Everything to learn better...




Hearing and the structure of the ear

Explainer Video

Tutor: Madeleine


Hearing and the structure of the ear

​​In a nutshell

Sounds are made by vibrations of an object. This makes the air around it vibrate which forms sound waves. Sound waves enter your ears and you hear them as sounds.


When an object vibrates it shakes back and forth very quickly. This vibrates the air around it, which forms sound waves that travels through the air to your ear.

You cannot always see the vibrations and sound waves causing sounds. Sometimes they are so small that the human eye can't see them.

Tip: Remember, when you hear a sound it means something is vibrating!


When you speak, your vocal cords vibrate. This makes the surrounding air also vibrate. These vibrations form sound waves and travel to your ears. You can hear this as speech.

The ear

The ear is a fragile part of the body designed to pick up sound waves. 

Sound waves enter the ear and reach the ear drum. The ear drum starts vibrating as well. The ear drum sends these vibrations to the brain and you hear them as sounds.

Science; Sound; KS2 Year 4; Hearing and the structure of the ear

Ear canal
A tube which carries the sound waves from the outer ear to the inner ear. It contains ear wax which helps keep out infections and traps dirt.
A thin piece of skin which vibrates when sound waves hit it.
Ear bones
Made up of the anvil, the hammer and the stirrup. These are small bones that carry vibrations.
Vibrations are converted to a signal (message) that the brain can understand.
Auditory nerve
Sends the signal to the brain. 

Create an account to read the summary


Create an account to complete the exercises

FAQs - Frequently Asked Questions

Can you see sound?

How are sounds made?

Which part of the ear vibrates when sound waves hit it?


I'm Vulpy, your AI study buddy! Let's study together.