Category Archives: Native American Music

The Pow-Wow Drum – Making a Beat, Together With Friends!

#31daysofrhythm FB

Did you now that March is Music In Our Schools month? What a great way to focus on how music enriches the lives of all students, young and old!

I’m part of a group of music educators that want parents, teachers and everyone to find lots of fun and creative ways to share music with kids. This year, our theme is “31 days of rhythm” so I wanted to share a bit about how pow-wow drumming.

What’s A Pow-Wow Drum?

Seven Cedars Sing At University of Pensylvania MuseumIf you’ve ever been to a Native American gathering, the pow-wow drum is at the center of the event.  At most pow-wows you’ll see a group of either men or women gathered around a big drum and everyone is playing and singing at the same time. They are all playing in unison, meaning the goal is to strike the drum together. And when a great drum group is playing, it sounds like thunder and shows the power of what people can do when they work (or play) cooperatively!

Make Your Own Pow-Wow Drum

DALLAS girls making drum at women's museumActual pow-wow drums are beautiful and many are very special and sacred. But I’ve done a post that explores the first pow-wow drum and you can easily make that at home. You can find it here as well as check out the sound of a traditional drum group playing and singing: http://www.dariamusic.com/drum.php

You’ll Need a Drum Beater

To play a pow-wow drum, each drummer needs their own beater. Check this link feathered drum beaterfor an equally simple craft to make your own pow-wow drum beaters: http://www.tinytappingtoes.com/classroom-music/make-a-little-drum-beater-for-a-big-drum/

Now Let’s Play!

Every child can find a place around the fabric drum, holding the drum with one hand and their beater in the other. Then, they strike the drum together – at the same time. At first, a teacher or adult may want to tap out a beat to any familiar song and encourage the children to play along, hitting the drum at exactly the same time. Once the kids get the idea, the leader can also ask the children to kids drumming in DARIA workshop - ISRAELlisten carefully and do what she/he does. While playing the same song, she/he can play softer and they should tap softer.  He/she can play harder or a bit faster or slower and the drum group should do the same.

In Native cultures, drumming is just one way of teaching cooperation and listening skills as well.

Drumming Together

To practice drumming together, you might wish to try a simple song I used while teaching music and English in the Middle East. The students wanted to learn the days of the week in English so they drummed to the following little song. Whoever was leading set the pace and played the rhythm as they sang. When they finished, they pointed to someone who had listened and played well to be the next leader.

(one beat) Sunday,
(one beat) Monday,
(one beat) Tuesday,
(one beat) Wednesday,
(one beat) Thursday,
(one beat) Friday and
(three beats) SAT-UR-DAY (beaters must stop and raised in the air).

Happy drumming and check out all the posts for the 31 Days of Rhythm right here: https://musicedblogs.com/

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A Trip Around The World In Song!

mama-lisa-book-coverThis is my new favorite international kids song songbook!

To be honest, I’ve been a huge fan of the website – Mama Lisa’s World – for years, so I was thrilled to be able to review this new compilation songbook. It has 100 songs from global cultures – including indigenous cultures – along with descriptions, sheet music, translations and notes on where to find MIDI and recorded version for listening. This book simply could not be more complete – or more fun!

Many of the songs that Lisa has selected are not just great songs, they are also games and offer wonderful ways to combine music, language and movement. Because translations come with each song, you can also easily start learning  simple words and phrases in other languages as well.

Where does this songbook go? It opens in Africa with welcome songs, circle dances and call-and-response tunes. Next, the songbook goes to Asia, with songs of friendship, love and play. After that, you can find favorites from Australia and the islands of Oceania. In the songs selected from Europe, you’ll meet familiar characters like the Sandman and Little Red Riding Hood. Of course, there are mama-lisa-book-pagealso songs from North America, including an Iroquois lullaby as well as English and French Canadian songs. The book closes with songs from Central and South America, including music with roots in Hispanic, Afro-Hispanic and Indigenous cultures.

What more do you need to know? This is definitely a must-have songbook for anyone who loves children’s songs and world music! You can buy both digital copies or a full size physical copy at the links below.

Links And Resources

Digital Copy From Gumroad (352 Pages/5.64 MG/3.99) https://gumroad.com/l/GvQVT#

Kid Songs Around The World: A Mama Lisa Book (Physical Copy) From Amazon http://a.co/3mx1z0o

Free Music Resources For Back To School

WOM mini postersWhether you’re a classroom teacher, a homeschooler or a parent who loves sharing music, you’ve probably already found the wonderful site – TeachersPayTeachers. It’s filled with all kinds of resources including a huge amount of freebies and fun for all aspects of teaching, not just music.

If you follow me on TPT here: https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Store/Daria-Music you’re welcome to enjoy my fantastic back-to-school freebies. At this time of year, I generally set four of my top-selling items to “0” so my followers and friends can take advantage of these resources as they plan ahead to the coming year.

WHAT’S FREE THIS YEAR?

You can get my Parent’s Choice Award-winning children’s music cd – Beautiful Rainbow World – including songs from 12 world cultures. There’s a pack of mini-posters of world music instruments from all across the globe plus two instrument-making craft activities. Until Friday  (August 12th),  follow me on TPT and you can download these items for free:

ADD SOME MULTICULTURAL MUSIC TO YOUR CLASSROOM https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Multicultural-Music-CD-Beautiful-Rainbow-World-by-DARIA-1189106

WHO DOESN’T LOVE POSTERS AND MINI-POSTERS? https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/World-Music-Instrument-Mini-Posters-2182210

PERFECT FOR NATIVE AMERICAN HERITAGE MONTH (NOVEMBER) https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Native-American-Turtle-Shell-Rattle-Craft-Using-Recycled-Materials-600715

EXCELLENT FOR NEW YEAR AND CHINESE NEW YEAR FUN https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Monkey-Drum-Chinese-New-Year-Drum-Craft-1748044

WHAT ELSE IS NEW IN DARIA’s TPT STORE?

We’ve also just added two fun mini-courses that share the Instruments Of India along with Ancient Instruments From The Middle East. There’s gorgeous coloring pages of darbuka drums, sitars and handbells along with crafts to make Screen shot 2016-08-09 at 1.10.15 PMIndian ankle bells, dhol drums or even an Egyptian sistrum that dates back to the time of the pyramids! Plus there’s lots of songs, lyric sheets, sheet music, activities, E-books and more.

https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Instruments-of-India-Mini-Course-2682389

https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Ancient-Instruments-From-The-Middle-East-Mini-Lesson-2127995

Just drop by and become a follower, here: https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Store/Daria-Music

UPDATE:  Did you miss the free items because the sale is over?  If you are a teacher or homeschooling family on a limited budget, drop DARIA a line at dariamusic at yahoo dot com.  She can often send along a free copy of one of her resources for your classroom!

And happy planning for the school or homeschool year for 2016/2017!

Make A Little Drum Beater For A Big Drum!

kids playing pueblo drumNovember is Native American Heritage month and it’s a great time to step right up and play a big drum!

Whether it’s a pow-wow drum, a pueblo drum (as seen here) or another drum you have, you’ll need a special stick to play that drum. And here’s how you can make an easy version, perfect for small hands with big hearts!

Pencil Mini-Drum Beaters -Materials Needed

One pencil per child

Colorful electrical or washi tape

Pipe cleaners (optional)

Feathers (optional)

pencil drum beatersStart with colorful (unsharpened) pencils. Wrap the pencil side with the electrical or washi tape and add feathers with pipe cleaners if desired.

These smaller beaters are the perfect size for young children to hold and will make it easier for them to tap or play a drum.

Playing Any Drum

Use your drum beater to play a frameless pow-wow drum (instructions below) or tap out a beat on any drum you might have around the classroom or house.

Don’t have a drum handy? No problem, I suggest you find a round container, like a sturdy laundry hamper or large plastic container and improvise a drum. Overturned pots and pans will work as well, but can be really loud and possibly have an adverse effect on young children’s hearing.

Playing A Pow-Wow Drum

pencil beater on drumTo play a Native American pow-wow drum, each drummer will need one beater.  The goal is to play in unison, with everyone’s beater hitting the drum head at the same time.  This can be a wonderful way to teach cooperation and listening skills as the sound of the drum is amazing and powerful when everyone strikes together!

Want to hear a real pow-wow drum and a pow-wow drum song.  Check out the Starfeather Group who you can hear in the links below.

Can you play along to those powerful songs?

Links and Resources

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

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

Color 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

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

Three Musical Rattles For Exploring Native American Culture

little gal and buffalo drum

November is Native American Heritage Month!

What a fun time to make and play several different types of rattles that are found in Native cultures. Each rattle here is easy to make and can be used to explore Native American music and dance or for any musical activity with young children!

TURTLE ISLAND RATTLE

Did you know that the North American continent is often called “Turtle Island” based on a story that comes from an Haudenosaunee/Iroquois legend? Turtles also figure prominently in the lore and legends of many Native American tribes give-away turtle rattleacross the USA and Canada. Although the actual rattle is made from a turtle shell, this craft uses supplies that can be found around any house or classroom.

What do you need for a recycled turtle rattle? One take-out container of any size, a small amount of materials to fill the rattle (birdseed, pebbles, paper clips, etc.) a bit of glue and a piece of felt, poster board or foam to make the turtle’s body. Plus you’ll want to have some materials to help decorate the rattle, such as paint, glitter and glue or permanent markers and possibly some googley eyes for the turtle.

homemade and real turtle rattle  lo resHere’s a real and homemade turtle rattle side-by-side. Find the easy and free step-by-steps directions on DARIA’s TPT Store, here:

http://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Native-American-Turtle-Shell-Rattle-Craft-Using-Recycled-Materials-600715

CHAPCHAS OR JINGLEY BRACELETS

chapchas (3) on red backgroundSo many Native rattles are made from materials found in the natural world. Chapchas – from the Andes – are made of a rather unusual natural material, the clipped toenails of sheep or goats. The nails are boiled and sterilized then a hot needle punctures a hole in the nail so they can be threaded onto a strip of fabric about the size of a bracelet.

Don’t worry – our recycled version of this instrument does not require chasing any sheep, goats or llamas for their toenail clippings! Instead, we start with a piece of yarn and weave in things that jingle as well as click and clack. We suggest a variety of household items such as buttons, beads, paper clips, jingle Chapchas - Jingley Thing craftbells or dried pasta, to name a few.

Find Step-By-Step Directions as well as a free coloring page, here:

http://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Color-The-Chapchas-An-Instrument-from-The-Andes-650050

www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Chapchas-A-Unique-Rattle-From-Latin-America-1426778

CHEROKEE NOISE-MAKERS

LeannaOne of our favorite bloggers – Leanna (from All Done Monkey!) just posted this craft that her family made from the book they were reading (The Cherokee by Rennay Craats). In the book, these noise-makers helped a child know what they might hear at a special ceremony of the Cherokee. You can find the activity and the full post here:

http://alldonemonkey.com/2014/11/03/cherokee-rattle-craft/

Drumming and Dancing in Native America

all of us :Jemez Exchange This post is part of a “Happiness Around The World” Multicultural Kids Blogging Carnival.  Hosted by Giselle of KidYogaStories, the series shares how simple pleasures enrich the lives of people all over the world.  We chose to write about one of our favorite activities – being a part of our regional pow-wows.

One of the ways that Native American celebrate life and family is through drumming and dancing.   Whether it’s a relaxed gathering of friends or a formal pow-wow complete with dance contests and special exhibits, the sound of the drum and a place to move to the beat is a special way to enjoy time with family and friends.

Dancers at Treaty SigningAre all pow-wows the same?  Not at all!  There are many different tribes and traditions across the USA and each has distinct clothing, dances and even different singing styles.  Some larger pow-wows have visiting drum groups that play throughout the day and most have a large dance ring that creates the central place to dance.  Around the ring are usually chairs and places to catch up with relatives and friends that might not have been seen in a while.

Can anyone attend a pow-wow?  While it’s true that some pow-wows and gatherings are closed and are “by invitation only”, most events that are visible to the public are open to the public.  Everyone is welcome to attend and enjoy.  There are just three simple tips that are helpful if you decide to go.  First, the special clothing worn by dancers is called regalia.  To some, it would be offensive to call it a costume, but it is not offensive to ask about it in a respectful way.  Secondly, ask before taking any photographs.  And lastly, respect your elders.  Allow any elders to go into the dance ring first, or to find seating or take a place in line for food.  Native culture shows great respect for both elders and veterans and they are generally placed first in any procession at a pow-wow such as the Grand Entry.

Can you learn to dance, Native American style?  It is easy and fun to learn these dances.  The simple steps can be mastered by anyone and the complicated dances are great for more serious students.

If you take a look at some of the links below you can find more information about how drumming and dancing create happiness and keep people connected in Native communities across the country.

pow wow drumHear a Pow-wow Drum Played by the Starfeather Singers
http://www.dariamusic.com/drum.php

Hear a Pow-wow Drum Song Sung by the Starfeather Singers
http://www.dariamusic.com/drum.php

A Make-Your-Own Pow-wow drum project
http://www.dariamusic.com/make_Drum.php