Category Archives: Celtic Music

Make An Irish Drum – Tutorial Free This Week!

Need a last minute St. Patrick’s Day craft?  You’ll love to make and play this easy Irish drum. And learn a bit about it’s history and culture as well.

To get your free copy, just head over to my TeachersPayTeachers store, where’s Screen shot 2017-03-15 at 1.38.20 PMit’s marked down to “0” until March 19th. And while you’re there – would you kindly follow me on TPT to get monthly notices of what’s new and other musicals freebies and goodies you might like. https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Irish-Drum-Make-and-Play-Your-Own-Bodhran-and-Tipper-2410657

Don’t have time to get the tutorial?  Here’s an older post that tells you all about the bodhrán (pronounced bow-ron) drum.

http://www.tinytappingtoes.com/uncategorized/make-your-own-bodhran-irish-drum/

Wishing you have a happy, healthy and green St. Patrick’s Day!

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Win The “Kids Around The World” Mama Lisa Songbook!

mama-lisa-songbookHave you read out enthusiastic review of our new favorite kid’s international songbook?

Well, we’re excited to say that – thanks to Mama Lisa’s World -  we are giving away 2 digital copies of this amazing encyclopedia of 100 songs from diverse world cultures.  That’s 352 awesome pages of songs, song descriptions, translations, sheet music and even details of how certain songs are used as games and activities.

Of course, we’d love for you to read the whole review here: http://www.tinytappingtoes.com/family-fun-2/a-trip-around-the-world-in-song/  but feel free to jump to the give-away and enter to win below.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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

Celebrate St. Patrick’s Day With Your Little One!

One of our most popular Tiny Tapping Toes posts was a MYO Irish Drum tutorial.   Decorate this easy, hand-held drum with any type of St. Patrick’s Day theme and you’re ready to play in minutes!

Younger kids can tap the drum with the “tipper” and older kids can try to master the technique of striking back and forth with the “cipín”, the Celtic name for the stick that strikes the drum.

You can see that complete post as well as related children’s music videos with an Irish theme at the links below.

Links And Resources

take out bodhransMake Your Own Bodhrán Irish Drum
http://www.tinytappingtoes.com/uncategorized/make-your-own-bodhran-irish-drum/

Irish Videos on Multicultural Kids Music Vids
http://multikidsmusicvids.com/?cat=512

Whistle A Merry Tune – With A Tin Whistle

Tin whistle sheet music

It’s wonderful when a “first instrument” is so simple that a child can begin playing melodies and making music right away!  For just this reason, the tin whistle makes a great wind instrument to share with a child – or learn along with your child.  Even adults who consider themselves “musically challenged” can surprise themselves with what they can accomplish on this basic instrument.

In other words, if you can read a simple chart and place your fingers over the holes of a tin whistle, then you can play this instrument.  And, with a little bit of practice, it can sound great!

A Whistle With Many Names

Also known as a penny whistle or an Irish whistle, the tin whistle has a plastic or wooden mouthpiece; called a fipple, and a metal tube for the body.  Although they are made in all major keys, the most popular tin whistles are in the key of D and C.  Best of all, the fingerings used to play any tin whistle are similar to those used on the clarinet, flute and saxophone, so exploring this instrument can be a wonderful “headstart” for any child who might continue on with other wind instruments in the future.

child and tin whistleHow To Hold A Tin Whistle

Here are a few tips for playing the tin whistle.  First, hold the whistle at a 45 degree angle, facing downward and away from you.  If you’re right-handed, put that hand on the bottom and use your left hand on the top.  If you’re a lefty, reverse that order. Thumbs hold the whistle from below and you cover the six holes with your fingertips.

Now…blow!

With the mouthpiece between your lips (not between your teeth), give a steady breath of air.  You’ll know if you’ve got the right technique immediately because if you blow too softly, you’ll hear an airy or all-too-quiet note.  If you blow too forcefully, you’ll hear a shrill pitch or a squeak. Some musicians recommend that you blow as if you were saying the word “toooooo!”

holding the tin whistleLet Your Fingers Do The Walking!

Once you’ve found the right way to blow a note, begin removing your fingers starting at the bottom and going to the top (until they all are uncovered).  You’ll hear the difference in the sound and you can begin to play these notes to form your own melodies.

And, then?

From there, you can jam with your tin whistle or learn to play specific melodies.  You can try some advanced techniques like blowing a bit harder and getting a second octave (a set of higher notes) out of your tin whistle.  You can try different whistles in different keys or look for books that share your favorite songs or traditional Irish music which is perfectly suited to this simple folk instrument.

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Prize Green tin whistle - key of D

Above photo of a young girl exploring the tin whistle is courtesy of from a blog written by an amazing percussive dance teaching artist named Malke Rosenfeld (www.malkerosenfeld.com).   You can read the full post here:
http://mathinyourfeet.blogspot.com/2012/03/all-in-good-time.html

Irish Music For Kids – Resource Round-up

MYO Bodhran and Tipper tutorial: https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Irish-Drum-Make-and-Play-Your-Own-Bodhran-and-Tipper-2410657

Whistle a Merry Tune – With A Tin Whistle http://www.tinytappingtoes.com/early-learning-with-music/whistle-a-merry-tune-with-a-tin-whistle/

Morris Dancing Bells For Kids http://www.tinytappingtoes.com/early-learning-with-music/easy-morris-dancing-bells-for-children/

Easy Introduction to 10 Irish Instruments https://makingmulticulturalmusic.wordpress.com/2014/03/11/an-easy-introduction-to-irish-instruments/

Irish Videos on Multicultural Kids Music Vids
http://multikidsmusicvids.com/?cat=512

Make Your Own Bodhrán Irish Drum

Screen shot 2014-03-07 at 10.50.39 AMEvery culture has it’s own favorite types of drums.

In the Celtic tradition of Ireland, the bodhrán (pronounced “bow-ron”) is a drum that seems to have evolved from the tambourine.  Originally made from farm implements such as a sieve to separate grain, it’s generally 10 – 26” inches across and is played with a small wooden stick called a “tipper” (or cipín, in the Celtic language).

Whether you attempt to create a realistic bodhrán and tipper or just want to create an Irish-style drum, this easy craft makes a great introduction to Irish folk music.

bodhran drum suppliesGather Your Supplies

To create your homemade bodhrán, find a used pie tin or recycled take-out containers.  Circular metal containers  press-on tops work perfectly for this craft.  In addition, you’ll need materials for decorating the drum and a pencil or two plastic homemade bodhran (tin)spoons to serve as your tipper plus a bit of tape.

It you’re using a pie tin, you can decorate the sides or the top and you’re ready to play.  If you’re using take-out containers, decorate the blank side of the top circle with any kind of theme you like.  Since we’re writing this close to St. Patrick’s Day, we’ve chosen to decorate with shamrocks.

Make A Plastic Spoon Tipper

tippers yellowTo make a “tipper” for your drum, tape together two recycled plastic spoons.  If you don’t have any spoons handy, you can use an unsharpened pencil or a similar item like a chopstick or small thin piece of wood.

Time To Play!

Everyone loves to play on a drum.  If you have a simple stick as the beater, tap out a rhythm along with any of your favorite songs or discover some new Irish music to accompany.

If you’ve made a tipper, hold it in your hand between your thumb and first finger.

Tap on the drum with one side of it.  Then tap in the other side.  Practice tapping right, left, right, left until you get the hang of it.

Once you’ve mastered the back and forth tapping of the tipper, try picking up speed. You’ll be amazed at what some musicians can do with this drum after they’ve practiced a bit.

Below is a short video showing basic bodhran technique for kids as well as a Youtube video of a master musician who can really rock out on this awesome Irish instrument.

Homemade Bodhrán Musical Fun

Homemade Bodhran Fun- Click Here To Learn The Basic Techniques

Traditional Celtic Bodhrán – One Amazing Instrumentalist!

Links and Resources

Make Your Own Bodhran -  tutorial from TPT https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Irish-Drum-Make-and-Play-Your-Own-Bodhran-and-Tipper-2410657

 

Easy Morris Dancing Bells For Children

may day morris dancing

Around May Day, dancers in parts of England are getting ready to welcome the Spring by morris dancing.   They dress in colorful costumes and the bright and happy morris dance music is punctuated by the jingling and jangling of special bells worn on the legs.

Since young children love to move and dance, making an easy version of this traditional “knee-pad” instrument can be a fun way to welcome a new season, to exercise and to explore world cultures.

morris bells suppliesHere are the supplies you need for a simple, homemade version of morris dancing bells.

Supplies

Two short lengths of elastic of any width (about 10 – 14” long)

A handful of jingle bells

Any number of extra buttons, beads or similar jangles.

Assorted ribbons, yarns and embroidery thread

Needle and Thread

Start by cutting two pieces of elastic and making sure they can comfortably stretch around a child’s leg and sit just under the knee.  Leave a bit of extra length for the elastic to overlap.  This will be where you will sew or pin it in place.

morris bells - craftingPlace your elastic “laid out straight” onto your work area.  Since most elastic is white, you can use markers to color and decorate it before you add ribbons and bangles.

Create the hanging jingles by threading a jingle bell on a small ribbon or piece or embroidery thread.  Tie it onto the end and then add on any other buttons, beads or jangles that you like.  When you’ve reached the desired length, tie it in place onto your elastic.  Add as many of these as you like.

Add some ribbons or yarn to the morris bells.  Sew or tie them into place.  They may not add to the sound of your instrument, but they will move as you dance and add to the overall beauty of what you’ve created.

Last, sew or safety pin your morris bells to the right size for fitting around the leg of your child.

morris bells on kyraDancing With Bells!

You can use this craft to explore the music of morris dancing or the general music of the British Isles.  Or you can dance to any of your favorite songs.  If you get a chance to see actual morris dancers, you’ll notice that both boys and girls participate in this dance tradition.

Although there are many different traditions of morris dancing, some also involve waving handkerchiefs, dressing up in wild clothes or having a parade – all fun activities to do to welcome the Spring.