Category Archives: Multicultural Music

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/

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More Than 50 Freebies For Music In Our Schools Month!

Screen shot 2018-01-17 at 3.45.16 PMIn the USA, March is Music In Our Schools month!  Although it’s my opinion that music makes any school day better, it’s nice to see a whole month dedicated to how music enriches our childrens’ academic and personal lives. So, rock on, you wonderful teachers and music teachers!

And what’s better than music?  How about music freebies!  As I’ve created the multicultural music books and resources on my TPT (Teachers Pay Teachers) store, I’ve tried to break out as many freebies as possible.  I have dozens of friends that are teachers and the one thing I hear over and over again is that they lack any real budget (or any budget at all) for extra classroom materials to enrich their lessons. Especially for the diverse classroom or a classroom where the teacher wants to share world cultures through arts and music.

Several years ago I got a wonderful note from a teacher.  She thanked me for some of my freebies focusing on music traditions from Asia and India. Her manjira iconschool had just welcomed a wave of refugees from that area and they were teaching the whole school about music from Pakistan, India and Bangladesh.  One of the parents brought in traditional music and played it for the children.  The kids loved coloring the instruments they heard (from my coloring pages) and it started lots of new conversations about customs, families, holidays and favorite topics like food.  I love seeing that my resources could be used not just for learning but for inclusive activities and bringing together schools and communities.

So in that spirit, here are direct links to 20 of my most popular freebies, but you can also follow me on TPT or bookmark the freebie section as new items are being added almost every week.  Just drop by and visit me at:  https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Store/World-Music-With-Daria

Coloring Pages

Color Your Own Panpipes  - https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Color-the-Zamponas-Panpipes-From-The-Andes-650601

Color Your Own Tabla Drums – https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Tabla-Drums-Free-Coloring-Page-2682617

Mariachi Guitar Coloring PageColor Your Own Mariachi Guitar – https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Mariachi-Guitar-Coloring-Page-2511636

Color Your Own Ukulele – https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Ukulele-Coloring-Page-3017260

Color Your Own Egyptian Rattle -  https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Color-An-Ancient-Egyptian-Rattle-The-Sistrum-2166721

Color Your Own Andean Drum – https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Color-A-Bombo-A-Drum-From-The-Andes-650642

Color Your Own Doumbek Middle Eastern Drum – shttps://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Middle-Eastern-Drums-Doumbek-Background-Coloring-Page-2049118

Color Your Own Tabla Drums Mongolian Horsehead Fiddle – https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Mongolian-Horsehead-Fiddle-Free-Coloring-Page-3578368

Instrument Making Activities

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

cajon iconMake Your Own Cajón Box Drum – https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/The-Cajon-Make-And-Play-Your-Own-Box-Drum-1236616

Make Your Own Button Castanets – https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Button-Castenets-Tutorial-3436732

Make Your Own Easy African Drum - https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Make-Your-Own-African-Drum-Craft-3507618

Introduction To World Music Instruments

How Is A Didgeridoo Made?  https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/How-is-A-Didgeridoo-Made-3429295

WIA didgeridooWhat is A Quijada Jawbone Instrument – https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/What-is-a-Quijada-Jawbone-Instrument-1406336

What Are Chapchas?
https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Color-The-Chapchas-An-Instrument-from-The-Andes-650050

What Is The Puerto Rican Cuatro?
https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Cuatro-National-Instrument-of-Puerto-Rico-Free-Coloring-Page-3485455

World Music and Popular Song Lyric Sheets

The Earth Day Song – Lyric Sheet
https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Earth-Day-Song-Lyric-Sheet-2451013

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

Here Come Our Mothers - Lyric SheetA Mother’s Day Song From Africa – Lyric Sheet
https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Mothers-Day-Song-From-Africa-Free-Lyric-Sheet-2533301

Chinese New Year Song – Lyric Sheet
https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Gong-Xi-Gong-Xi-Free-Lyric-Sheet-3629553

Gong Xi Gong Xi – What Does The Chinese New Year Song Mean?

Screen shot 2018-02-06 at 3.41.48 PM

The phrase Gong Xi Gong Xi resounds everywhere during Chinese New Year. In fact, one translation of the New Years song explains:

(In) Every big street (and) little alley
The first sentence (we) say
When (we) see each other)

Must be” “Congratulations! Congratulations!”
Congratulations! Congratulations!
Congratulations to you!

Since it is so popular, some may think it’s a traditional song or folksong, but it was written by a popular Chinese composer, Chen Gexin, with the original title: Wishing You Prosperity and Happiness.  The literal meaning of “Gong Xi” is “congratulations”. Written by Chen Gexin on the occasion of China’s liberation after the Sino-Japanese war in 1945, the lyrics use the most popular New Year’s phrase and talk about the coming of Spring, so the song quickly became a favorite during Chinese New Year celebrations.

Here’s a version that shows the Chinese characters and gives tips on pronouncing the lyrics to the song:

Here’s a fun bilingual version of a different Chinese New Years Song with lyrics in Chinese and English. Even though it’s a different song, you can hear the same chorus of Gong Xi Gong Xi, that rings out everywhere during this beautiful and happy celebration.

Links and Resources

Gong Xi Gong Xi- About The Song Plus Lyrics https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/A-Chinese-New-year-Song-Gong-Xi-Gong-Xi-3629545

Gong Xi Gong Xi – Free Lyric Sheet (Pinyin and English)
https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Gong-Xi-Gong-Xi-Free-Lyric-Sheet-3629553

Chinese New Year Astrology Chart – Find Your Birth Year Here! https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Chinese-Astrology-Chart-What-Lunar-Year-Is-It-2377484b
Make Your Own Chinese Gong – https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Make-Your-Own-Chinese-Gong-From-Recycled-Materials-486935
bolang-gu-craft-versionMake a Bolang Gu – Monkey Drum https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Monkey-Drum-Chinese-New-Year-Drum-Craft-1748044

Color an Erhu – A Two-Stringed Chinese Violin https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/The-Erhu-Chinese-Violin-Instruments-From-Around-The-World-1037355

Learn A Song In Quechua for Native American Heritage Month

yaw yaw girlNovember is Native American Heritage Month and it’s a great time to connect with the rich cultures that exist thoroughout North and South America – as well as the world. Here’s an easy song to learn and sing that comes from Quechua culture and I’m proud to say that my version of this folksong from Peru is being used by children’s choruses across the USA.

What Is Quechua?

Quechua is a beautiful indigenous language that was spoken widely throughout South America during the time of the Incas.  When Spanish Conquistadors arrived at that continent, dialects of Quechua were spoken in countries now known as Ecuador, Peru, Chile and Bolivia as well as the southern part of Columbia and the northern regions of Argentina.

Yaw, Yaw, Puka Polleracha

So here’s the song and a video of the song. The lyrics are simple. Someone is calling to a girl in the red skirt (puka = red, polleracha = skirt, yaw = hey). The person singing says “I saw what you did and I am going to tell your mom and dad on you!”

Learn More About Quechua and A Child’s Life In The Andes

If you like the song, you can find the complete lyric sheet, plus two language freebies below. These are a great way to learn about Quechua and get a sense of what the language sounds like and what some common words and phrases are.

zampoña boyAnd remember, all folk songs that come from a specific culture describe life in that world.  If you enjoy the song, you might like to check out my E-book: A Child’s Life In The Andes that shares more about the music, the food, the chores and the day to day life of children in this beautiful indigenous culture.

Links And Resources

Yaw Yaw – Lyric Sheet (TPT Freebie) - https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Yaw-Yaw-Puka-Polleracha-Free-Lyric-Sheet-Song-In-Quechua-3340027

Quechua Mini-Lesson for Kids (TPT Freebie) https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Quechua-Language-Mini-Lesson-For-Kids-Colors-Numbers-And-Common-Words-2825911

Learn About Quechua Language – For Kids (TPT Freebie) https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Quechua-Language-For-Kids-Verbs-Common-Phrases-and-Notes-on-Spelling-2825952

Yaw Yaw Sheet Musichttps://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Yaw-Yaw-Puka-Polleracha-Sheet-Music-2707454

A Child’s Life In the Andes E-Book and CD of Andean Music https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/A-Childs-Life-In-The-Andes-E-Book-Plus-Music-CD-639838

8 Native American Museums You Can Visit Online

Hopi Butterfly DanceNovember – Native American Heritage Month – is a great time to learn more about Native music and culture. And a  Native American museum is a great place to start.

Across the USA, you can find various museums and cultural centers that are great ways to see, touch, hear and learn more about the Native people of your region, both from the past and in the present day. You may be surprised to learn new things about the history of your area or to find that local place names have a special meaning in the Native American tongue of your region.

The National Museum of The American Indian

NMAI buildingIf you are close to Washington DC or New York city, you can visit two of the NMAI – National Museums of the American Indian. Both are exciting places to experience Native culture first-hand. Aside from an incredible facilities both sites have on-going exhibits, classes, workshops and even online performances or seminars about topics of interest concerning Native American culture.

More Native American Museums

If you’re not close to either NMAI location or want to know specific information Screen shot 2017-11-05 at 8.35.18 AMabout local tribes near your home, you can often start by searching the name of local tribes online. Check to see if a museum or cultural center exists or find a contact on the powwow.com site. Within a short time, you should be able to find accurate and up to date information about what is happening in your area in regard to Native culture.

Here’s one thing to remember about searching popular tribal names, though. Keep in mind that some commonly used names for tribes are not the same ones used by the tribes themselves. For instance, although the Iroquois Museum uses the term “Iroquois”, the teaching resources utilize their preferred name of Haudenosaunee, meaning “People of the Longhouse”.

Get There Online!

Can’t visit a museum in person? Check out the websites below for some great experiences. For instance, the NMAI in New York has just completed a 5 year Screen shot 2017-11-05 at 8.39.57 AMlong exhibit called the Circle of Dance. If you visit the main page, you can see a glorious slide show of Native Dance regalia from all over the world. At the main NMAI site, you can discover a host of teaching materials or even do an online search of collections. Some facilities; such as the Iroquois museum, also offer resources for tracing genealogy. The Museum of Inuit art offers audio and video tours. Many sites have bookstores online where you can purchase accurate material on Native history and traditions as well.

What can you learn about Native culture? A world of resources are available. Just start with a sense of curiosity and respect and you’ll be off on an exciting journey into the world of the first peoples of North America.

Native American Museum Links

NMAI in Washington DC – http://nmai.si.edu/visit/washington/

NMAI in New York City -  http://nmai.si.edu/visit/newyork/

Iroquois Museum -  http://www.iroquoismuseum.org

Children’s Iroquois Museum – http://www.iroquoismuseum.org/CHILDRENS%20MUSEUM.html

Screen shot 2017-11-05 at 8.31.32 AMMuseum of the Cherokee Indian – http://www.cherokeemuseum.org/

Walatowa Visitor Center (Pueblo of Jemez)  – http://www.jemezpueblo.com/

Ojai Valley Museum (Chumash and Ancient Peoples of California) https://www.ojaivalleymuseum.org/

Museum of Inuit Art (Canada) – http://www.miamuseum.ca/

Circle Of Dance Exhibit Info – http://nmai.si.edu/static/exhibitions/circleofdance/

Powwow.com – http://www.powwows.com

Related Resources And Activities

Jingle Dress via WIkimedia commonsJingle Dance Tradition (Post + 2017 NAMH Blog Hop And Give-Away) https://multiculturalkidblogs.com/2017/11/03/jingle-dress-dancing-native-american/

Hear a Pow-wow Drum  http://www.dariamusic.com/drum.php

Make a (Frameless) Pow-Wow Drum  http://www.dariamusic.com/make_Drum.php

pow wow drumColor a Pow-Wow Drum – Printable and Online http://www.dariamusic.com/drum.php

You Are Welcome At A Native American Pow-Wow (Post on Pow-Wow Etiquette) http://multiculturalkidblogs.com/2014/11/02/native-american-pow-wow/

Make A Native American Turtle Rattle From Recycled Materials https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Native-American-Turtle-Shell-Rattle-Craft-Using-Recycled-Materials-600715

Win A Beautiful New Spanish Language Book + CD!

Cantale

We just found out that one of our favorite fellow bloggers is reviewing AND giving 5 copies of the beautiful new CD/Book set seen above – “Cántale A Tu Bebé”  (Sing To Your Baby!).

If you’re reading this blog, you’re probably already singing to your little ones and this Spanish language set can make it even easier and more fun to combine music and language learning at the same time.  It’s perfect for bilingual parents, Spanish-speaking parents or families learning Spanish.

Read the entire post for the story of the book and cd set, check out the info on bilingualism for baby or skip directly to the contest at the bottom of this page to enter and win!  http://www.biculturalmama.com/2017/09/music-book-baby-singing.html

Good luck and  don’t forget to …“Cántale A Tu Bebé” (Sing To Your Baby!)

Make Your Own Egyptian Sistrum And Join The MENA Blog Hop!

sistrum color image

We’re proud to be part of the Middle Eastern North Africa blog hop. Naturally we have a post 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.

sistrums - sticksMake 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!


 

Introducing The Music of China To Children

Hi! I’m Elizabeth, a mother and music teacher. I’m thrilled to be guest-posting on Tiny Tapping Toes today about Chinese music- I’m excited to connect with you and share some of my ideas!
china post ttt graphic
As a music teacher who grew up among cultures, I am passionate about introducing children to music from cultures other than their home culture. Although it can be intimidating to share a culture with your children that you aren’t that familiar with yourself, it can be such a rewarding learning experience for everyone, and the benefits are incredible! Today I want to share some of my favorite simple ways to introduce the music and culture of China to young children.

I know this is not exactly a traditional way to start, but I usually use a clip or two of 12 Girls Band to first introduce children to Chinese music. This is a great one:

Also this:

We of course discuss which instruments are traditionally Chinese and which or not- that part is pretty clear- but it is a great way to showcase many of the instruments from China, see how they are played and what they sound like, and also get a taste of what Chinese music is like while still sounding somewhat familiar- this is like the gateway to exploring the traditional music that will sound more foreign and strange to their ears. Plus it is so much fun!I use these recordings as a starting point to jump into a discussion of Chinese instruments, including the erhu, xiao, dizi, pipa, guzheng (duzheng), and yangqin.

After showing one of the “Twelve Girls Band” videos, I usually show them pictures of each instrument, tell them the name of each one, and see if they noticed how each one is played, or what familiar instrument it is most similar to. Then we watch one more video and I have them point out and identify each instrument as we see it. I use that as an introduction to Chinese music as a whole, but in subsequent lessons I will show them short clips of each instrument in a more traditional setting. This one is great for showing short excerpts of lots of different instruments:

I have used a lot of different songs in my classes over the years. There is so much that is included, both historically and geographically, when we talk about “Chinese music”, that it’s honestly hard for me to pick one song! The last few years I have used “Cowboy” (I know, you’re already thinking what? stay with me…). I don’t generally like to teach songs from other cultures with translated lyrics- I think it takes away from giving the students an authentic presentation of the song- so I always try to find songs that have fewer lyrics while still being interesting. This one fits the bill (although, let’s be honest, we are talking about a rather difficult language for English speakers- it will still take some time!) and has some great possibilities for discussions about Chinese history, architecture, and/or geography. You can find the original lyrics, the translation, the notation, and a sung recording on Mama Lisa’s website here.

With any of the songs that I use, I will usually add some simple rhythms on percussion instruments. Here is an example of some of the percussion parts I might add (this one has tambourine, hand drum, and finger cymbals):

Gongs, triangles, and rhythm sticks would also be good choices for adding some quick instrument accompaniment.

One more thing that I like to cover is Beijing (Peking) Opera. I don’t introduce this genre until we are well into our study of Chinese music, because I don’t want students to immediately start laughing or draw back in disgust, but it is such a significant part of Chinese music that I think it is important for students to at least be exposed to it when they study the music of China in general. I usually use a clip from this video to show in class (it is nice because it has the English translation underneath- so it is important to check and make sure the material is appropriate before you show it! I haven’t come across anything that is not, but I haven’t watched the whole thing so please do check beforehand):

I usually introduce the genre by telling students that Beijing opera is one of the most famous forms of Chinese music historically. I also tell them in advance that it is going to sound and look very different from what they are expecting, but that I want them to tell me what they notice after watching.  Most students tell me that they notice the performers moving with the instruments, their makeup and costumes are very dramatic, and they sound like they are half-singing and half-speaking. We often end up having a very good conversation about what the definition of music is, because there are usually some students who question whether or not this “counts” as music at all! You can learn more about the genre here and here.

I hope you found some new ideas for exploring Chinese music and culture with your children! Thank you so much to Daria for letting me share my ideas on her site. I’d love to hear from you! If you’d like to stay in touch with me, please head on over to my site, Organized Chaos, where I share resources and thoughts to give parents and teachers the freedom to be creative through purposeful organization and broadened perspectives. You can find more posts on sharing music from other cultures right here. I hope you’ll stop in to say hello!

Links And Resources

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

Color A Chinese Erhu
https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Chinese-Instrument-Erhu-Free-Coloring-Page-3236532

Bolang Gu creft + real oneMake Your Own Bolang Gu Chinese Pellet Drum!
http://www.tinytappingtoes.com/chinese-mandarin/make-your-own-bolang-gu-chinese-pellet-drum/

Seven Days of Learning Mandarin Through Music
http://www.tinytappingtoes.com/chinese-mandarin/7-days-of-learning-mandarin-chinese-through-music/

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/