023 to enter the awards. After submissions close, Sound and Music will contact all entrants via email about adding their soundscape and graphic score to a new Minute Of Listening collection.

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An ecosystem is an area where a variety of plants, animals and other living things work together to allow life to thrive. Each creature or plant has its own important role to play in keeping the ecosystem thriving.

One example of a complex ecosystem is a rainforest. The trees and plants draw nutrients from bacteria and fungi in the soil, and provide food for insects and smaller animals. Snakes, monkeys, toucans and other animals also live inside the tree canopy, eating their fruit and sometimes other animals! This creates a complex web of relationships, that is constantly shifting and adapting.

We’d like to invite you to create a graphic score and short soundscape that captures a mini-ecosystem near your school or home; it could be in a garden, pond or tree right outside the window. You can also create the sounds of a rainforest if you prefer!

  • What sounds could represent the plants that you see?

  • Which creatures or plants might be louder, quieter, slower or faster? Does this change at different times of the day?

  • What animals are there? How do they move or communicate with each other?

  • Are there any insects? How could you recreate their sounds?

  • How do they work together, or interact with the plants, trees or water?

Creating your graphic scores and sounscape!

  1. Check out some examples of graphic scores made by other classroom groups, such as the nocturnal themed ones below created by pupils at Seven Mills Primary School. You can find more examples exploring river systemsnocturnal wildlife and more in our Graphic Scores collection.

  2. Choose a mini-ecosystem to explore, and identify some sounds and features of it that you’d like to bring to life in your soundscape (such as certain animals, weather changes or insects).

  3. Ask your class how they would like to try writing down their musical ideas; this can include pictures, words, images and lines to suggest different plants and animals, speed, pitch or rhythm.

  4. From these ideas, draw up some graphic scores, either working as a class or in small groups.

  5. Once you have some scores ready, try playing them! Children can use their voices, bodies, instruments or other materials available in the classroom to bring the scores and ecosystems to life. When you’re feeling ready, record and submit your soundscape.

  6. Take photos of any graphic scores you’d like to submit with your recorded soundscape.

Recording and submitting your soundscape!

The easiest way to do this is on a mobile phone, but if you have a portable audio recorder like a Zoom device or similar then you can use that too. If using a mobile phone:

Android phone: Use the built in ‘Voice Recorder’ app
iPhone: Use the built in ‘Voice Memos’ app


  1. Record the class making their soundscape.

  2. Save the recording to your devices ‘Files’ folder and follow this link to the submissions page.

  3. After completing the required information on the submission form, click on ‘Add File’ underneath ‘Upload your class soundscape recording’. You should then be able to select your recording from your ‘Files’ folder which will attach it to the submission.

  4. Upload the photos of your graphic score(s), for other classroom groups to try recreating in the future!

  5. Sound and Music will contact you via email about adding your soundscape and graphic score to the new Minute Of Listening collection.

The deadline has been extended to the 21st July 2023.

For any technical questions, please email:

Graphic Score Examples

These nocturnal-themed graphic scores are created by pupils at Seven Mills Primary School. You can find more examples exploring river systemsnocturnal wildlife and more in Minute of Listening's Graphic Scores collection.

Soundscape Recording Examples

These recordings are submissions from last year's Minute of Listening X SOTYA category - creating soundscapes inspired by recordings of underwater soundscapes.

📍 Reggio Emilia, Italy

Best Classroom SoundscapeScuola Comunale Infanzia Salvador Allende
00:00 / 01:02

Teacher: Alessandra Iacopetti, Vania Tagliavini
School: Scuola Comunale Infanzia Salvador Allende (Bibbiano - RE), Sez. 5 anni


📍 Cornholme, UK

Best Classroom SoundscapeCornholme School
00:00 / 01:02

Teacher: Mark Williamson
School: Cornholme Junior, Infant and Nursery School, Class 5


📍 London, UK

Best Classroom SoundscapeHeathbrook Primary School - Blackbirds
00:00 / 01:25

Teacher: Savi Bale
School: Heathbrook Primary School - Blackbirds

📍 London, UK

Best Classroom SoundscapeHeathbrook Primary School - Owls
00:00 / 01:02

Teacher: Savi Bale
School: Heathbrook Primary School - Owls

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