Category Archives: Australian Music

A Trip Around The World In Song!

mama-lisa-book-coverThis is my new favorite international kids song songbook!

To be honest, I’ve been a huge fan of the website – Mama Lisa’s World – for years, so I was thrilled to be able to review this new compilation songbook. It has 100 songs from global cultures – including indigenous cultures – along with descriptions, sheet music, translations and notes on where to find MIDI and recorded version for listening. This book simply could not be more complete – or more fun!

Many of the songs that Lisa has selected are not just great songs, they are also games and offer wonderful ways to combine music, language and movement. Because translations come with each song, you can also easily start learning  simple words and phrases in other languages as well.

Where does this songbook go? It opens in Africa with welcome songs, circle dances and call-and-response tunes. Next, the songbook goes to Asia, with songs of friendship, love and play. After that, you can find favorites from Australia and the islands of Oceania. In the songs selected from Europe, you’ll meet familiar characters like the Sandman and Little Red Riding Hood. Of course, there are mama-lisa-book-pagealso songs from North America, including an Iroquois lullaby as well as English and French Canadian songs. The book closes with songs from Central and South America, including music with roots in Hispanic, Afro-Hispanic and Indigenous cultures.

What more do you need to know? This is definitely a must-have songbook for anyone who loves children’s songs and world music! You can buy both digital copies or a full size physical copy at the links below.

Links And Resources

Digital Copy From Gumroad (352 Pages/5.64 MG/3.99) https://gumroad.com/l/GvQVT#

Kid Songs Around The World: A Mama Lisa Book (Physical Copy) From Amazon http://a.co/3mx1z0o

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Australia Day Kids Music Crafts!

twodaLOO DIDGDid you know there’s a special day to recognize Australia?

Celebrated on January 26th, Australia Day was previously called Anniversary Day and also Foundation Day. Over the years it has evolved to be less about colonial founding and more about celebrating the diversity and the changing face of modern Australia.

So what better time than this celebrate Australian culture and learn a bit more about “the land down under”.

What Did That Didgeridoo?

Aaaaaaank! Does anything else make you think of Australia as quickly as hearing didgeridooa didgeridoo?

Here’s a link where you can learn more about the background of this instrument and also color or create your own homemade version of an aboriginal didgeridoo.  Or just laugh and giggle to the samples of the didg’s wild “wooo wooo” sounds.  http://www.dariamusic.com/didgeridoo.php

Tap Out Time With Australian Bilma Clapsticks

Clapsticks are clearly one of the easiest instruments for kids. And although bilma adding fabric paintalmost every culture has a version of this instrument, Australia bilma have wonderful dot design patterns that are fun to craft and create. Use the dot designs to learn more about what’s important to Aboriginal Australians, because those are the animals, objects and patterns that appear most frequently in traditional Australian artwork and designs.

Here’s a step-by-step craft tutorial to MYO bilma, complete with awesome dot patterns: https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Australian-Instruments-Make-Your-Own-Bilma-Clapsticks-1133140

A Bullroarer Makes A Buzz!

Used by several Native cultures around the globe, a bullroarer is a piece of wood on a long string that creates a truly unique sound when swung around in a circle. Rather then try to describe it, we’ll let Jungle Jay demonstrate it for you here and offer a link for a much safer version you can make out of plastic water bottles.

http://www.tinytappingtoes.com/uncategorized/outdoor-musical-play-make-your-own-bullroarer/

Learn About Uluru/Ayers Rock

Throughout Australia there are many very special and sacred sites for the Aboriginal people.  One of the most important is called Uluru or Ayres Rock (in English).  It’s a huge, red-colored stone formation that sits – literally – in the middle of nowhere.  In this kids music video, called “You Gotta Didg”, you can see Uluru in the background while the didg is played and children dance.

10 Crafts For Australia Day!

bullroarer - realAside from music, we love these additional crafts that celebrate what’s truly unique and wonderful about Australia – from koala bears, kangaroos and wombats – to a hat with the theme of the Sydney Opera house. http://daycaredecisions.com.au/10-australia-day-craft-for-kids/

Wishing you a Happy Australia day as you discover more about this beautiful and diverse continent and nation!

Links and Resources

Australia Day – Official Site
http://www.australiaday.org.au/

MYO Bilma Aboriginal Clapsticks
https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Australian-Instruments-Make-Your-Own-Bilma-Clapsticks-1133140

Hear, Color or Make a Didgeridoo
http://www.dariamusic.com/didgeridoo.php

Make Your Own Bullroarer
http://www.tinytappingtoes.com/uncategorized/outdoor-musical-play-make-your-own-bullroarer/

10 Crafts For Australia Day! http://daycaredecisions.com.au/10-australia-day-craft-for-kids/

Australia videos from Multicultural Kids Music Vids
http://multikidsmusicvids.com/?cat=96

Explore Australian Instruments With Your Child

Instruments from Australian Aboriginal culture are wonderfully easy to make and play.  Whether you’re turning a cardboard roll from wrapping paper into a working didgeridoo or a broomstick into “bilma” clapsticks, these projects are creative, artistic and encourage your children to feel connected to world traditions as young global citizens.

twodaLOO DIDGWhat Can A Didgeridoo?

If you’ve seen any movie or video about Australia, you’ve heard the sound of a didgeridoo.  Although traditional didgeridoos are made from long branches hollowed out by termites, modern ones can be crafted from pvc piping or the sturdy cardboard rolls found inside paper towels or wrapping paper.

Playing the basic sound of a didg can quickly be mastered by kids and adults alike!  If you can “blow raspberries” (pucker your lips and blow air out while the lips flap back and forth a bit), then you can make a didg drone. Sound clips, coloring pages and easy instructions on making a homemade didg can be found at the link below.

The Didgeridoo – A Legacy of Kindness

Along with being a unique instrument, the didgeridoo comes with a wonderful origin story.  You can read about how this instrument was created by a thoughtful elder who was so kind that he would not harm an ant.  The Legend of the Didgeridoo can be found at the link below.

bilmas in handSimple Clapsticks

Almost every culture has discovered clapsticks – two pieces of wood, held in the hand and tapped together to make a beat.  In Australia, clapsticks are called bilma and can be as simple as two sticks found in the woods or as elaborate as the decorated ones pictured here.  Bilma are frequently used as part of ceremonies along with a didgeridoo.  Special bilma made of hardwoods; such as mahogany, have a beautiful tone and can be heard for long distances.

Stay tuned for our next post where we share easy and fun methods for making and decorating bilma clapsticks with kids.

bullroarers - plasticA Buzzing Bullroarer

If you don’t mind getting outside and can find a bit of elbow room, a recycled water bottle makes a fine bullroarer.  Directions and a video of this really unique instrument can be found in the Links and Resources section below.

You Gotta Didg!

If you haven’t watched it yet, check out the video at the top of this article that features the didgeridoo and bullroarer.   It’s a kids music video of the song “You Gotta Didg” by DARIA.  The animation shows didgeridoos being played,  beautiful Aboriginal face and body paint and the sacred site of Uluru in Australia, formerly known as Ayers Rock.

Links and Resources

Hear, Color or Create A Recycled A Didgeridoo
http://www.dariamusic.com/didgeridoo.php

Make Your Own Bullroarer
http://www.tinytappingtoes.com/uncategorized/outdoor-musical-play-make-your-own-bullroarer/

Legend Of The Didgeridoo
http://makingmulticulturalmusic.wordpress.com/2012/08/24/the-legend-of-the-didgeridoo/

Step-By-Step Bilma Instructions ($1.99 from TeachersPayTeachers)
http://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Australian-Instruments-Make-Your-Own-Bilma-Clapsticks-1133140

You Gotta Didg on Itunes
https://itunes.apple.com/us/album/beautiful-rainbow-world/id208109471

You Gotta Didg on Amazon mp3
http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0013XM8GM/ref=dm_mu_dp_trk2

Outdoor Musical Play – Make Your Own Bullroarer!

bullroarers - plastic

You may not recognize the word “bullroarer”, but you probably recognize the sound it makes. Used by both Native Americans and Aboriginal Australians, this simple instrument spins around and produces a whirring sound that is truly unique.

Since it’s really hard to describe, take a minute to watch “Jungle Jay” demonstrate his homemade bullroarer here:

What Is A Bullroarer?

Made from a simple piece of wood attached to a string, the bullroarer is spun with one hand then swung around in a circle with the other. As it spins, a remarkable whirring, buzzing noise is produced that can be heard quite a distance away.

bullroarer - realIt’s easy to see how this was used originally to signal other people or to communicate in times before telephones or modern devices.

Make Your Own Version

This activity could not be easier. All you need are recycled water bottles of various sizes and sturdy string or twine. Start by tying the string around the neck of the plastic water bottle, securing it tightly with several sturdy knots.   If you like, add a stick to the other end of the twine or tie the string into a loop to make it easier to hold while spinning.  A good length for the string is about 3 feet, but feel free to adjust this length for the size and shape of any player.

Although this technically isn’t a bullroarer, your plastic bottles will make odd, eerie noises when swung around in a circle just like the authentic aboriginal instrument. One hint: pick plastic bottles with smaller openings as they seem to make the best sounds when used in this project.

Safety First

Although spinning a plastic water bottle is much safer than spinning a piece of wood, it helps to consider safety when playing this instrument. Anyone playing a bullroarer should be outside in an open area, away from people or things that things that could be hit accidentally.

How To Play A Plastic Bullroarer

Once you’re positioned safely away from any people or objects, simply hold the one end of the string and swing it around. Swing it either in a circle in front of you, to the side or over your head. As you vary the speed, the sound will shift both in volume and in tone. Play with your one plastic bottle or different bottles to find the type of sound you like the most.

A Bullroarer Orchestra

If playing with a group, you can position kids or people in different areas with plenty of space between them. For instance, if you’re on a playground, you can position kids within large chalk circles with ample distances between them. Participants can all play together or someone can call out names so each player can add their instrument or stop playing. This is a fun way of creating a sonic landscape, especially if different size and shape water bottles are used.

Be safe – and have fun!

Reduce, Reuse, Recycle and Rock Out! 10 Great Recycled Instruments to Make With Your Child!

josef and cajon

Turn a broomstick into Australian bilma for some really versatile rhythm sticks. Or a cardboard box into a Peruvian cajón – perfect to learn hand-drumming!  You’d be surprised how many wonderfully unique world music instruments can Reduce, Reuse, Recycle and Rock Out - Coverbe made from recycled or repurposed materials.  And sound good.  And inspire musical play in your home or classroom.

Best of all, many of these instruments mean thinking about things in a new way.  Working with these simple crafts, kids can see how many important items originally came from nature – such as Native American turtle shell rattles, rainsticks from chola cactus branches and bamboo reeds were fashioned into panpipes.  Or how things take on a special significance when they are made by hand or made with love and personal attention.  And how some of the most amazing instruments are the quietest – like a simple sistrum that dates back to ancient Egypt.  Or a drum that can do an zamponas front and backamazing impression of the sounds of surf.

While crafting with your kids, you can explore a variety of beautiful world cultures and use it as a way of connecting with your class, your family or your community.

Here’s a list of the recycled instruments found in the E-book.

Screen shot 2014-03-03 at 5.26.10 PMACTIVITY ONE

Australian blima clapsticks from broomsticks or tree branches

ACTIVITY TWO

Peruvian style cajón drum from a cardboard box of any size

horse gong imageACTIVITY THREE

Chinese-style gong from a recycled roasting pan or cookie sheet

ACTIVITY FOUR:

A South American “quijada” jawbone instrument made from egg cartons

ACTIVITY FIVE

An ocean drum made from a pizza box and recycled plastic folders

ACTIVITY SIX

A rainstick made from a used mailing tube

ACTIVITY SEVEN

An Egyptian sistrum from a forked tree branch or a coat hanger

tingsha on white 1ACTIVITY EIGHT

Tinghsa handbells made from repurposed “Snapple” tops

ACTIVITY NINE

Native American turtle shell rattle from take-out containers

josef playing straw zamponasACTIVITY TEN

Panpipes from clean, recycled drinking straws

So download the book, dig into the recycling bin and make a joyful noise today!

Free Download!

If you’re reading this post during April 2014, you can get a free download of this awesomely green musical craft book here: http://www.dariamusic.com/monthly_song.php

Reduce, Reuse, Recycle and Rock Out! is also available from TeachersPayTeachers here:

http://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Reduce-Reuse-Recycle-Rock-Out-E-Book-With-10-Musical-Activities-653502

 

All Natural Instruments – Sticks, Stones and Bamboo Percussion For Kids

natural instruments

How were the first musical instruments created?

It’s most likely they were made from “all natural” materials and were probably the result of wonderful coincidences.  Perhaps someone was gathering wood and realized that two sticks tapped together could create a beat.  A rock fell on another rock and made a pleasing sound.  Bamboo made a wonderful noise when rustling in the wind and inspired Hawaiian rhythm sticks. And since these noise-makers are made of such basic materials, they make great “first instruments” for exploring music with children at home, in the classroom or in the homeschool environment.

Here are three of our favorite “all natural” percussion instruments.

Austalian Clapsticks – “Bilma”

stick bilma1In Aboriginal Australia, two sticks struck together form a beat that can accompany the didgeridoo and become a part of singing, dancing and celebrating.  Whether you tap together two unsharpened pencils or take a nature walk to retrieve two perfect sticks, bilma making dots with q-tipsthese simple clapsticks can keep a beat while you sing or play along to any your favorite songs.

If you want to decorate your clapsticks with an Australian theme, you can use a dot motif.  In the activity below you can find step-by-step directions for making several different versions of crafty “dot” bilma.

hula rocks on blueRiver Rocks – Hawaiian `ili`ile

Can rocks make music?   Take a nature walk, collect a few and see for yourself.

In Hawaii, special smooth river rocks are part of the hula tradition. These small stones; called ‘ili’ili, are held in a dancer’s hand and tapped together for a percussion sound and that becomes part of the arm movements of the dance.  If you want to play “Hawaiian-style”, check out the post below for more about this tradition.

But you can also get creative and make up your own way of “playing rocks”.  Try josef rocks outsetting a few rocks out on the ground or table and hold one in your hand.  Use the rock in your hand to tap out a beat on one – or several- of the other rocks while you sing along, play recorded music or create your own rhythms with a friend, sibling, parent or fellow musician.

Bamboo Rhythm Sticks

Hawaiian pu’ili are rhythm sticks with one distinct difference.  They are made of lengths of bamboo, left whole on one side and split on the other.  When tapped together, the split ends rattle against each other making a unique sound.

Although making traditional bamboo pu’ili is not too hard, it does require some special tools and involves sharp edges.  An easier version; especially for young children, can be made from cardboard rolls from paper towels. They are easily cut and decorated and sound great for percussion play.

You can get complete instructions for homemade pu’ili at the post listed below.

Explore Nature and Music

Sticks, stones and reeds can make music.  Why not combine an exploration of music and nature to see what kind of inventive creations you can discover and play!

Screen shot 2014-03-03 at 5.26.10 PMLinks and Resources

Australian Bilma (From Teachers Pay Teachers)
http://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Australian-Instruments-Make-Your-Own-Bilma-Clapsticks-1133140

Playing River Rocks As An Instrument – Hawaiian `ili`ile
(Post in Making Multicultural Music)
http://makingmulticulturalmusic.wordpress.com/2014/02/13/playing-river-rocks-as-an-instrument-hawaiian-iliile/

Play Some Pu’ili  (Post in Tiny Tapping Toes)
http://www.tinytappingtoes.com/classroom-music/make-your-own-puili-hawaiian-rhythm-sticks/

Musical Craft pdf’s from DARIAMUSIC
http://www.dariamusic.com/crafts.php

E-books, CD’s and more Musical Fun from DARIA’s TeachersPayTeachers Store
http://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Store/Daria-Marmaluk-Hajioannou