Category Archives: Ecology/Nature

Where To Buy World Music Instrument – 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!

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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

28 Kids Crafts To Reuse Plastic Straws

drying strawsAre you trying to use less plastic?

I meet more and more parents who are striving to use less packaging and plastic products.  And it’s really encouraging to even see big companies – like Starbucks and the entire Marriott hotel chain – phasing out plastic straws altogether!  But even if you are the most recycling-conscious family, you’ve probably ended up with some of those pesky plastic straws and wondered what to do with them.

Instead of tossing them into the waste stream, here are a host of great activities that reuse these not-so-disposable items and are fun and productive kid’s crafts as well.

Clean Your Straws

If you’ve ended up with straws from juice, smoothies or soft drinks you can easily clean them off before you craft with them.  Rinse them in soapy water and let them stand them in a jar or glass for a few minutes (as seen above).  In no time at all, they’ll be clean and ready to be used in any of the crafts below!

Straw Rattles Completed On YellowA Quiet Rattle

We love this craft!  It is fun to make, also reuses plastic bottles and creates a quiet rattle that is never too loud, even when playing with bunches of friends!  And if the straws you’ve used are colorful, they make wonderful patterns of colors as you shake them along to music.

What To Do

Cut the straws into small lengths, anything the size of a small bead to about an inch long.  Cut them all the same length or mix up the sizes.  And if you have straw pieces left, they are perfect for the sensory bins listed below or even the friendship bracelets!

To create the rattle, simply allow your child to drop any number of their favorite colors and sizes into the plastic bottle.  When it looks and sounds perfect to your little one, put on the cap and seal with a sturdy electrical tape.  This keeps the contents inside the rattle and makes the end-product child-safe.

Note: while creating any of these crafts, make sure the small pieces of straws don’t go in a child’s mouth.

More Musical Straw Crafts!

josef playing straw zamponasPanpipes Made From Straws
http://www.tinytappingtoes.com/early-learning-with-music/make-your-own-simple-panpipes/

Use straws as the contents to a “Roly Poly” Thing
http://www.tinytappingtoes.com/babies-and-music/make-a-roly-poly-musical-thing/

Use straws as the contents to an ocean drum
http://www.tinytappingtoes.com/babies-and-music/make-an-ocean-drum-for-world-oceans-day/

maracas - back to schoolUse straws as the contents to a set of maracas
http://www.tinytappingtoes.com/uncategorized/an-easy-musical-craft-for-young-children-back-to-school-maracas/

Other Straw Crafts You’ll Love!

Sensory Bin With Straw Pieces – From Teaching Mama
https://teachingmama.org/plastic-straw-sensory-bin/

20 Assorted Drinking Straw Crafts For Kids- From Meraki Lane https://www.merakilane.com/20-drinking-straw-crafts-for-kids/

Simple Friendship Bracelets Made with Pipe cleaners and “Straw Beads” – From Kiwi Co – https://www.kiwico.com/diy/Arts-and-Crafts-Ideas/1/project/Straw-Bracelets/1169

More Crafty And Elegant Straw Bead Bracelets – Tutorial below and here’s hoping you reduce, reuse recycle and rock out with any of the crafts you’ve found here!

Online Event – Turn Plastic Into Music For World Oceans Day!

WOD screensnap

What are you doing for WORLD OCEANS DAY?

Did you know if you make something creative out of plastic – you can win a free E-book or any music CD from DARIA? We want to encourage you to cut back on plastic by practicing the 5 R’s – Refuse, Reuse, Reduce, Recycle, and Remove!  And have a blast at the same time!

What Is World Oceans Day?

World Oceans Day is a special holiday celebrated all over the world on June 8th.  It’s a great opportunity to honor, understand and work to protect seas, oceans and all our valuable waterways!  It’s also a good time to think about things like plastic waste and how we can use less, refuse more and make something cool out of what we already have.  And if you live near a beach, please check the World Oceans Day site (link below) for special clean-up and family events where you can make a difference seaside!

Turn Plastic Into Music!

craft straw zamponasNo matter how well you reduce and recycle, you probably have some plastic in your recycling bin!  Don’t trash it – make it over! We just shared a post about a MYO ocean drum, a fun project that recreates the sound of the surf.  For World Oceans day, we’re filling it with items that should never end up in the ocean – straws, plastic and bottle caps. We used a shipping box we got in the mail, but you can reuse a pizza box or a product box that’s hanging around your house. If the box has writing all over it, no worries.  Just cover it with recycled paper or Inside Recycled Ocean Drumthe reverse side of a used manila folder and you have a great canvas to decorate right there!  To the right is what we’re putting inside.

Outside?  Below are three ocean drums that other groups have made.  Very… very creative and fun.

ocean drums makingAnd after you create your drum – you’ll be amazed at the sound it creates.  Just tip it from slowly from side to side to make the sounds of the sea.

TURN PLASTIC INTO MUSIC

Make ANYTHING from plastic you have in your recycling bin, send me a photo and you’ll get my TURN PLASTIC INTO MUSIC E-book free! Although I’d love to see creative musical instruments, I’ll accept anything you remake from your recycling bin.  Just e-mail me at dariamusic at yahoo dot com under the subject “UPCYCLED PLASTIC” and I’ll send you a copy of the E-book plus ask your permission to use the photo in this blog or my social media.  It’s totally OK to say no but I’d love to share what you make with DARIA Sings For Earth Day - CD Covermy readers!

And, you can also win my DARIA SINGS FOR EARTH DAY cd if you prefer!

So ready, set …  Refuse, Reduce, Reuse, Recycle, Remove and Rock on!

LINKS AND RESOURCES

WORLD OCEANS DAY Resources And Teaching Materials http://www.worldoceansday.org/resources

Free Respect The Earth 5 R’s poster https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/5-Rs-RESPECT-THE-EARTH-Earth-Day-Poster-Freebie-3743747

Free Plastic Pollution Lesson Plan http://www.worldoceansday.org/plastic-pollution-lesson-plan

MYO Ocean Drum Post – http://www.tinytappingtoes.com/early-learning-with-music/make-a-drum-that-sounds-like-the-ocean/

Turn Plastic Into Music E-Book from DARIAMUSIC https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Recycling-Projects-TURN-PLASTIC-INTO-MUSIC-5-Multicultural-Music-Activities-3747012

Splash and Bubbles Resources For World Oceans Day http://www.worldoceansday.org/splash-bubbles-resources

This Earth Day – Turn Plastic Into Something Fantastic!

Screen shot 2018-04-19 at 11.38.43 PMThis year’s Earth Day theme is End Plastic Waste! We hope you’ve been reading about this topic and moved to make changes in your own life. But, what about plastic you already have in your recycling bin? Creating fun recycling projects with kids will help them see plastic waste as more than just “use it and lose it” trash. As you practice the 5 R’s (Refuse, Reduce, Reuse, Recycle and Remove) you can upcycle out of the waste cycle into 5 great-sounding musical instruments.

This Earth Day, I’m offering my TURN PLASTIC INTO MUSIC E-book free, and you can download it at the link below. (If you are an educator with a limited budget and read this post after the E-book has returned to full price, you can always e-mail me at dariamusic at yahoo dot com for an educator’s copy.)Screen shot 2018-04-19 at 11.38.58 PM

The five projects in this book include amazing-sounding maracas from mini-sized water bottles, Latin American guiros and Aboriginal bullroarers from plastic bottles with various sizes of mouths. There’s also two crafts that use plastic straws – zampoñas or panpipes and a kaleidoscope straw rattle.

And really… wouldn’t you rather make music than contribute to something like this?  Below is a video taken in Cameroon, Africa several year ago.  This year school children in this region are committed to ending plastic waste and changing what you see here!

Links And Resources

TURN PLASTIC INTO MUSIC – E-book Free Until Earth Day 2018 https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Recycling-Projects-TURN-PLASTIC-INTO-MUSIC-5-Multicultural-Music-Activities-3747012

 Earth Day Organization – Tool kits for Individuals, Schools, Organizations, and More! https://www.earthday.org/

5 R's official posterFree 5 R’s poster - https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/5-Rs-RESPECT-THE-EARTH-Earth-Day-Poster-Freebie-3743747

How Long Does It Take Garbage To Decompose https://www.thebalance.com/how-long-does-it-take-garbage-to-decompose-2878033

Meet The Zero Waste Pioneers https://us-mg5.mail.yahoo.com/neo/launch?.rand=0fm9p2d7jlhgu#4735222175

Scientists Discover Enzyme That Eats Plastic https://www.goodnewsnetwork.org/scientists-accidentally-create-super-enzyme-that-can-devour-plastic-pollution/

What Are You Singing For Groundhog’s Day?

Daria_GroundhogCover_Web

I just love groundhog’s day!  Maybe it’s because groundhogs are so cute and cuddley. Or I was born somewhat near the permanent residence of Punxatawney Phil, official groundhog predictor of Spring. Or because groundhogs  have adorable nicknames such as whistle pigs and woodchucks.

So, for so many reasons I couldn’t just crawl back into my hole for 6 more weeks of winter and I jumped at the chance to write and record a silly Groundhog’s Day song.

groundhog pop-up hereThe simple song is based around the tongue-twister “How much wood could a woodchuck chuck… if a woodchuck could chuck wood?” I also wondered how much ground a groundhog could grind and how much sap a sapsucker could suck. And, yes, even though the lyrics are in song form, the tongue twisters still are a challenge to sing or say.

You can find the song lyric freebie below, plus a link to a sweet Springtime activity that includes pop-up puppets. It’s a fun way of having your own groundhog’s day anytime and anywhere.

And the best thing? You can laugh yourself silly while you predict an early Spring!

Links and Resources

Groundhog’s Day Song – Free Lyric Sheet – https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Groundhogs-Day-Song-Lyric-Sheet-2357681

Groundhog’s Day Song From Itunes – https://itunes.apple.com/us/album/the-groundhog-song-how-much/id385842751

Groundhog’s Day MYO Pop-Up Puppet Activity from TPT – https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Groundhogs-Day-Song-and-Pop-Up-Groundhog-Puppet-Activity-484374

little groundhogs

Discover Music Of Iceland With Children

For many people, Iceland is a dream vacation. It’s a land of geysers, glaciers, Langspilvolcanoes, thermal lagoons, whales, exotic seabirds and gorgeous scenery. If you’re on your way to the land of ice with your children or if you are simply studying this part of the world, here’s a fun way to explore the music of that culture.

Color A Langspil

One of the traditional instruments of Iceland is a stringed zither called the langspil. Dating back at least to the 1700’s, this instrument was often made of driftwood and played either by plucking it or using a bow, like a fiddle. The resulting sound was haunting and beautiful. You can hear a langspil in this video from an outstanding folk duo from Iceland, Duo Svanni (Júlía Traustadóttir Kondrup and Hildur Wågsjö Heimisdóttir).

Iceland For Kids!

Music is a wonderful place to start any exploration of another country or culture. Below you can find links to fun facts, common phrases in Icelandic, traditional clothing, things to do with children in Iceland and a post about an Icelandic rock music group that actually recorded a video of a song inside a volcano.

Enjoy your Icelandic Adventure!

Links And Resources

Free Langspil Coloring Page: https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Langspil-Icelandic-Instrument-Coloring-Page-3362012

Kyra - Iceland - WaterfallLangspil Mini-poster, Coloring page + Activities:  https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Langspil-Icelandic-Instrument-Mini-Poster-Coloring-Page-3362044

Iceland Facts For Kids: http://www.kids-world-travel-guide.com/iceland-facts.html

Icelandic Words And Phrases To Learn: https://icelandwithkids.com/2017/03/26/icelandic-words-and-phrases-to-learn-or-not/

Traditional Clothing Of Iceland:  https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Icelandic_national_costume

Iceland With Kids – A Family of Seven Visit Iceland And Offer Tips and Info
https://icelandwithkids.com/

Icelandic Music From Inside A Volcano: https://makingmulticulturalmusic.wordpress.com/2016/06/22/rocking-icelandic-music-from-inside-a-volcano/

Make Your Own Egyptian Sistrum!

sistrum color image

We’re proud to be part of the Middle Eastern North Africa blog hop. Naturally our post is about music, but make sure you check out all the other related posts (listed below) to learn more about this beautiful and culturally rich part of the world.

Crafting is a great hands-on way for kids to learn about world cultures, so our post shows you how to make a sistrum, a unique rattle that was used in the courts of the Pharoahs of ancient Egypt.

What is a Sistrum?

You can see images of sistrums in hieroglyphics found in the pyramids. A bit of study of the courts of the Pharoahs reveals that the sistrum was played mainly by women or priestesses and that it was played by moving it back and forth from side to side so that the metal bangles create a unique sound and distinctive rhythms.  It was often part of ceremonial or the sacred/religious music of the time.

TTF SistrumMake Your Own Sistrum From a Tree Branch

If you take a walk in a wooded area, it’s easy to find a tree branch that is shaped like the letter “Y”. You can use the branch “as is” or cut and sand it down, if you like.

Next, you’ll need a bit of floral wire or craft wire. Wrap it around one side of the Y, then add whatever bangles you may have. Below we have a post showing how to safely make bangles from bottlecaps, which is a fun recycling project. Instead – or in addition to bangles – you can also use things like beads, making sistrums peace valleyjingle bells or bits of jewelry to add to the bling of your sistrum. Be as creative as you like!

Playing A Sistrum

Although the traditional way to play a sistrum is to move it back and forth only, it’s a rattle so feel free to use it as a percussion instrument any way you like.

Links and Resources

Free Egyptian Sistrum Coloring Page- https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Color-An-Ancient-Egyptian-Rattle-The-Sistrum-2166721

Make Your Own Bangles From Bottlecaps Post – http://www.tinytappingtoes.com/ecologynature/how-to-make-bottle-cap-bangles-for-recycled-musical-instruments/
Middle Eastern and North African Heritage Month | Multicultural Kid Blogs

Welcome to the third annual Middle Eastern and North African Heritage Month series from Multicultural Kid Blogs! Follow along all month long for great resources on teaching children about the heritage of this region, and link up your own posts below. Don’t miss our series from last year and from 2015!

You can also find even more resources on our North Africa and the Middle East Pinterest board:

 


August 4 Sand In My Toes on Multicultural Kid Blogs: 10 Fun Facts About the United Arab Emirates
August 8 A Crafty Arab: Jordan Craft Stick Flag Tutorial
August 15 Sand In My Toes: Wind Tower Craft (UAE)
August 17 All Done Monkey: MENA Countries Worksheets
August 18 Tiny Tapping Toes
August 21 Biracial Bookworms on Multicultural Kid Blogs
August 23 Jeddah Mom
August 28 Crafty Moms Share
August 30 Creative World of Varya

 

Link Up Your Posts!


 

Win 12 Great Multicultural Summer Music Projects

Summer Camp TPT CoverMusic camp?  Backyard staycation?  Last minute playdate?  We’ve created this fun compilation of activity pdf’s from our readers favorite projects for summer musical fun.  Not only are all these crafts made from items you already have around the house but they also teach about the cultural background of each instrument – such as Hawaiian pu’ili rhythm sticks or Aboriginal Australian didgeridoos and bilma clapsticks. And everything is so simple that even a grown-up can do it!

Want to win a copy? Jump on in right here!  Two lucky winners will get the this fun compilation so they can musically craft their way all around the world this summer.

If you can’t wait to get it, the TPT link is below – and it’s half price during the month of July. Plus there are links to related summer musical fun.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Links And Resources

12 Great Summer Crafts from DARIA’s TPT store – https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/12-Summer-Camp-Music-Crafts-3243132

Make An Ocean Drum From Recycled Materials – http://www.tinytappingtoes.com/babies-and-music/make-an-ocean-drum-for-world-oceans-day/

Make A Rhythm Tree: http://www.tinytappingtoes.com/early-learning-with-music/a-rhythm-tree-for-earth-day-or-any-day/

Make An Earth Day Nature Walk Rattle: http://www.tinytappingtoes.com/early-learning-with-music/make-an-earth-day-nature-walk-rattle/

 

The Yaqui Gourd Water Drum From Ancient Mexico 

ghana gourd drumOne of my favorite instruments to bring around to schools is a water drum made from a gourd. Kids and adults are often shocked when I pour water into one of the gourds and float the other on top to create the drum.  Then they are amazing by the deep, resonant sound. But where did a unique and creative instrument like this come from?  Interestingly enough, gourd water drums are found in both African cultures and in the indigenous cultures that inhabit present day Mexico and the Southwestern United States.

yaqui water drumWe caught up with a talented musician from Los Angeles named Christopher Garcia who not only plays them, but has thoroughly researched their background and shares these traditional instruments with audiences around the world.

And, at the end of this post, you’ll find our DIY water drum craft. Although our plastic water drum doesn’t sound exactly like the real thing, it does produce great drum sounds and is a fun way to encourage sensory play with water and sound.

Christopher Garcia – Teaching About Indigenous Meso American Instruments

Before Spanish Conquistadors arrived in present day Mexico and the Southwestern US, indigenous cultures such as the Yaqui were flourishing with rich music and cultural lives. Many of these indigenous groups trace their history to the civilizations of the Mayan and Aztec peoples. Beautiful and unusual instruments used in their music include the water drum, singing stones, unique flutes and a marimba made of turtle shells. Christopher details many of these unique instruments at his website below, but here you can see him playing the gourd water drum and the gourd water drum plus the turtle shell marimba and singing stones.

Turtle Shells, Singing Stones And a Wooden Drum

Make Your Own Version Of A Gourd Water Drum

plastic water drum playingWe’ve done a whole post on taking various sized rounded plastic containers, floating them on the surface of the water and getting some of the same tones you’d hear on gourd water drums. You can get creative and try it yourself in a bucket, kiddie pool or basin of water, or check out that full post at the link below.

Links and Resources

Make A Gourd Water Drum from Plastic Containers
http://www.tinytappingtoes.com/uncategorized/musical-water-play-a-myo-gourd-style-water-drum/

Christopher Garcia’s Indigenous Instruments of Mexico/Mesoamerica
http://indigenousinstrumentsof mexicomesoamerica.weebly.com/