Category Archives: Uncategorized

4 Recycled Thanksgiving Music Crafts!

Daria's homemade gongRecycle, Upcycle – Repurpose!

Isn’t it great to find ways to use items that might be a part of your holiday celebration.  Instead of tossing them into the trash, you can turn  them into treasure.   Well, maybe not treasure, but definitely great kids music crafts that can provide hours of fun while you’re relaxing during or after a wonderful celebration.

Here’s our 4 fav holiday craft re-makes.

Turkey Roasting Pan into A Gong

Seriously, is there a better way to get the whole group together than to bang a gong? Let the kids use the extra turkey roasting pan to create this wonderful Chinese-style gong to mark time at your celebration.  Decorate it with your Chinese zodiac animals – the chart of Chinese Zodiac animals is part of this pdf – or just apply pure creativity!

DARIA’s Chinese Gong Freebie on TPThttps://buff.ly/2mTkrU4

Ocean drum completePie Box Ocean Drum

We love this craft. There’s a cool little window built right in so you can see what’s making the sound of the sea in your ocean drum. This simple craft sounds remarkable and is wonderfully relaxing!

DARIA’s Ocean Drum Craft Posthttps://buff.ly/2zZPGCm

Turn Your Coffee Can into An Africa Style Drum

Screen shot 2014-02-06 at 12.05.42 PMWho doesn’t love a hand drum? Here’s a super simple way to turn the empty coffee cans into a child-size hand drum.

Coffee Can Hand Drum From DARIA’s Website (Look Under African Drum) http://www.dariamusic.com/crafts.php

pencil beater on drumA Beater For Those Drums!

While you’ve got a gong and a hand drum, you might want to make your own easy beaters. Opt for unsharpened pencils or go for a nature walk and find sticks that can create sturdy basic beaters for any drum you may have or make.

DARIA’s Easy Drum Beaters Posthttps://buff.ly/2hbREba

 

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3 Great Music Crafts for Cinco De Mayo!

Childhood LearningCinco de Mayo is a wonderful time to learn more about Mexican history and culture. Making and playing simple instruments from Mexico is great fun for even the youngest child. Here are three easy music crafts that will let your little one try their hand at joining in the musical fun of this special holiday!

Make Some Maracas!

If you have two small water bottles and two toilet paper rolls, plus a bit of filling and tape, you can make a sturdy pair of great-sounding maracas.  Basically, maracas are two rattles held by the handles and played with both hands. Imagine the fun you can have with music and with music and movement with these!

prize maracas 1Professional maracas have different sounds in each of the containers and you can try that as well. You can fill your recycled instrument with combinations like beans and rice, paper clips and erasers or smaller and larger dried pasta pieces. That way the left and right maraca will make different sounds when shaken and you can create even more the rhythms with the pair!

homemade button maracasNeed a full tutorial, with different playing suggestions? You can find one here: https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Latin-American-Intruments-Make-Your-Own-Maracas-1428029

Be A Guiro Hero!

Even if you don’t recognize the word “guiro”, you’ll know the sound right away! It’s the instrument that makes the “b-r-r-r-r-r-r” sound often heard in Latin American and Caribbean music. And it’s really fun for kids to play!

homemade guiro and 6 raspsThe sound is achieved by rubbing a stick, a scraper or a rasp over a series of ridges – and any plastic water bottle with firm ridges makes a fantastic guiro. Filling the water bottle with colorful shredded paper, confetti or similar items makes it even more fun to play. When I do this project with kids or classes, I like to use an unsharpened pencil attached to the bottle with colorful yarn as my scraper, but there are lots of other items you can use as well and each one produces a unique sound. Try whisks, hair picks, chopsticks or even plastic spoons, forks, or sporks for percussion play!

Click, Clack…Castanets!

This is another creative project for discovering rhythms or developing fine motor skills. Eli and Button CastanetsCastanets originally came from the European region of Spain and Portugal and some historians believe they were actually made from tapping together walnut shells before they were crafted out of wood.

Our recycled project doesn’t include nuts or carved wood. We create fun little workable castanets out of sturdy paper and buttons or various sizes. You make them in pairs and – you guessed it – each different set of buttons makes different sounds.

Playing suggestions? Get the hang of tapping them together and separately. Then play along to your favorite songs or try singing and tapping at the same time. Often played as part of the flamenco music tradition heard in Spain and in Mexico, you’ll be amazed at how a talented castanet player can use this tiny instrument as part of a breath-taking performance.

Here’s an example of a well-known flamenco dancer and castanet player named La Emi from Santa Fe, New Mexico.

Is Cinco de Mayo Mexican Independence Day (Spoiler Alert – No!)

By the way, do you know what the 5th of May actually celebrates?  If you don’t you can check out this history freebie from my TPT Store here: https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/What-is-Cinco-De-Mayo-2514584

Links And Resources

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

Hear or Color a Guiro   http://www.dariamusic.com/guiro.php

Make Your Own Guiro from TPT
https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Make-Your-Own-Latin-American-Guiro-1230266

Cinco De Mayo Music Crafts E-Book From TeachersPayTeachers
https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Cinco-De-Mayo-Music-Crafts-2507025

10 Musical Crafts For Exploring Hispanic Heritage
https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Celebrate-Hispanic-Heritage-Musical-Craft-And-Coloring-E-Book-1427919

Chinese New Year For Kids – Music and Crafts!

Screen shot 2017-01-27 at 11.40.50 AMIn 2017, the Chinese Lunar New Year begins on January 28th and we welcome in the year of the fire rooster!

Over the past years, we’ve shared some of our favorite music crafts that are easy to make for all ages and use recycled and “on-hand” materials. This year we decided to do share our 3 most popular music crafts as well as share our favorite Chinese New Year Pinterest Board, so you can explore a world of great crafts, foods, books, games and activities and related Chinese New Year Kids activities.

So bang a gong, make a paper lantern,color a New Years greeting and celebrate a beautiful Chinese Lunar New Year!

Music Posts

sheep goat gongMake Your Own Gong Post- http://www.tinytappingtoes.com/uncategorized/bang-a-gong/

PDF Activity (free on TPT) https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Make-Your-Own-Chinese-Gong-From-Recycled-Materials-486935

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

PDF on TPT https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Monkey-Drum-Chinese-New-Year-Drum-Craft-1748044

Make Your Own Tinghsha Handbells – PDF on TPT Tinghsa on redhttps://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Explore-Tibetan-Handbells-Plus-a-Make-Your-Own-Handbell-Craft-560016

 

A World Of Great Crafts And Activities – Via Pinterest!

I’m proud to be part of the Multicultural Kid Bloggers networks who hosts a Chinese New Year Pinterest board.  Visit here for an ever-expanding collection of Screen shot 2017-01-27 at 12.05.38 PMgreat crafts, activities, coloring pages, books, foods and more.   Some of our favorite are the pretty paper lantern craft,  fortune cookie activity, the Chinese zodiac matching cards and … so … much … more!

https://www.pinterest.com/MKBlogs/chinese-new-year/

50 Precious Words: “I Wished For A Washboard! A Musical Picture Book!

bella and washboardWe’re excited to be a last minute entry in the 50 Precious Words contest.  This wonderful contest with lots of great prizes is hosted by an up-and-coming children’s book writer, Vivian Kirkfield on her blog: https://viviankirkfield.com/.

The quest was to write a children’s picture book in less then 50 words.  Naturally, I wrote about music and how kids get excited about making music, sometimes with the simplest instruments.  Like a washboard.

I love the idea of this book because the main character in the story can be younger or older, from any culture and could also be a kid of differing abilities.  None of that matters when you let music out of your heart and your mouth and into the world.

So, without further ado, here’s our entry!

I Wished For A Washboard 

By: Daria Marmaluk-Hajioannou

little boys and washboardI wished for a washboard
So that I could play
Some music with mom
or my friends, everyday

I’d make lots of rhythms
Then guess what I’d do?
I’ll give you my washboard
And you could play, too!

I wished for a washboard
To make music my own
And today I am happy

Mom brought one home!

 

5 Fun Noise-Makers For New Year’s Eve!

Screen shot 2014-07-07 at 1.00.10 PMHow will you be merry-making with your kids this New Year’s Eve?  Here are five fun ways to make a merry musical start in 2015!

Make a Vuvuzela!

There’s a reason this horn (pictured below) is called the most annoying instrument in the world. It’s loud and silly sounding. And it’s also an easy craft to enjoy making as you attempt to stay awake all the way to midnight on New Years vuvu brazilEve. Find a free craft pdf with step-by-step instructions here: http://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/The-Vuvuzela-Make-Play-Your-Own-South-African-Stadium-Horn-1242716

An Elegant “French Horn”

The blog; Savvy Homemade, has this easy craft where you can create a much nicer sounding horn to welcome in the New Year. The supplies are simple, just make sure you have a funnel, some electrical tape, a bit of plastic piping and a few other basic items on hand to master this craft.

http://www.savvyhomemade.com/homemade-french-horn-for-kids/

Homemade Fireworks!

Sounds scary? Not when you bring out some large bubble wrap that you’ve saved up for just such an occasion. This can be a big hit with younger kids who can’t stay up until the New Year but want to feel the excitement of bringing in a New Year with lots of noise! To get the “full fireworks effect” have the kids hold the bubble wrap while you play a video of fireworks and they can create the sounds effects live! Need a fireworks video suggestion? Here’s the BBC’s version of magnificent London Fireworks from New Year’s Day 2011.

Make A Monkey Drum

Our friends from the Activity Corner in Australia have this easy craft to create a monkey drum from a paper plate. You can check out the easy instructions here:

http://www.kidspot.com.au/kids-activities-and-games/Trash-to-treasure-craft-ideas+38/Make-a-monkey-drum+12587.htm

Make and Takes Crazy Kazoo Noise-Makers

We love this clever version of a homemade kazoo from the wonderful blog: “Make and Takes”.  The craft uses paper towel or toilet paper rolls plus wax paper, a hole punch and a few rubber bands to make a wonderful, workable kids kazoo. Complete instructions here:

http://www.makeandtakes.com/new-years-eve-noise-makers

kyra pl;ays a vuvu
And whether it’s noisy or not…

We’re wishing everyone out there a Happy New Year!

Sing A Song About Your Child – For Christmas or Hanukkah

12 daysWhat child does not love hearing their name in a song?

A fun way to get ready for Christmas or Hanukkah with your small child is to create a simple song about the holidays using your family’s activities or your child’s name as part of the lyrics. Even if you feel you’re not a particularly creative parent or a seasoned songwriter, you’ll definitely get some holiday cheer out of writing a homemade version of either of these two tunes!

Create Your Own 12 Days of Christmas Carol!

Did you know that the 12 Days of Christmas song was originally a memory game? When it was sung, each person added a verse and had to recall the previous items on the list. Although you probably heard it with the same list of items as seen below, you can get inventive and make up a version with things that are special to your family or your classroom. Here’s the most popular version of the items for the 12 days:

1 A Partridge in a Pear Tree

2 Turtle Doves

3 French Hens

4 Calling (or Colly) Birds

5 Golden Rings

6 Geese A-Laying

7 Swans A Swimming

8 Maids A-Milking

9 Ladies Dancing

10 Lords A-Leaping

11 Pipers Piping

12 Drummers Drumming

What can you substitute?  Check out the post below to see how one classroom in the Caribbean came up with a very funny version for the holidays from their island home:

http://www.tinytappingtoes.com/uncategorized/write-your-own-12-days-of-christmas-carol/
dreydl use this oneWho’s Dreydl is It Anyway?

If you’re learning about Hanukkah or getting ready to celebrate this special holiday, you can adapt the popular dreydl song to include your child’s name. Simple and yet truly delightful, substitute your child’s name for “I”.  In other words, instead of singing “I have a little dreydl”, try “David has a little dreydl” or:

Sarah has a little dreydl
She made it out of clay
And when it’s dry and ready
Her dreydl she will play

Oh dreydl, dreydl, dreydl
She made it out of clay
And when it’s dry and ready
Her dreydl she will play

You can find the complete set of lyrics plus an explanation of what the Hebrew letters mean on the free dreydl coloring page below.

So whether you’re spinning a top or lighting a tree, you can easily give a special child in your life the gift of a perfectly personalized song!

Resources

Write Your Own 12 Days Song:
http://www.tinytappingtoes.com/uncategorized/write-your-own-12-days-of-christmas-carol/

Free Dreydl Coloring Page and Song Lyrics
http://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Dreidel-Coloring-Page-985694

Dreydl Song and Activity From TeachersPayTeachers (.99)
http://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Dreydel-Dreidel-Song-and-Game-Activity-921898

Sheet Music For The Dreydl Song From TeachersPayTeachers (1.99)
http://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Oh-Dreydl-Dreidel-Sheet-Music-966158

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/

We’re Celebrating Hispanic Heritage Month – With Music and More!

HHM-coverWe’re excited to be part of the MKB network’s awesome blog hop that shares all aspects of Hispanic culture. Our contribution is a free and fun E-book that shares 10 Musical Crafts you can make to explore these exciting and meaningful cultural traditions.

Find that free E-book here: http://www.dariamusic.com/monthly_song.php

And please, read on.  There are contests, give-aways and lots of other great activities and information from some really awesome bloggers that I hope you get a chance to meet through this wonderful blog Hop.  And don’t forget to scroll through the prizes to find and enter the Rafflecopter below!

Happy Hispanic Heritage Month!

heritagemonthWelcome to the Third Annual Hispanic Heritage Month Blog Hop, hosted this year by Multicultural Kid Blogs and 17 of our member blogs! Don’t miss our amazing giveaway, and share your own posts at our linky!

Hispanic Heritage Month runs from September 15 to October 15 every year, “celebrating the histories, cultures and contributions of American citizens whose ancestors came from Spain, Mexico, the Caribbean and Central and South America” (from HispanicHeritageMonth.gov)

Be sure to visit all of the participating blogs (listed below) and follow our related Pinterest boards:

MKB HHM Twitter PartyDon’t miss our Twitter party “Celebrating Hispanic Heritage with Kids,” Tuesday, September 23, from 9 – 10 pm ET! Follow #mkbhhm to participate!

MKB Hispanic Heritage Month Blog Hop: Participating Blogs

Multicultural Kid Blogs

All Done Monkey

Spanish Playground

Kid World Citizen

Mommy Maestra

Kids Yoga Stories

Inspired by Familia

Entre Compras y El Hogar

Discovering the World Through My Son’s Eyes

Spanglish House

Crafty Moms Share

Toddling in the Fast Lane

Mama Tortuga

Frogs, Snails and Puppy Dog Tails

Our Whole Village

A Life With Subtitles

Spanish Mama

Pragmatic Mom

Daria’s Music

My Favorite Multicultural Books

Hispanic Heritage Month GIVEAWAY!

This year to celebrate we are giving away fabulous prizes! Be sure to enter the Rafflecopter at the bottom of this post for a chance to win!

Please note that there are shipping restrictions on some prizes. In the event that the winner lives outside of the shipping area, that portion of the prize will be added to the following prize package.

Grand Prize Package

Smart Play - Hispanic Heritage Month Blog HopSmart Play Pad (SRP $ 24.99): Interactive tablet like electronic toy makes early learning fun and exciting for little ones. More than 30 touch sensitive keys teach language and pronunciation skills to help prepare children for school. Bilingual feature helps kids learn in English & Spanish. Lightweight and truly portable for on-the-go learning. Ships to US and Canada only.

Traditional Mexican toys and games.

A basket of fun from Escuela Falcón in Guanajuato, Gto., Mexico. This prize includes educational games, ceramic Day of the Dead skulls, a hand-painted ceramic box, wooden toys, and a certificate for 5 hours of Skype Spanish lessons with Escuela Falcón.

A basket from Lanugo with the book “Lula la Consentida,” a limited-edition “Latino de Corazón” infant onsie, and Seventh Generation’s baby product essentials. US shipping only.

Spanish games for kids.

A Spanish edition of the award-winning game Bananagrams.

DVD of Spanish music videos from Rockalingua.

DVD of Spanish music videos from Rockalingua.

Bilingual poetry book from Lee and Low.

Spanish poetry book for kids from Lee and Low.

A Movie in my Pillow and Poems to Dream Together – Books of poetry in English and Spanish from Lee and Low.

First Prize Package

Peru prize basket - Kid World CitizenA child’s sweater and bag from Peru courtesy of Kid World Citizen. The handmade, wool sweater is typical from the Andes and might fit a child ages 2-4. The little backpack is also handmade with gorgeous details typical of the region.

Spanish games for kids. A Spanish edition of the award-winning game Bananagrams.

Spanish songs for kids.

Chocolalala – CD of songs in English and Spanish from Mister G.

Spanish songs for kids from Mariana Iranzi.Hola Hello – A CD of children’s songs in English and Spanish from Mariana Iranzi.

Spanish poems for kids.

Mis primeros poemas – A book of poems and audio CD for Spanish learners from All Bilingual Press.

Spanish color activities from Mundo de Pepita.

Digital download of Spanish Colors Activities Pack with printable minibooks, games and activity pages from Mundo de Pepita.

Lingua ToysSpanish activity book with an audio CD with listening exercises for kids between 3-10 years old (value: 12€) from Lingua Toys.

Bolivian GuiroHand-crafted guiro (traditional instrument), hand-carved from a gourd in Bolivia with a sun and moon pattern. Great instrument as well as a piece of folk art. From DARIAMUSIC. US shipping only.

Second Prize Package

Handwoven scarf from Nicaragua.

Handwoven scarf from Nicaragua courtesy of Spanish Playground.

Spanish ABC book from Libros Arellano.

Spanish book for kids from Libros Arellano.

¡Las letras! and Señorita Bienvenida en el aeropuerto – Two children’s books in Spanish from Libros Arellano.

Spanish songs for kids from Mariana Iranzi.

A CD of children’s songs in English and Spanish from Mariana Iranzi.

Children's songs in Spanish from Mister G.

ABC Fiesta – CD of songs in English and Spanish from Mister G.

High frequency words books in Spanish.

Digital download of 6 printable Spanish high frequency words books from Custom Literacy.

Bonus Prize: France Shipping Only!

Las piñatas de LalyBeautiful piñata created especially for this contest by Piñatas de Laly.

a Rafflecopter giveaway
Link Up Your Posts Now it’s your turn to share your posts! The linky will be open through October 15, so come back and share throughout Hispanic Heritage Month!


 

Bongos For Babies – And Big Kids, Too!

One of the easiest drums for anyone to play are bongo drums.  With roots in Afro-Cuban culture, this smaller set of hand drums is just the right size and shape to invite a child to sit down and tap and play away.

A Bit About The Bongos

Bongo drums are a great instrument for exploring rhythms and beats as well as Latin American culture with children. Originating in Cuba, there’s one larger drum, about 7 inches in diameter and one smaller drum, about 5 inches across.   In Cuba, the bongo player is called a bongocero.

bongos in the grassMake Your Own Bongo Drums

It’s easy to make a set of simple working bongo drum at home. All you need are a few basic materials starting with two round containers of different sizes. Coffee cans, oatmeal and corn meal containers work well for this project. Then you’ll need creative materials to decorate the two drums. Look for construction paper, stickers, colorful tape, markers or glitter and glue. Last, you’ll need sturdy tape – like electrical tape or duct tape – to attach the drums together.

Decorate The Drums

bongo suplpliesStart by decorating the two drums. If you’re working with construction paper, cut out a cover for each drum and allow your child to design their drum on a flat surface. Then, tape the cover into place around each drum. If not, feel free to allow the child to decorate the rounded surface of the drum. Stickers and colorful tape, work well for this type of approach.

Once you’ve completed the decoration process, use the electrical tape or duct tape and secure the drums together. Wrap the tape around both drums several times.

Now, you’re ready to play!

How Are Bongo Drums Held?

playing bongosTraditionally bongo drums are held between your legs, with the smaller drum to your left. However, if you’re playing with a child, feel free to place the bongos where it’s easiest for them to reach. This might be front of them on the floor or on their lap as they sit cross-legged.

Tapping Out A Beat

As always, I encourage the parent, caregiver or teacher to make a set of drums themselves and learn alongside their child. Here are some tips on basic techniques for beginner bongoceros, young and older!

Start by tapping the larger drum with your hands, using the upper part your palms (toward the base of your fingers). Tap the center, then other areas on the drum head and notice the difference in the sound. Do the same with the smaller head. Play back and forth between the larger and smaller head.

Next, try tapping the large head with one or more fingertips and you’ll hear a quieter sound. Try the same on the smaller head. Now you can mix and match the sounds you’ve just discovered and form them into patterns. Start simple and find patterns you enjoy or put on Latin American music and try to match the patterns from the song. You can also create new rhythm patterns that fit with the music you hear as well.

Once you’ve made your homemade bongos, feel free to use your new drums to “just jam” or to learn and play some of the great beats from Afro-Cuban and Latin American folk traditions. Here’s a basic bongo drum pattern called “el martillo” that almost anyone can learn with just a bit of practice.


Resources And Links

Bongo Craft PDF from TeachersPayteachers

http://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Make-And-Play-Your-Own-Bongo-Drums-1430615

10 Music Crafts For Exploring Hispanic Heritage

https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Celebrate-Hispanic-Heritage-Musical-Craft-And-Coloring-E-Book-1427919

Hear, Color Or Play a Guiro

http://www.dariamusic.com/guiro.php

Free Musical Crafts and Coloring Pages From All Over the World – From DARIA MUSIC

http://www.dariamusic.com/crafts.php

Musical Water Play – A MYO Gourd-Style Water Drum

ghana water drumHow often can you imagine someone saying: “Now it’s time to pour water into our drum”.   Although it might seem unusual, at least two cultures from around the globe have discovered that you can make an amazing  drum by overturning a gourd and playing it while it rests gently upon the surface of the water.   In fact, the sound is so deep and resonant that there are claims it can be heard for miles!

Playing water gourd drumDon’t have dried gourds from Ghana or a time machine to travel back to Mayan days and play a bubulek water drum?  No worries. In fact, here’s a simple version of this instrument that also works wonderfully as outdoor water play for kids.  It’s a good way to combine messy or wet play with creativity and music!

Gather A Few Supplies

First you’ll need a shallow container to hold the water. We’ve used a plastic “under-the-bed” storage container box, but a kiddie pool or similar container will also work perfectly.  It helps to have a jug for water so you can vary the amount of water used beneath your “drum”.  Then you need the floating “gourds”.  Circular materials plastic water drumitems (like sturdy round mixing bowls) work best but explore whatever you have that will stay afloat when placed up-side-down in the water. You might be surprised at what sounds each different item will create when tapped or touched.

Lastly, you might want to have a few beaters such as unsharpened pencils, chopsticks or wooden spoons. Then it’s just a matter of pouring and playing away.

Play Gently

With this drum, like many others, less is more.  If you like, start by tapping your “gourd” with the tips of your fingers and see what sounds are created.  Try quietly rapping the plastic water drum playingtop and the sides.  Add a pencil or a beater and see if the sound changes.  Add a different container and play two or three together for different sounds or sound combinations.

Getting Serious?

If you take a look at the video below you can see the musician is doing a few different things. He’s knocking on the top of the gourd (like you might knock at a door), tapping and rapping and creating some really neat patterns. He’s playing an actual “jicara de agua” water drum from Mexico, but the same techniques work perfectly on any homemade drum.

You can use this video for inspiration or create your very own unique way to play.

What will your water play sound like today?