IOP Institute of Physics

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Mayor Visits WOOFYT at St John’s Church, Boxmoor, Hemel Hempstead

22 June 2012

Jeremy Sampson’s WOOFYT came to St John’s Church on 28 May as part of the celebrations of the construction of the new church organ.

Kids and mayor at event

Four schools took part in this event:

  • Boxmoor Primary
  • Pixies Hill Primary School
  • George Street Primary School
  • South Hill Primary School

Sessions begin with musical warm ups. This was followed by the KS2 requirements for sound.  Also included in this part of the session are ideas of molecules and echoes, non-return valves and energy, as well as observing skills. The manometer was also introduced.

One of the main features of the day is playing the WOOFYT but pupils soon learn that the organ does not work properly unless they all co-operate. 

Air needs to be pumped into the air reservoir and the correct pressure applied to the bag so the manometer is at the correct level. (The original U-Tube) and those at the pipes need to play their note in the correct order. When all this is done a recognisable tune emerges. The science session had also explored the idea of long tube low pitch, short tube high pitch.

At the end of each session Jeremy Sampson demonstrated the new Organ and related the WOOFYT to the real organ, WOOFYT only having one octave and the real organ many. Pupils were asked to guess the number of pipes in the church organ, a small hint being there are 60 notes on one of the consuls and 13 stops so there must be at least, (13x60) pipes; yes a few pupils could get that right but there are the stops on the other side as well and the feet and another consul.  

At the end of their session pupils went behind the organ to see the larger pipes. Pupils who could answer questions well were rewarded with an Institute Red Bug. The Branch supported this event.

The photograph shows Hemel Hempstead Mayor, Councillor Bert Chapman playing the WOOFYT with pupils from South Hill primary School.

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