Category Archives: Early Learning With Music

Make a Water Drum In Your Own Backyard

Does this look like fun?

This musical water play is based on an actual instrument called a gourd water water gourd drumdrum. Found both in Africa and in the ancient Mayan culture of Mexico, this drum has a completely unique and amazing sound that is deep and resonant and can be heard for long distances. Here’s a picture of an actual gourd water drum.

Originally made from a bushel gourd as the bowl and smaller gourd pieces as the stand and the floating resonator, we’ve come up with a fun way to try this at home that ghana gourd drummakes for great play, especially when the weather is hot!

First, take any kiddie pool and fill it with about 1-2 inches of water. Next add round items gently into the surface of the water. Last, tap them with homemade beaters like an unsharpened pencil, wooden spoon or make your own beater by wrapping electric tape around one end of a stick or a wooden dowels.

Tips For Drummers

Tap gently, and listen for the sound. Each floating drum head will sound different try. Which sound do you like?

If the floating drum head has sunk into the water, you’ll lose the quality of sound.  Lift it up and set it back on the surface if the water to continue playing.

kiddy pool water drum (Tacony)Put on your favorite summer songs and tap along with the music.

If you enjoy this unusual drum and want to play more -  look for other potential floating drum head at places like yard sales, garage sales and thrift stores. It’s a great way to continue this fun and exciting sound and sensory activity.

Can You Step Into The Pool While Drumming?

Sure! They did it in the video and play session pictured above. Go ahead, as long as it’s okay with mom, dad or whoever else is watching.

Links and Resources

MYO Drum Beater – http://www.tinytappingtoes.com/classroom-music/make-a-little-drum-beater-for-a-big-drum/

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Where To Buy World Music Instruments – For Your Kids or Classroom!

sunita playing quijadaI’ve traveled the world to perform and I love to share really amazing world music instruments with my audiences when I play live.   The three most frequent questions I get are: “What is that?” “Where does it come from” and “Where can I find it for my child or my classroom?”.

These questions are not surprising. People around the world make music in some really beautiful and unique ways. It’s a great way to celebrate diversity or teach about world cultures.  And folk instruments are fascinating.  They generally come from natural or recycled materials,  like turning bamboo into Hawaiian rhythm sticks called pu’ili or using seed pods from the “ice cream tree” to make pacay rattles.  Bushel gourds turn into water drums and smaller gourds learn to dance as shekeres.  This is not just a fun sensory experience for a child but also a way to share creativity and encourage music-making as awesome tingsha, limberjack, kalimbaplay!

But if you haven’t just gotten off a plane from some remote location, how do you find these great instruments for your kids? Here are my best tips with an emphasis on places you can buy things that are fair trade.

SAFETY FIRST

Before we begin, I encourage any parent or teacher to think of safety first. Any

Rattles made from gourds, seeds, feathers and a donkey's jawbone

Rattles made from gourds, seeds, feathers and a donkey’s jawbone

toy or instrument may have small parts – such as beads that might break off – so keep that in mind. I also encourage parents and teachers to play with their child musically, then keep the instruments in a special place. This usually keeps things from breaking and keeps smaller children safe from choking hazards.

WHAT ABOUT FAIR TRADE?

When you go to work, don’t you want to be paid a fair or a great wage? Would you like to work all day then receive .24 for your labor? Heck, no!

I am a huge fan of fair trade.  Having lived in many third world countries I’ve seen awful working and living conditions and am thrilled to see many companies now that only offer fair trade products. I heartily encourage you to make that choice, whenever possible.

TEN THOUSAND VILLAGES

zamponas front and backTen Thousand Villages began as a fair trade endeavor, started by a Mennonite woman in the 1950’s. It’s now blossomed to a company with many retail stores across the USA and a brisk online business. Although Ten Thousand Villages does not exclusively sell musical instruments, they work with artisans in over 35 countries and have a beautiful selection of instruments from Asia, the Caribbean and Africa. My favorite items from their store are their panpipes (pictured here), kalimbas, African percussion, handbells, small gongs and beautiful singing bowls.

You can find their online store and list of locations, here: https://www.tenthousandvillages.com/

JAMTOWN

Exclusively a music retailer and wholesaler, Jam Town is based in Seattle and mini shekere for storeoffers a wide variety of hand drums, box drums (cajón) as well as diverse hand percussion. What they offer varies so stop by their online site and see what is available or locate a store that offers their products near by.
Although their customer service really could use improvement, I wholeheartedly recommend the quality and sourcing of their instruments. Buying from Jam Town means offering meaningful support to an artisan in a third world country where few opportunities exist. Plus, their website has a great clearance page, too.

https://jamtownlive.com/

The Didj Shop

Although not certified fair trade, this online store and website promotes all didg by treeIndigenous Aboriginal artists and their creations. The website is filled with great info from various Aboriginal cultures. The website is set up so it allows a person who wishes to buy a didgeridoo, the chance to hear it as an mp3 and often see an image and profile of the artisan who created it.
https://www.didjshop.com

The Didgeridoo Store

Although not certified fair trade, this store has some great low-priced didgeridoos and sells packages where a beginner can get a didg plus an instruction video.  They also sell Australian clapsticks that are beautifully decorated and other percussion items such as Indian ankle bells.  You can see those here: https://www.didgeridoo.store/percussion

ChapchasBOLIVIA MALL

This is a store that’s not certified fair trade, but they have been very helpful to me.  I’ve purchased large drums, panpipes, tinya drums and goat toe nail rattles from them. Their customer service is outstanding and it is my hope that they have the same care for the artisans who create their instruments.

https://www.boliviamall.com/en/musical-instruments.html
puili sticks on a leafHAWAIIAN INSTRUMENTS

Here’s an excellent site for learning about Hawaiian, Hula and South Pacific instruments. You can buy many of the basics such as these pu’ili rhythm sticks in their shop, here:  https://www.nakaniohula.com/

Is That Everything?

No way!  I’ll keep adding to this article but I encourage you to subscribe to this blog to see what’s new. And let me know if there’s a shop or a vendor you’ve found that create beautiful instruments. I’d love to list them here or even do a special post on what they do.

Wishing you a happy, musical day!

May Peace Prevail On Earth – A Peace Song For Kids

May Peace Prevail - Cover

Who doesn’t crave more peace in the world?

This is my latest song inspired by the Peace Pole movement. As I’ve visited various countries around the world to play music, I’ve often seen “peace poles” planted in the ground. Most often, they share a special message in four or six languages spoken in the surrounding area.  That message is “May Peace Prevail On Earth”.

As I learned more, I discovered that there are Peace Poles on every continent – even Antarctica.  The total number is now known, but estimated to be in the tens of thousands!  In many places, I’ve been moved and delighted to see the indigenous language being included on these peace poles, so peace truly becomes a message for all peoples.

Where To Stream This Song

Want to hear the song?  It’s easy to stream on Apple Music:
https://itunes.apple.com/us/album/may-peace-prevail-on-earth-single/1448998310

Spotify: https://open.spotify.com/album/722ZHL5xYMAQ4yUB6iQa8l

Deezer: https://www.deezer.com/album/83860382

Tidal: https://tidal.com/browse/album/102076845

What Do The Lyrics Say?

Raise Your Banners To The Sky
May Peace Prevail on Earth
Let These Glorious Words Arise…
May Peace Prevail on Earth

Let it rain down upon us
Let it herald each new birth
Let it open the doors
We’ve been waiting for ….
May Peace Prevail on Earth

Place The Peace Poles In The Ground
(May Peace Prevail on Earth)
In Every City and Every Town
(May Peace Prevail on Earth)

Bring Peace to All You Say and Do
(May Peace Prevail on Earth)
And the Blessings Will Rain Down On You
(May Peace Prevail on Earth)

Raise Your Banners To The Sky
May Peace Prevail on Earth
Let These Glorious Words Arise…
May Peace Prevail on Earth

c 2010 Words and Music Daria A. Marmaluk-Hajioannou

many peace polesLinks And Resources

Free Lyric Sheet For “May Peace Prevail On Earth”
https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/May-Peace-Prevail-On-Earth-Free-Lyric-Sheet-For-The-Song-4279243

Karaoke Version for Schools And Choirs (Coming Soon)

The Peace Pole Project https://peacepoleproject.org

Here’s How To Stream The “I HAVE A DREAM” Kids Song For MLK Day

3 panel MLK Image

Start the new year off with some music that will inspire your whole family to remember and honor the legacy of Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Here are the direct links to add the “I Have A Dream” song to any of your favorite playlists plus a list of MLK Day freebies for you.

Haven’t heard the song yet? You can click on the Youtube video below!

Listening Links

Spotify: https://open.spotify.com/track/7GYI8toFRxTZmRl2dgIuoD

Apple Music: https://itunes.apple.com/us/album/i-have-a-dream/49532398

Pandora: https://www.pandora.com/artist/daria-childrens/i-have-a-dream/i-have-a-dream/TRfl2t9kqjJf4dZ

Deezer: https://www.deezer.com/en/album/7609092

MLK Day Freebies

“MLK Rainbow” Coloring Page for Younger Children
https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/MLK-Rainbow-Coloring-Page-for-Younger-Children-475121

MLK “Rainbow And Popular Quotes” Coloring Page for Older Children
https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/MLK-Rainbow-And-Popular-Quotes-Coloring-Page-for-Older-Children-475123

MLK Day Mini-Poster – “Everyone Can Be Great Because Everyone Can Serve”
https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/MLK-Day-Mini-Poster-Everyone-Can-Be-Great-Because-Everyone-Can-Serve-1616862

MLK Day Song – “I Have A Dream” Free Lyric Sheet  https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/MLK-Day-Song-I-Have-A-Dream-Free-Lyric-Sheet-2292068

Follow daria on TeachersPayTeachers here for more like these at: https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Sellers-Im-Following/Add/World-Music-With-Daria

Tips For Learning Christmas Songs in Other Languages

Screen shot 2018-12-13 at 7.36.20 PMThe winter holidays are a fun time to explore celebrations and traditions from around the world. When you do, why not learn a favorite Christmas carol in another language? You might want to choose a language from your family’s heritage or maybe one from the community around you. Maybe you’re living as an expat in another country and want to embrace one of their favorite songs, or just reach out and expand your linguistic abilities.

Check out these helpful tips on learning a song in another language with your kids or dive right into our version of Jingle Bells in Russian below! Beneath that, we’ve included links to past posts on Rudolf the Red Nosed Reindeer in Japanese and Jingle Bells in Mandarin, plus a fun cheat sheet that shares holiday greetings in 18 different world languages

LANGUAGE LEARNING TIPS

Pick a song that’s fun to sing and has a catchy tune!

Pick a language from your family heritage or one you’d like to learn.

Pick a language where someone you know can help you with the lyrics or pronunciation. Will Grandma help with that song in Italian or Papou help with a carol in Greece?

If learning the whole song is too daunting (language is difficult or your kids are very young), just learn the chorus – that’s usually very easy to master.

Write out the lyrics phonetically. Break them down into easy-to-pronounce syllables.

Praise you kids (or yourself) for exploring a new language. Learning a new language is not easy but encouragement and praise help a new speaker gain both confidence and capacity!

A video of a new song or a live “singing Christmas card” makes a great gift for a grandparent or loved one abroad.

Enjoy the process as you make happy holiday memories.

Now, here’s a version of Jingle bells for anyone wishing to learn a bit of Russian this year!

Links And Resources

Rudolf The Red-Nosed Reindeer in Japanese http://www.tinytappingtoes.com/classroom-music/favorite-holiday-songs-rudolph-the-red-nosed-reindeer-in-japanese

Jingle Bells In Chinese – http://www.tinytappingtoes.com/uncategorized/favorite-holiday-songs-from-around-the-world-jingle-bells-in-chinese/

Happy Holidays in 18 Languages – https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Happy-Holidays-in-18-Languages-2230358

A Kwanzaa Book And Drum Craft

kente clothg drum project

The winter holidays are such a beautiful and festive season.  Will you be celebrating Kwanzaa this year?  Is Kwanzaa part of your family or community? If this holiday is new to you, here is a beautiful book and a fun craft to introduce children to the spirit and the history of this holiday and let them create their own kente cloth drum!

Seven Spools CoverSeven Spools Of Thread

Seven Spools of Thread is a book that was written for Kwanzaa about kente cloth, a beautiful traditional fabric woven in Uganda.  Written by an amazing author, educator and chef, Angela Shelf Medearis, the book begins with a brief history of Kwanzaa and it’s Seven Principles.  Next comes the story of seven brothers who cannot get along and you probably guessed what happens.  Solving their problems requires using the important values of the seven principles of Kwanzaa such as purpose, creativity and faith.

seven spools 2Aside from a wonderfully told story, the book has gorgeous woodcut-style illustrations by artist, Daniel Minter.  This is a story you’ll want to read over and over again, not just at the winter holiday times, but throughout the year.

A Kente Cloth Craft

When you’ve finished the story, perhaps you’d like to color your own kente cloth and make a small drum.  You can find complete instructions in the freebies listed here.  Recycle a coffee can or an oatmeal container and you can make your own kente cloth-style drum.

And please stay tuned to this blog as our next post is from an expert on kente cloth and his story is just amazing.

Links And Resources

RPL - making kente cloth drumsMake Your Won African Drum Craft – Freebie From DARIA’s TPT store https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Make-Your-Own-African-Drum-Craft-3507618

Color A Kente Cloth Pattern – Freebie From DARIA’s TPT store – https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Kente-Cloth-For-A-Drum-Craft-Coloring-Page-4248662

Angela Shelf Medearis Website – She’s a Chef, Author and Cultural Historian! http://www.medearis.com/

Get This Jingle Bell Craft Book – Free!

jingle craft book cover

When the winter holidays roll around, who doesn’t love the sound of jingle bells? And those great little jingling bells can be used to make a multitude of creative sensory crafts for kids. Because they are such a great winter activity, we’ve assembled our top 4 jingle bells crafts into a handy E-Book perfect for this time of year.

Here’s What’s In The E-Book

Jingle Bracelet (from booklet)So what were our top 4 crafts?

Number one was our easy jingle bracelets or anklets using yarn or pipe cleaners and beautiful bells. (I’ve heard back from parents who’ve enclosed these with their holiday cards!). Number two was “jingle pencils”, super easy to make with on-hand materials and perfect for large groups – then using for a holiday sing or caroling fun!

Number 3 was a jingle tube craft using any round container like a coffee can or an oatmeal package. These are sturdy and beautiful and you’ll want to use them Jingle Tubesas part of your home music basket or music therapy lessons for months to come. Lastly, our favorite totally green holiday craft reuses both the cardboard tubes for wrapping paper and left-over wrapping materials to make your own jingle marching sticks.

Sound like fun?

Here’s How To Get It

To get this E-book, just send me an e-mail at daria music at yahoo dot com. Make the subject “Free Jingle Bell Book”.  I’ll send a return e-mail with the jingle bells - different colorsE-book and ask you if you would share the link for my TPT store (which is filled with freebies) or share on social media or maybe even do a review on your blog! No worries here, do as much or as little as you like!

Will I check up on this? No. I meet the nicest folks through my blog and my music materials. They are parents, teachers, homeschoolers, music therapists and they love making music a part of their children and family’s day. If you enjoy what I create, I’d appreciate any sort of shout out because that’s precisely how I find the most awesome new friends and fans!

Would You Kindly Follow Me On TPT?

If you follow me on my TPT store, you’ll get first notice of all my music, world TPT headermusic and world cultures fun. There’s even a special section listing over 50 freebies. I’d love to stay connected with you!

Follow me on TPT here: https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Sellers-Im-Following/Add/World-Music-With-Daria

Learn ASL (American Sign Language) Through Music

YAMS 2Have you ever seen an ASL (American Sign Language) translator interpret a speech, a discussion or a song?  It’s an amazing ballet of graceful movement and dynamic expression.  In fact, although it doesn’t use words or sounds at all, ASL is an amazing language that may already be part of your family’s life!

What is ASL?

If you are deaf or hearing impaired or have a family member or friend who is deaf or who signs, you already know what American Sign Language is.  If you don’t, here is one of the best definitions, from the NICED:

“American Sign Language (ASL) is a complete, complex language that employs signs made by moving the hands combined with facial expressions and postures of the body. It is the primary language of many North Americans who are deaf and is one of several communication options used by people who are deaf or hard-of-hearing.”

Watch And Learn

Although becoming fluent in ASL could take years, it can be fun to dive in and BRW ASLlearn basic words by taking a course, studying online or – my favorite – by using music.  A few months ago I began to create ASL videos of my most popular songs and their links are below.  In addition to these songs, I’ve asked a wonderful ASL interpreter named Destiny Yabro (seen in the videos) to create extra videos explaining and demonstrating 10 signs from each song.  Below is the current list of ASL “Sign Along With Me” videos, but please bookmark and check back as I frequently add more.

Do you have a favorite DARIA song?  If so, contact me at dariamusic at yahoo dot com under the heading ASL Suggestion and I just might do your favorite song next.  Also, if you are a teacher and need these videos for your students in a format other then Youtube, please check out my TPT site, where you can stream them for use in the classroom.

DARIA’s VIDEOS on YOUTUBE

You Are My Sunshine – 10 Signs Demonstrated
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UZPqfq4Bx6c

Beautiful Rainbow World – Signed in ASL
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oGLg0-wtXoU

Beautiful Rainbow World – 10 Signs Demonstrated
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gG_7OGoxHmg

For All The World’s Children – Signed in ASL
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5mAuhwBytm0

For All The World’s Children – 10 Signs Demonstrated
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qeDXLG34l7I

DARIA’s ASL VIDEOS ON TPThttps://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Store/World-Music-With-Daria/Category/American-Sign-Language-ASL-336179

Resources And Links
What is ASL From The NAD – https://www.nad.org/…/american-sign-language/what-is-american-sign-language/
What is ASL From The NIH – https://www.nidcd.nih.gov/health/american-sign-language

Sing, Don’t Cry!

Sing Don't Cry - cover imageWelcome to our new section – posts featuring books about music.  And there are some amazing books out there that inspire children with tales of world cultures, especially through the eyes – and ears – of musical traditions!

Written and illustrated by Angela Dominguez who was born in Mexico City, this lovely book shares a very personal vision into the world of the mariachi and Mexican music traditions.  Angela’s grandfather – or abuelo – was a real life mariachi and music helped him weather the ups and downs of life.

Filling this beautiful book about Angela’s Abuelo Apolinar are stories from his actual life – a childhood accident, moving to a new city alone and other struggles. Through it all, singing and music help him stay happy and connected with the things in life that mattered most to him.

Where does the title – Sing, Don’t Cry – come from?  It’s a translation of part of Sing dont cry - book imagethe chorus of the song, Cielito Lindo.  A staple of mariachi music, Cielito Lindo was written way back in 1882 by Mexican author Quirino Mendoza y Cortés and has a beloved place in the world of Mexican music.  The chorus of the song roughly translates to… Sing, Don’t Cry, Because singing gladdens the heart.

Here’s the chorus translated and a video so you can enjoy the song, if you aren’t already familiar with it!

Ay, ay ay ay… canta no llores
Por que cantando se allegran, cielito lindo, los corazones

Ai, ai, ai ai – sing don’t cry
Because singing gladdens the heart (heavenly one, dear)

(One translation note here – the phrase cielito lindo literally means pretty little sky but is a term for a dear one or a sweetheart)

I really enjoyed this book because it speaks of the powerful connection between generations.  The grandfather in the story gets to share his big life lessons with his grandchildren as well as his music.  And clearly, his granddaughter is sharing her talent with the world as well!  You can find Sing, Don’t Cry at your local library or purchase it on Amazon, here: http://a.co/7Z65b0E .

Links And Related Resources

Author Angela Dominguez’s website: https://www.angeladominguezbooks.com/

Free Mariachi Guitar Coloring Page: https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Mariachi-Guitar-Coloring-Page-2511636

Three Cinco De Mayo music crafts: https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Cinco-De-Mayo-Music-Crafts-2507025

Learn the song “Un Poco Loco” from the movie “Coco” http://www.tinytappingtoes.com/uncategorized/are-you-un-poco-loco-about-disneys-coco/

All About The Mexican Hot Chocolate Song: http://www.tinytappingtoes.com/uncategorized/bate-bate-its-time-for-mexican-hot-chocolate/

Make A Drum That Sounds Like The Ocean!

traditional ocean drumHave you ever heard an ocean drum?  It’s an amazing instrument that sounds almost exactly like the soothing sounds of the surf?  And – guess what?  It’s  a quiet instrument!  It’s great for music and meditation as well as a quiet time activity.  And it’s also perfect project to make and play for for any child or adult on the autistic spectrum.

And, you can make it from all recycled materials!

What Is An Ocean Drum?

It looks like a frame drum from the Middle East, but it is filled with small round objects that, when tilted back and forth, sound remarkably like the waves at the seashore.  It’s sound is soothing and when ocean drums are filled with colorful or interesting objects, they are as beautiful to watch as they are to hear.

apple pie ocean drum suppliesHere are the supplies you need to make one ocean drum:

  • A sturdy box: Flat shipping boxes, or any sturdy small box
  • Clear plastic: You can recycle old report covers, salad bar containers, clear tablecloth covers or purchase a small amount of clear vinyl at a fabric or hardware store. Hint: Don’t use plastic wrap as it simply won’t hold up to the task.
  • Strong tape: Packing tape, masking tape, or electrical tape are good choices.
  • Contents for the drum: Choose any small fillings such as seed beads, pastina pasta, acini de pepe pasta, orzo, pony beads, mung beans, lentils, dried beans, marbles, or small pebbles.

How To Make It

Start with a sturdy box.  It’s a good idea to decorate your box before experimenting with what you want to put inside.  If you started with a plain box from a stationery supply store, you have a clean slate to create an ocean motif or ocean drums makingdecorate with paint, crayons, markers or glitter and glue. If you have an overly busy box, like a pizza box, you may wish to cover it with colored paper (leaving space for the window, of course) and decorate from there.

Next, create the window so you can watch the smaller items move around inside the drum. To do this, get some sturdy clear plastic and cut it into a large square or rectangle.  Draw a slightly smaller square or rectangle on the inside of the top of your ocean drum box and cut it out. Secure the window in place inside the box using a strong tape such as packing tape, electrical tape, or masking tape.

Now choose something to create the sound of the surf. Small, round objects make a sound that is closest to a real ocean drum.  However, you can get creative with what you’d like to try. You can choose tiny pasta like acini de pepe, pastina pasta, seed beads, bee bees, or mung beans. You can fill your drum with lentils, dried peas, marbles, pony beads, larger beans, or orzo pasta for a louder drum. You can mix and match to see what sounds best to your ear.

You may also want to make it interesting by adding colorful beads or other items like marbles, buttons, glitter or confetti that will add to the visual appeal of the drum.

Once you’ve chosen what you want to go inside, you are ready to seal the drum. Cover it with packing tape so that the contents will stay inside.  Seal up all the edges where the smaller objects might come out and then you’re ready to play your ocean drum.

ocean drum sall of usPlaying The Ocean Drum

This is a fun instrument to explore.  Here are a few techniques you can use when playing it:

Tilt it back and forth at gentle angles

Tilt it back and forth at more extreme angles

Tilt the drum for a gentle swooshing sound then turn it on its side to stop the sound

Tap the sides or top with your fingertips  

Shake your instrument as if it were a rattle. 

Many people find the sound and the changing patterns very calming and meditative. You can relax and play it without any other accompaniment or you can play this instrument along with soothing music or any of your favorite songs.  Try to match the beat by tilting the ocean drum along with the rhythms of the song.

If you enjoy this type of drum, you may want to make several as each one will have a distinct sound or might fit better with different musical styles that you enjoy.

Feel free to experiment and make this unusual instrument all your own!