Music in the Waves

Type: Investigation

Theme: Music

Grades: 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10

Learning Target: Students will learn about the physics of waves and music theory while tuning a standing waves to a musical note on either end of an octave.


Show this classic video.

For this investigation each student group (of two) will: 

  1. Tune two water bottles to one note and the same note one octave higher. For example: C4 (lower tone) and C5 (higher tone). Use a permanent marker to annotate the water bottle.
  2. Make a video recording. Include the following:
    1. Record the playing of both notes. Let the viewer know which note is being played.
    2. Include at least one recording of the process of tuning using the online (share screen while playing the note)
  3. Upload video to Teams assignment.


Online Piano:

Video Recording

If you record using Teams chat, your video should be saved in Microsoft Stream. They link may be shared and submitted in assignments.

Additonal Resources

Desmos Model of Standing Waves:

Nodes and antinodes:

Standing waves in open tubes:


Sound and resonance in open pipes:

Calculating tube length:

Exit Ticket
CCSS Math Practice
NGSS Crosscutting Concepts