Category Archives: Hawaiian Music

What Was That Drum Seen In Moana?

Screen shot 2017-03-02 at 4.00.45 PM

Lots of young children and those of us who are kids at heart have fallen in love with the latest Disney animated film set in the Pacific Islands, called Moana.  If you haven’t seen it yet; I promise, no spoilers here!

While enjoying the film, music-lovers will notice a unique drum makes a brief appearance and helps our young heroine discover an important aspect of the Pacific Island Slit Drumhistory of her people.  To most Westerns eyes, this sideways, longer wooden drum may look a bit unusual.  Were you wondering what it was?  Although we don’t get a good look at it, it’s most likely inspired by the slit drums or a log drums found throughout the Pacific Islands.

The drum pictured above is very similar to the one seen in the movie.  Made in Papau, New Guinea, this elaborately carved slit drum is placed on two wooden rests and played by striking the top (open) area.  Unpainted and left it’s natural color, the inner carved area is rubbed with white lime, making the beautiful traditional designs stand out.  You’ll notice lots of similarities between the artwork and the tattoos in the movie and the carvings seen on the drum here!

Although you can’t walk into a museum and see this drum first-hand, you can check out it’s complete information page on the Brooklyn Museum website, where it is part of an “Arts of the Pacific Islands.”  You can also check out the link below that shares another similar drum from Tokelau, three islands that are north of New Zealand and East of Australia.  The Wikipedia page on the music of Tokelau has some very helpful background about this drum as part of communal singing and dancing rites and rituals, used to not only bring the people of the island together but to preserve and share ancestral history, just like we see in this latest movie about a strong young woman finding her way and saving her people!

Slit DrumIntrigued by this type of drum and want to share it with your child?  There are definitely kid size slit drums; like the one pictured here, that any child can use to rock their world!

Links and Resources

Complete Drum Description From The Brooklyn Museum
https://www.brooklynmuseum.org/opencollection/objects/66604

Brooklyn Museum’s Arts of the Pacific Islands” Exhibition
https://www.brooklynmuseum.org/opencollection/collections/23

Slit Drums And Music Of Tokelau
https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Music_of_Tokelau

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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 Musical Journey To Hawaii!

Hula LullabyeCan’t make it to the beautiful island of Hawaii this summer?

No worries – here are some fun and easy ways to have a Hawaiian-themed musical play-vacation with your kids!

Make Some Pu’ili Sticks!

There are many different kinds of Hawaiian hula dances.  One form of hula uses bamboo rhythm sticks (below right); called pu’ili, that are tapped together by the dancers to make interesting beats.   And the sticks are not just tapped together in front of the dancers – use can use them as a part of some terrific music and movement activities.

Making your own pu’ili sticks from paper towel rolls – much easier then finding and cutting bamboo – can be the basis of some wonderful percussion play with your child!  Find the step by step directions plus movement suggestions in the resource list below.

Sticks and Stones!

josef rocks outHula dancers also tap together smooth stones as part of their percussion fun.  They play them in a way that is similar to Spanish castanets!  Even if you can’t tap these stones together like talented dancers, you can use river rocks make up rhythms as a part of natural musical play.

A Ukulele and You!

A uke is a great first stringed instrument for a child.  It’s small size and easy chord positions mean that your little one can be playing easy songs within the first few hours of instruction.

And what about you?  Learning an instrument with your child is a great way to show your child how acquiring a new skill requires patience and practice – even for grown-ups!  And it sets the stage for wonderful bonding.  If your child is better at the uke, let them play and you clap out the beat or sing the words.  Or trade places and see what happens.  This is a fun way to make music a part of your everyday learning and enrichment.

Lilo and Stitch

Aside from the exotic Hawaiian setting of this animated Disney Classic, we love the bonus features on the DVD that share more about Hawaiian music, hula and musical instruments like the gourd ipu.

HawaiiSerious Crafting – Hawaiian Style

If you’re a serious crafter and got inspired by gourd instruments from Hawaii, this book offers fantastic instructions on making both the simple and the more complex Hawaiian instruments, including lots of percussion that can be enjoyed with any type of music.

Not up for crafting? There’s a link below where you can browse and purchase real musical gourds from a Hawaiian family-owned business that grows and makes their own.

Hawaiian Lullabye

Last of all, you might want to nod off to sleep with this beautifully illustrated book that will lull everyone to sleep with an island lullabye.  A Hula Lullabye is a great way to end an exciting day of play!

real ukelele color posterLinks and Resources

All About The Pu’ili – Blog Post
http://www.tinytappingtoes.com/classroom-music/make-your-own-puili-hawaiian-rhythm-sticks/

Screen shot 2014-02-02 at 8.33.56 AMPu’ili Instruction PDF from TPT
https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Make-Your-Own-Puili-Hawaiian-Rhythm-Sticks-1205139

Playing River Rocks As An Instrument – Hawaiian `ili`ile

https://makingmulticulturalmusic.wordpress.com/2014/02/13/playing-river-rocks-as-an-instrument-hawaiian-iliile/

Ukulele Coloring Page
http://www.dariamusic.com/docs/Ukelele%20BW%20Coloring%20Page.pdf

Hawaiian music on Multicultural Kids Music Vids http://multikidsmusicvids.com/?cat=79

drting gourds (bright picture)Authentic Hawaiian Hula Gourds
http://www.ipufarm.com/

How To Make Hawaiian Musical Instruments – Book Review
https://makingmulticulturalmusic.wordpress.com/2014/11/03/the-ultimate-make-your-own-hawaiian-instruments-book/

Hula Lullabye Book Review
http://favoritemulticulturalbooks.com/?p=2140

Color The Musical Instruments – All The Way Around The World!

Coloring Book CoverWho doesn’t love to color? No matter how young or old you area, it’s fun to get out a set of crayons or colored pencils and personalize a perfect page!   And if you can also learn about other cultures in the process, all the better!

We’ve just released this e-book that’s actually a compilation of readers’ favorite musical instrument pages from the WORLD MUSIC WITH DARIA  website. Called “Let’s Color … A World Of Music!” there are 12 pages including common favorites like the guitar as well as more unique instruments such as the balalaika from Russia, the sitar from India or the panpipes (zampoñas) from South America.

erhu coloring pageIn addition to coloring fun, you can also use this book as a creative way to learn about other cultures. For instance, if you listen to any classical or traditional music from China, you’ll probably hear an erhu. In “Let’s Color … A World Of Music!” you can not only see what it looks like but find out what it is made of and how it is played as well.

Exploring the culture of India?  You can learn about a sitar or a two-headed drum from Northern India called a dhol. If you’re taking a virtual trip to the Andes, you can find a miniature guitar made from shell of an armadillo or a special rattle (called chapchas) made from the toenails of sheep or goats.

Best of all, during June and July 2014, you can get your copy free at the link below. And in the meantime, here’s a list of the 12 instruments you can discover and enjoy:

sitar coloring pageBalalaika

Bombo

Cajón

Chapchas

Charango

Dhol

Sistrum

Erhu, Guitar, Sitar, Ukulele and Zampoñas.

“Let’s Color … A World Of Music!” From TeachersPayTeachers

http://www.tinytappingtoes.com/chinese-mandarin/color-the-musical-instruments-all-the-way-around-the-world/

This post was originally published in 2014 with a “free E-book offer.  If you’re a teacher or parent on a limited budget and want a free Educator’s copy, please e-mail dariamusic at yahoo dot com.

 

 

 

 

Music and Movement Activities For Sharing Asian-Pacific American Heritage

This post is part of a blog-hop celebrating Asian-Pacific American Heritage Month. Sponsored by Multicultural Kid Blogger Network, you can find many wonderful related posts at the link at the bottom of this article.

 

Some truly beautiful and unique music and movement activities for preschoolers come from the diverse cultures of Asia and the Pacific. Here are some really easy projects you can create to explore both the music and the culture of this region.

a smaller pie-tin gongMake Your Own Gong

Gongs can be found throughout Asia. Although they vary in shape, size, materials and design, they play an important role in almost every aspect of daily life from the mundane – calling people to rest or eat – to the most solemn and serious ceremonies or religious rituals.

MYO Gong From TPT

http://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Make-Your-Own-Chinese-Gong-From-Recycled-Materials-486935

MYO Gong From DARIA’s Website

http://www.dariamusic.com/docs/chinesegong.pdf

tingsha on white 1Tinghsa Handbells

These handbells date back to ancient times and play an important role in meditation as well as Buddhist ceremonies. You can make a craft version at home with recycled materials and learn a bit more about their background here.

MYO Tingsha Handbells From TPT

http://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Explore-Tibetan-Handbells-Plus-a-Make-Your-Own-Handbell-Craft-560016

MYO Tingsha Handbells From DARIA’s Website

http://www.dariamusic.com/docs/MakeYourOwnTingsha.pdf

josef rocks out`Ili`ile – Musical River Rocks

Can you imagine playing a beat with river rocks? In one type of hula, these special smooth stones being part of the percussion used by the dancers as they move. Read about this beautiful Hawaiian tradition as well as ways you can explore this natural instrument with your kids at home here:

http://makingmulticulturalmusic.wordpress.com/2014/02/13/playing-river-rocks-as-an-instrument-hawaiian-iliile/

Kuma Rachel Teaches How To Play River Rocks

http://multikidsmusicvids.com/?p=799

Make Your Own Pu’ili Rhythm Sticks

Hawaiian and Polynesian cultures had created these truly unique rhythm sticks. Made of lengths of bamboo, they have cuts (slits) on one end that rattle when played. Not only is it incredibly simple to make your own pu’ile at home, but you can use them to develop motor skills or try out some of the coordinated movements that are part of this intricate hula tradition.

MYO Pu’ili Rhythm Sticks From TPT – Craft PDF

http://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Make-Your-Own-Puili-Hawaiian-Rhythm-Sticks-1205139

Pu’ili Rhythm Sticks Post

http://www.tinytappingtoes.com/classroom-music/make-your-own-puili-hawaiian-rhythm-sticks/

Watch a Pu’ili Demonstration

http://multikidsmusicvids.com/?p=738

Color or Play A Ukulele

This small instrument is a big part of Hawaiian music. And it’s size and simplicity make it a great first instrument for any child. Color your own lovely uke or check out why this might make a great stringed instrument for your child here:

http://www.tinytappingtoes.com/family-fun-2/the-ukulele-a-great-first-instrument-for-young-children/

Ukulele Coloring Page

http://www.dariamusic.com/docs/Ukelele%20BW%20Coloring%20Page.pdf

conch shell trumpetConch Shell Trumpet

Everyone loves a beautiful seashell – but did you know that a few simple modifications can turn one into an impressive natural trumpet? And, seriously – they are loud and awe-inspiring!

Although this post is about how the conch trumpet was used in Aztec times, the same shell horn is seen in various Asian-Pacific cultures such as Tibetan, Hawaiian and Polynesian cultures as well as pictured in drawings of ancient Korean court ceremonies.

Conch Trumpet Post

http://makingmulticulturalmusic.wordpress.com/2014/05/05/instruments-from-ancient-mexico-the-conch-shell-trumpet/

Creating and Blowing A Conch Shell Trumpet

http://multikidsmusicvids.com/?p=1002

A Tibetan Conch Trumpet Being Played

http://multikidsmusicvids.com/?p=1010

Visit The Other Great Posts For Celebrating Asian-Pacific American Heritage

Asian-Pacific American Heritage Month Blog Hop - Multicultural Kid BlogsIn honor of Asian-Pacific American Heritage Month, Multicultural Kid Blogs is sponsoring a blog hop, and you are invited! We are celebrating the cultures and peoples of this diverse region by sharing our posts and asking other bloggers to do the same! Our hope is to create a wonderful resource for celebrating Asian-Pacific American Heritage Month with children. Be sure to visit the other co-hosts of the blog hop (listed below).

You can find even more resources on this region in our Asia and Australia and Oceania boards on Pinterest!

Co-Hosts

Multicultural Kid Blogs
Crafty Moms Share
Bicultural Mama
Finding Dutchland
Kid World Citizen
Marie’s Pastiche
All Done Monkey
Tiny Tapping Toes
Creative World of Varya
Miss Panda Chinese

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

The Ukulele – A Great First Instrument For Young Children

 

Is your child interested in learning an instrument?

Although kids get excited about all kinds of instruments as they explore music, it can be helpful to choose an easier “first instrument” to begin to learn to play.  That way, the process is rewarding sooner and it builds confidence in their ability to learn.

Here are 8 reasons why a ukulele can be a good first choice for any child interested in rocking out on a stringed instrument:

real ukelele color posterThe ukulele is a perfect size for children to hold and play.

The fretboard is easy to see and the strings are not hard to hold down.

The ukulele has 4 strings and most common chords are formed from very easy combinations of finger positions.

Most ukulele songbooks are written in tablature – an easy-to-read graph that shows you where to place your fingers.

By following the tablature, you can learn many of your favorite songs within hours.

A ukulele is small and lightweight – easy to take out to practice or perform for others.

A ukulele can easily play the chords to a song while a parent, sibling or other friends clap along or play the beat on a simple percussion instrument like a tambourine or shaker.

A ukulele can easily play the chords to a song while a parent, sibling or other friend play the same song on guitar for an instant musical duet!

Kids Play Ukuleles

It’s easy to be inspired to play when you see young children really shining as they master the basics of this easy instrument.  Take a look at this 8 year old sharing one of his favorite songs at a ukulele festival or  check out our Hawaiian video page that features a variety of ukulele players – many of them under 10 years old!

Hawaii videos on Multicultral Kids Music Vids
http://multikidsmusicvids.com/?cat=79

Learn With Your Child

A ukulele is a great first instrument for an adult as well.  And you can give your child a real gift by learning along with them.  They can see you try and fail, try and succeed and understand what it means to have patience and to take the time to learn and grow at a new skill.

Showing a child how everyone struggles with learning new things and eventually succeeds is a powerful life lesson that will resonate in every area of their life.

Don’t Buy The Cheapest Ukulele

Although a good ukulele is not very expensive, make sure you buy one that sounds good to your ears and has sturdy tuning pegs (the little knobs at the top of the fretboard).  Cheaper ukuleles will not hold their tuning and can be incredibly frustrating to play.  It’s hard for a child or any new learner to be getting their part right while the uke slips out of tune and sounds like it’s playing the wrong chords.

You can opt to buy from a local music store where the staff can show you several options and hopefully play them for you.  Or you can buy online after checking customer reviews.  Look for a model that fits your budget but also gets good reviews from first time players.

Resources And Related Musical Fun

Ukulele Coloring Page from DARIA MUSIC

http://www.dariamusic.com/docs/Ukelele%20BW%20Coloring%20Page.pdf

The Ukulele – 4 Strings and Jumping Fleas!

http://makingmulticulturalmusic.wordpress.com/2014/02/05/the-ukelele-4-strings-and-jumping-fleas/

Make Your Own Pu’ili – Hawaiian Rhythm Sticks

http://www.tinytappingtoes.com/classroom-music/make-your-own-puili-hawaiian-rhythm-sticks/

“Beach In A Bottle” Rattle

http://www.tinytappingtoes.com/babies-and-music/beach-in-a-bottle-rattle/

Playing River Rocks As An Instrument – Hawaiian `ili`ile

http://makingmulticulturalmusic.wordpress.com/2014/02/13/playing-river-rocks-as-an-instrument-hawaiian-iliile/

 

“Beach In A Bottle” Rattle

This simple, sandy beach rattle makes a great musical craft whether you live near the ocean or are just dreaming of warmer weather and seaside play!

Supplies

beach rattle suppliesClear recycled bottle – any size or shape.

A small amount of sand, salt or sugar.  (You can also substitute rice, couscous or tiny pasta for the same effect)

Funnel

Small shells, pebbles or tiny treasures for inside the rattle

Colorful silk or artificial flowers

Electrical tape (to seal rattle)

(Optional) glitter, colored sand, colored rice

 Make Your Own Rattle

This craft couldn’t be easier.

Save, clean and dry a variety of clear recycled containers and assemble sand, salt or sugar along with a funnel, sturdy tape and other decorative goodies you might want to add to this project.

Using the funnel, fill the container with a small amount of sand, salt or sugar.  Put the lid on and listen to what the rattle sounds like.  Adjust (with more or less sand) until you find the sound that’s most pleasing.

Here’s a hint.  Less sand, salt or sugar sounds and looks better, but feel free to experiment and see what you can create.  When you’re done, seal the rattle up with sturdy tape (such as electrical tape) to keep the project completely child-safe.

Beach Treasures

Once you’ve found the perfect amount of “faux sand”, drop in your favorite tiny shells, pebbles or tiny treasures.  As you play the rattle and turn it from side to side, the small objects will appear and disappear in the sand.

 Tropical Flowers

Although this doesn’t change the sound of the rattle, it’s fun to add a bit of tropical color to the rattle.  Look for silk or artificial flowers from a craft bin or take apart an artificial Hawaiian lei for perfect addition to the fun musical craft.

A Very Quiet Rattle

This rattle makes a soft whooshing sound so it is perfect for children with noise sensitivity.  Several music therapists have commented that these “seaside” rattles are especially enjoyable to the kids who are on the autistic spectrum.

Rattle Away

Don’t be fooled by how simple this little instrument looks.  There are lots of ways to play a rattle – this type of rattle or any other one you might create or find in your musical bag of tricks!

Try some of these suggestions or make up your own ways to play.

Rattle back and forth

Rattle up and down

“Swoosh” the rattle – move the contents around in a circular motion.

Hold in one hand and tap against the other.

Switch hands and try the above.

Hold the rattle at the top and tap the bottom on a desk or on your knees.

Hold the rattle at the top and tap the rattle sideways on a desk or on your knees.

Shake the rattle while dancing or moving.

Play it along while singing a favorite song.

Play it along while listening to a favorite song on a cd player or media device.

Make up your own “rattle moves”.

A Call And Response Rattle Game 

This is a great game to play with kids.  It teaches listening skills, enhances motor skills and is just plain fun.   Best of all it can be done several different ways.  Try it “one-on-one”, with a parent and child, special education student and aide or teacher and student.  It also works really well in a group, such as a teacher and a classroom, parent and preschoolers or homeschoolers and siblings.

The leader plays a pattern and the other (or other) must play that pattern back to them.  Start simple and get more complex.  Trade off and let the student or child make up patterns that the teacher or others must imitate.

Here are three simple patterns to get you started:

Shake the rattle up high twice,

Down low twice

Swoosh it around once.

And stop.

 

Shake the rattle twice in your right hand.

Swoosh it in twice in your right hand

Tap it twice on the desk while holding it in your right hand

Then change hands and repeat the pattern with the left hand

 

Tap it on the desk loudly.

Tap it on the desk softly.

Swoosh the rattle around.

Shake the rattle three times in your right hand.

Shake the rattle three times in your left hand.

And stop – or do it backwards!

———

During the month of February 2014, we’re doing a feature on Hawaiian music and giving away a real ukulele as well as Hawaiian pu’illi rhythm sticks.  You can see that related feature here: http://www.dariamusic.com/monthly_song.php

 

Make Your Own Pu’ili – Hawaiian Rhythm Sticks

Rhythm sticks are great additions to almost any type of musical play with children.  Found all around the world, most rhythm sticks are about 6 to 8” long and made of solid wood.  Hawaiian rhythm sticks, however, take a really unique puili sticks on a leafapproach to this age-old instrument.  Called pu’ili; they are made from longer sticks of bamboo, solid on one end and slit on the other to make a rattling noise when struck together.  And they are tapped in many different ways, often as part of the hula tradition so making and playing your own pu’ili sticks can be a fun way to enjoy movement and music at the same time.

Want to see how they are played as part of the Hawaiian tradition?  Watch this short video and you will be amazed at the coordination of the dancers and the many different ways two sticks can be used to create rhythm and become part of the graceful moves in this dance.

 

Crafty Pu’ili Sticks

Actual pu’ili sticks are made from lengths of bamboo, generally around 12 – 18” long.  They are left solid at one end and then cut into numerous slats on the other end.  Our craft version uses the cardboard roll from paper towels and adds a few elements for decoration and durability.  Supplies you need are:

Screen shot 2014-02-01 at 12.38.21 PM2 cardboard tubes from paper towels

Scissors

(Optional)  Electrical or duct tape

Stickers, markers or other materials for decoration

This is such an easy craft.  Simply cut slits in one side of the cardboard rolls and use the electrical tape or duct tape to wrap the other (uncut) end.  This will indicate which side to hold and help the sticks last longer.

Although it’s not traditional, you can decorate the cut side, using markers or stickers, paint, glitter and glue or whatever inspires your imagination.  Once you’re done – it’s time to play!

One quick note here, since they are made of cardboard, these pu’ili sticks may not last a long time.  If you enjoy this musical craft, it may be a good idea to save these paper towel rolls and make several pairs.

Playing Your Pu’ili

There are lots of basic moves for playing these rhythm sticks that any child or adult can master right away.  Try some of these easy suggestions:

Hold one stick in your right hand in front of you. Tap with the left stick.

Hold one stick in your left hand in front of you. Tap with the right stick.

Hold one stick in your right hand by your right shoulder. Tap with the left stick.

Hold one stick in your left hand by your left shoulder. Tap with the right stick.

Screen shot 2014-02-01 at 12.38.34 PMTap the two wrapped ends together in front of you.

(If seated at a desk or table) Tap the two wrapped ends on the desk or table in front of you.

(If seated on the ground) Tap the two wrapped ends on the ground in front of you.

Screen shot 2014-02-02 at 8.33.56 AMIf standing, tap both sticks on the ground by your right toe.

If standing, tap both sticks on the ground by your left toe.

Mix and match these moves.

Mix and match these moves in time with Hawaiian music.

Mix and match these moves in time with any of your favorite types of music.

Rhythm Games

Once you’ve mastered the basic moves, you can also play with an adult, partner, friend or even a group.  In the video above, you probably noticed how the dancers tapped each other’s sticks.  You can try something similar.  If you sit across from a partner, pick out what moves you want to do (such as – let’s tap right, then left sticks in the middle) and give them a try.   Make up your own patterns with or without music.

If you’re seated in a circle with a group, you can try patterns such as this one:

Everyone taps both wrapped ends on the ground twice, then taps both sticks together in front of themselves.

Everyone taps both wrapped ends on the ground twice, then reaches out to tap the sticks of their neighbors, both right and left.

Repeat the pattern while keeping a beat.  Try it without music, while singing or while playing recorded music.

—————–

Photograph of pu’ili sticks on a tropical leaf, used by permission from NaKani O Hula Farms.  Their farm grows and creates many traditional Hawaiian instruments and crafts.  Find them at:

http://www.nakaniohula.com/about-us/