Music education is one of the trickiest areas of the Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) and Key Stage 1 (KS1) curriculum to teach: there’s less supporting material available than for other areas of the curriculum and many teachers are less confident and less experienced in the subject area.
To address this challenge, we were entrusted by the BBC to design and build a game that engages young learners and provides an invaluable tool for teachers in the classroom. Insightful advice was provided by Dr Jessica Pitt, Lecturer in Music Education at the Royal College of Music and one of the UK’s foremost thought leaders in music education for young learners. Working closely with the BBC Teach team, we designed and developed the interactive music game BBC: Bring the Noise- Play It!.
Developed in HTML 5, Play It! is available to play on desktop, tablet and mobile devices. To include the widest audience, the game also runs on older computers with Windows 7 and Internet Explorer 11. User testing sessions in collaboration with the BBC enabled us to validate and improve our design decisions, as well as refine the game and user interface to produce the best user experience possible.
Bring the Noise: Play It! is the cornerstone of BBC Teach’s vision for helping Early Years Foundation Stage and Key Stage 1 teachers deliver engaging and inspirational music lessons.
The game launched with five songs and a further fifteen songs will be introduced over the course of the school year. Each song is accompanied by at least one lesson plan and many new songs will be topical, helping to keep lessons fresh and fitting in with themes in the school calendar, e.g. a spooky song for Halloween.
Listen and Layer allows players to listen to the different parts of the song, turning each part on and off individually and exploring how these layers make up a complete song.
Feel the Beat illustrates the song’s beat, encouraging players to clap, stamp and make noise in time with the song.
Make Some Noise gives players the opportunity to add their own layer of sounds and music to each of the songs in the game
Play It! is a key part of BBC Teach’s vision for supporting early years learning across the UK, helping teachers to engage and inspire young learners.