Tag Archives: childrens music projects

Make A Drum That Sounds Like The Ocean!

traditional ocean drumHave you ever heard an ocean drum?  It’s an amazing instrument that sounds almost exactly like the soothing sounds of the surf?  And – guess what?  It’s  a quiet instrument!  It’s great for music and meditation as well as a quiet time activity.  And it’s also perfect project to make and play for for any child or adult on the autistic spectrum.

And, you can make it from all recycled materials!

What Is An Ocean Drum?

It looks like a frame drum from the Middle East, but it is filled with small round objects that, when tilted back and forth, sound remarkably like the waves at the seashore.  It’s sound is soothing and when ocean drums are filled with colorful or interesting objects, they are as beautiful to watch as they are to hear.

apple pie ocean drum suppliesHere are the supplies you need to make one ocean drum:

  • A sturdy box: Flat shipping boxes, or any sturdy small box
  • Clear plastic: You can recycle old report covers, salad bar containers, clear tablecloth covers or purchase a small amount of clear vinyl at a fabric or hardware store. Hint: Don’t use plastic wrap as it simply won’t hold up to the task.
  • Strong tape: Packing tape, masking tape, or electrical tape are good choices.
  • Contents for the drum: Choose any small fillings such as seed beads, pastina pasta, acini de pepe pasta, orzo, pony beads, mung beans, lentils, dried beans, marbles, or small pebbles.

How To Make It

Start with a sturdy box.  It’s a good idea to decorate your box before experimenting with what you want to put inside.  If you started with a plain box from a stationery supply store, you have a clean slate to create an ocean motif or ocean drums makingdecorate with paint, crayons, markers or glitter and glue. If you have an overly busy box, like a pizza box, you may wish to cover it with colored paper (leaving space for the window, of course) and decorate from there.

Next, create the window so you can watch the smaller items move around inside the drum. To do this, get some sturdy clear plastic and cut it into a large square or rectangle.  Draw a slightly smaller square or rectangle on the inside of the top of your ocean drum box and cut it out. Secure the window in place inside the box using a strong tape such as packing tape, electrical tape, or masking tape.

Now choose something to create the sound of the surf. Small, round objects make a sound that is closest to a real ocean drum.  However, you can get creative with what you’d like to try. You can choose tiny pasta like acini de pepe, pastina pasta, seed beads, bee bees, or mung beans. You can fill your drum with lentils, dried peas, marbles, pony beads, larger beans, or orzo pasta for a louder drum. You can mix and match to see what sounds best to your ear.

You may also want to make it interesting by adding colorful beads or other items like marbles, buttons, glitter or confetti that will add to the visual appeal of the drum.

Once you’ve chosen what you want to go inside, you are ready to seal the drum. Cover it with packing tape so that the contents will stay inside.  Seal up all the edges where the smaller objects might come out and then you’re ready to play your ocean drum.

ocean drum sall of usPlaying The Ocean Drum

This is a fun instrument to explore.  Here are a few techniques you can use when playing it:

Tilt it back and forth at gentle angles

Tilt it back and forth at more extreme angles

Tilt the drum for a gentle swooshing sound then turn it on its side to stop the sound

Tap the sides or top with your fingertips  

Shake your instrument as if it were a rattle. 

Many people find the sound and the changing patterns very calming and meditative. You can relax and play it without any other accompaniment or you can play this instrument along with soothing music or any of your favorite songs.  Try to match the beat by tilting the ocean drum along with the rhythms of the song.

If you enjoy this type of drum, you may want to make several as each one will have a distinct sound or might fit better with different musical styles that you enjoy.

Feel free to experiment and make this unusual instrument all your own!

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Making Music For Hispanic Heritage Month Plus the Big HHM Give-Away!

hhm-llamaHispanic Heritage Month – September 15th to October 15th every year – is a great time to explore the many diverse and beautiful cultures with Hispanic roots.  Making and playing simple musical instruments from these cultures is a great way to discover more about countries like Mexico, Chile, Cuba, Spain, Argentina, Peru, Puerto Rico, Honduras or Ecuador.   And it’s a great way to enjoy time with your children, by learning simple songs or playing music together.

Over the last decade, we’ve assembled our favorite musical crafts that delight young kids, so feel free to use these a starting point for giving your little global citizens the whirlwind tour of Latino music and culture.  Here are some of our reader’s favorite, plus links below to freebie coloring and instrument information pages available through the TeachersPayTeachers site.

bongos in the grassSharing Bongos With Babies

Bongo drums are a wonderfully simple drum to make and play. With Afro-Cuban roots, they consist of two small hand drums with differing sounds, so tapping back and forth creates many marvelous rhythmic possibilities. Make two sets for parent and child and try your hand at becoming a skilled “bongocero”.

Here’s what you need for this MYO bongo project. Two cylindrical (oatmeal, coffee cans, etc.) containers, decorative materials and some sturdy tape. Plus a desire to bang on a drum all day! Read the full post here: http://www.tinytappingtoes.com/uncategorized/bongos-for-babies-and-big-kids-too/

click and clack the castanetsCreate Some Castanets

Got buttons? This simple craft creates a convincing castanet that almost anyone can play between their thumb and first finger. Supplies needed for this craft are matched sets of buttons, glue and some sturdy paper, like a manila folder or colorful poster board.

To get all the directions you need to click and clack away, visit: http://www.tinytappingtoes.com/early-learning-with-music/easy-and-funbutton-castanets/

The Zampoñas – A Wonderful Wind Instrument

josef playing straw zamponasPanpipes can be heard throughout South American folk music. Their unique breathy sound comes from blowing over the top of open reeds that are cut to various lengths. You can make your own version from wide straws and decorate them like real zamponãs. With a bit of practice, you’ll get the hang of blowing over the edges of the straws (as opposed to into them) and be creating simple tunes that you recognize or even melodies from the Andes!

Get your step-by-step instructions and tips here: http://www.tinytappingtoes.com/early-learning-with-music/make-your-own-simple-panpipes/

Get a Guiro!

paper shred guiroYou’ll recognize the sound of a guiro right away, and if you don’t – you can hear one here: http://www.dariamusic.com/guiro.php. This project is so easy to make and play, then scrape away at rhythms all day long. Use your new guiro to play along with music from Puerto Rico, Cuba or Mexico. Or sing your favorite song in Spanish and use the guiro to keep the beat!

Read the full post here: http://www.tinytappingtoes.com/uncategorized/easiest-instruments-for-young-children-the-guiro/

Free Coloring And Hispanic Instrument Pages from DARIA’s TPT Store

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

Screen shot 2014-09-27 at 12.22.10 PMColor the Zampoñas – Panpipes From The Andes
https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Color-the-Zamponas-Panpipes-From-The-Andes-650601

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

Color The Chapchas – A Rattle From The Andes
https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Color-The-Chapchas-An-Instrument-from-The-Andes-650050

The Cajón – Make And Play Your Own “Box Drum”
https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/What-is-a-Quijada-Jawbone-Instrument-1406336

What is a Quijada (Jawbone Instrument) https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/What-is-a-Quijada-Jawbone-Instrument-1406336

Wishing everyone a marvelous month celebrating the beauty and diversity of Hispanic cultures throughout the world!

Multicultural Kid Blogs HHM Give-Away!

Hispanic Heritage Month Series 2016 | Multicultural Kid BlogsWe are so excited for our FIFTH annual Hispanic Heritage Month series and giveaway! Through the month (September 15 – October 15), you’ll find great resources to share Hispanic Heritage with kids, plus you can enter to win in our great giveaway and link up your own posts on Hispanic Heritage!

September 14
Hanna Cheda on Multicultural Kid Blogs: How to Pass on Hispanic Heritage as an Expat

September 15
Spanish Mama: Los Pollitos Dicen Printable Puppets

September 16
Hispanic Mama: Children’s Shows that Kids in Latin America Grew Up With

September 19
Spanish Playground: Authentic Hispanic Heritage Month Games Everyone Can Play

September 20
Tiny Tapping Toes

September 21
Kid World Citizen on Multicultural Kid Blogs

September 22
Spanish Mama

September 23
All Done Monkey

September 26
Crafty Moms Share

September 27
Discovering the World Through My Son’s Eyes

September 28
La Clase de Sra. DuFault

September 29
Embracing Diversity

September 30
Mama Tortuga

October 3
Hispanic Mama on Multicultural Kid Blogs

October 4
La Clase de Sra. DuFault

October 5
Pura Vida Moms

October 7
Spanglish House

October 10
Mundo Lanugo

October 11
Kid World Citizen

October 12
MommyMaestra

October 13
inspired by familia

October 14
El Mundo de Pepita on Multicultural Kid Blogs

Don’t miss all of the great posts from previous years as well: 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015

Hispanic Heritage Month Giveaway!

Giveaway begins September 14 and goes through October 14, 2016.

Enter below for a chance to win one of these amazing prize packages! Some prizes have shipping restrictions. In the event that a winner lives outside the designated shipping area, that prize will then become part of the following prize package. For more information, read our full giveaway rules.

Grand Prize | Multicultural Kid Blogs Hispanic Heritage Month Giveaway

Grand Prize

-Month of free access to online Spanish home learning program from Calico Spanish
-If You Were Me and Lived in… series, Peru, Mexico, Brazil, and Portugal books from Carole P. Roman US Shipping Only
-Spark important conversations about diversity, inclusivity and acceptance with award-winning Barefoot Books! Collection includes Barefoot Books World Atlas, The Barefoot Book of Children, Children of the World Memory Game, The Great Race, Mama Panya’s Pancakes, Off We Go to Mexico, Up and Down the Andes, We all Went on Safari, We’re Sailing Down the Nile, We’re Sailing to Galapagos US & Canada Shipping Only
-Aquí Allá CD from Lucky Diaz and the Family Jam Band US Shipping Only
-Animales CD from 123 Andrés US Shipping Only
-Best of the Bowl CD from Hot Peas ‘N Butter US Shipping Only
-Juana and Lucas by Juana Medina (hard cover), El fútbol me hace feliz by Maribeth Boelts and illustrated by Lauren Castillo (paperback), Blankie/Mantita by Leslie Patricelli (board book) from Candlewick Press US & Canada Shipping Only
-A Child’s Life in the Andes e-book plus music CD from Daria Music
-Hola Hello CD with lyrics in digital format from Mariana Iranzi
-T-shirt of choice (or equal value $18) from Ellie Elote US Shipping Only
-Scarves, coin purse and painted wood bracelets from Nicaragua, and a map puzzle of Central America from Spanish Playground US Shipping Only
-Latin GRAMMY-winning album Los Animales from Mister G US Shipping Only

1st Prize | Multicultural Kid Blogs Hispanic Heritage Month Giveaway

First Prize

-If You Were Me and Lived in… series, Peru, Mexico, Brazil, and Portugal books from Carole P. Roman US Shipping Only
-Aquí Allá CD from Lucky Diaz and the Family Jam Band US Shipping Only
-Animales CD from 123 Andrés US Shipping Only
-Best of the Bowl CD from Hot Peas ‘N Butter US Shipping Only
-Juana and Lucas by Juana Medina (hard cover), El fútbol me hace feliz by Maribeth Boelts and illustrated by Lauren Castillo (paperback), Blankie/Mantita by Leslie Patricelli (board book) from Candlewick Press US & Canada Shipping Only
-Hola Hello CD with lyrics in digital format from Mariana Iranzi
-T-shirt of choice (or equal value $18) from Ellie Elote US Shipping Only
-Scarves, coin purse and painted wood bracelets from Nicaragua, and a map puzzle of Central America from Spanish Playground US Shipping Only
-Olinguito, from A to Z! (bilingual) by Lulu Delacre, Rafi and Rosi by Lulu Delacre, Mamá the Alien (bilingual) y René Colato Laínez and illustrated by Laura Lacámara, Marisol MacDonald and the Monster (bilingual) by Monica Brown from Lee & Low Books US Shipping Only
-Ecuador Themed International Cooking Box from Global Gastronauts US Shipping Only
-Ora de Despertar Ladino Children’s Music CD from Sarah Aroeste Hard copy if US winner; digital if international winner
-T-shirt of choice from Mundo Lanugo US Shipping Only
-Latin GRAMMY-winning album Los Animales from Mister G US Shipping Only

2nd Prize | Multicultural Kid Blogs Hispanic Heritage Month Giveaway

Second Prize

-If You Were Me and Lived in… series, Peru, Mexico, Brazil, and Portugal books from Carole P. Roman US Shipping Only
-Aquí Allá CD from Lucky Diaz and the Family Jam Band US Shipping Only
-Animales CD from 123 Andrés US Shipping Only
-Best of the Bowl CD from Hot Peas ‘N Butter US Shipping Only
-Juana and Lucas by Juana Medina (hard cover), El fútbol me hace feliz by Maribeth Boelts and illustrated by Lauren Castillo (paperback), Blankie/Mantita by Leslie Patricelli (board book) from Candlewick Press US & Canada Shipping Only
-Hola Hello CD with lyrics in digital format from Mariana Iranzi
-T-shirt of choice (or equal value $18) from Ellie Elote US Shipping Only
-Scarves, coin purse and painted wood bracelets from Nicaragua, and a map puzzle of Central America from Spanish Playground US Shipping Only
-Culture Chest with the theme “Dancing in September” for Hispanic Heritage Month. Includes bilingual books Tito Puente, Mambo King and Me llamo Celia Cruz, both by Monica Brown and Rafael Lopez US Shipping Only
-Spanish Alphabet Print (US Shipping Only) and single-use promo code for Spanish for kids language app from Gus on the Go
-Latin GRAMMY-winning album Los Animales from Mister G US Shipping Only

Bonus Prize

Piñata de Laly | Multicultural Kid Blogs Hispanic Heritage Month Giveaway

Piñata from Piñatas de Laly Europe Shipping Only

a Rafflecopter giveaway


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 24th),  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!

New Year’s Eve Noisemakers – Recycled Rattles!

recycled new years eve rattlesRing in the New Year – with recycled rattles!

While you’re wrapping up one year and preparing for a new one, here’s our second post in a series of fun and easy noise-makers for enjoying New Year’s Eve with children.

I often call these “everything except the kitchen sink” rattles, because you get to use whatever supplies that are left over from the holidays or from craft projects during the year gone by.

Start With A Clear Container

Check your recycling bin for nice sturdy clear plastic containers, such as bottles from iced tea or liter sodas. Rinse them then set them up side down to dry. Meanwhile, go on a treasure hunt for rattle fillings.

Loud Rattles, Quiet Rattles

Here are some of our favorite supplies for making truly loud rattles: large dried pasta, dried beans, buttons, large beads, or pebbles. For quieter rattles, look for smaller objects such as birdseed, rice, Q-tips, cut-up straws, paper clips, small buttons or beads and tiny pasta such as acini de pepe.

Add Some Color And Bling!

If you have extra holiday supplies on hand you can add jingle bells, glitter, confetti or colorful paper shreds to give a festive look to your New Years Eve rattles. You can also reuse ribbon and wrapping for colorful handles.

Seal The Rattle

Always remember to be child-safe and seal the completed rattles with a sturdy tape such as electrical or washi tape. That way, they can be lots of fun without presenting a hazard from the smaller contents inside the rattle.

Stay Tuned For Monkey Drums And Stadium Horns!

Our next post will be a fun variation on the Chinese bolang gu or monkey drum, plus a DIY vuvuzela stadium horn.

Honk if you’re hoping for a happy New Year!

vuvu brazil Links and Resources

Recycle Holiday Supplies Into Noise-makers http://www.tinytappingtoes.com/babies-and-music/noisemakers-new-years-eve-craft/

Bolang Gu – Chinese Monkey Drum Craft https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Monkey-Drum-Chinese-New-Year-Drum-Craft-1748044

Make Your Own Vuvuzela Stadium Horn https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/The-Vuvuzela-Make-Play-Your-Own-South-African-Stadium-Horn-1242716

Noisemakers New Years Eve Craft!

Octopus rattle on greenHow will you celebrate New Year’s Eve?

It’s almost impossible to think of New Year’s Eve without some kind of noise-makers! Many adults have fond memories of banging on pots and pans, blowing toy horns and generally marking the arrival of a New Year with lots of sound and merriment!

Over the next few days, we’re sharing some simple, recycled crafts you can make with your children to ring in the New Year with joyful noise!

Crazy Octopus Rattles

These recycled rattles are easy to make and hold for even the youngest of Octopus rattle supplieschildren. They’re fun to shake without being overly loud. The supplies are found around any home and include wrapping paper (or toilet paper rolls), tape, colorful tape and ribbon or yarn.

How To Make It

Cut the wrapping paper rolls (or toilet paper rolls) into smalls sections. If you like, add stickers to the little sections or you can even paint them, if you have the extra time!

When the sections are ready, reserve two sections for the handle. Cut lengths of yarn or ribbon about 12 – 18” long, making each one slightly different in length. Then, the child can string each of the remaining sections onto a length of yarn or ribbon. The adult can help thread the yarn through one remaining section and octopus rattle halfway throughtape it into place. Although this might look a bit messy during the process, it will be covered up by the handle when the project is complete.

When you’ve strung a number of sections (8 for an octopus) you can add the handle. Cut the last section and slip it over the section where the yarn or ribbon is taped to form a sturdy handle. Cover the handle with colorful electrical tape, fancy duct tape or washi tape to look more decorative for the New Year!

How To Play

Shake it up… shake it down. Shake it all around. Especially at midnight or the hour you’re marking as New Years Eve! Make several with different colors or materials. Add some extra jingle bells, if you like.

And have a merry, musical New Year’s Eve!

Celebrate St. Patrick’s Day With Your Little One!

One of our most popular Tiny Tapping Toes posts was a MYO Irish Drum tutorial.   Decorate this easy, hand-held drum with any type of St. Patrick’s Day theme and you’re ready to play in minutes!

Younger kids can tap the drum with the “tipper” and older kids can try to master the technique of striking back and forth with the “cipín”, the Celtic name for the stick that strikes the drum.

You can see that complete post as well as related children’s music videos with an Irish theme at the links below.

Links And Resources

take out bodhransMake Your Own Bodhrán Irish Drum
http://www.tinytappingtoes.com/uncategorized/make-your-own-bodhran-irish-drum/

Irish Videos on Multicultural Kids Music Vids
http://multikidsmusicvids.com/?cat=512

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!

Explore Australian Instruments With Your Child

Instruments from Australian Aboriginal culture are wonderfully easy to make and play.  Whether you’re turning a cardboard roll from wrapping paper into a working didgeridoo or a broomstick into “bilma” clapsticks, these projects are creative, artistic and encourage your children to feel connected to world traditions as young global citizens.

twodaLOO DIDGWhat Can A Didgeridoo?

If you’ve seen any movie or video about Australia, you’ve heard the sound of a didgeridoo.  Although traditional didgeridoos are made from long branches hollowed out by termites, modern ones can be crafted from pvc piping or the sturdy cardboard rolls found inside paper towels or wrapping paper.

Playing the basic sound of a didg can quickly be mastered by kids and adults alike!  If you can “blow raspberries” (pucker your lips and blow air out while the lips flap back and forth a bit), then you can make a didg drone. Sound clips, coloring pages and easy instructions on making a homemade didg can be found at the link below.

The Didgeridoo – A Legacy of Kindness

Along with being a unique instrument, the didgeridoo comes with a wonderful origin story.  You can read about how this instrument was created by a thoughtful elder who was so kind that he would not harm an ant.  The Legend of the Didgeridoo can be found at the link below.

bilmas in handSimple Clapsticks

Almost every culture has discovered clapsticks – two pieces of wood, held in the hand and tapped together to make a beat.  In Australia, clapsticks are called bilma and can be as simple as two sticks found in the woods or as elaborate as the decorated ones pictured here.  Bilma are frequently used as part of ceremonies along with a didgeridoo.  Special bilma made of hardwoods; such as mahogany, have a beautiful tone and can be heard for long distances.

Stay tuned for our next post where we share easy and fun methods for making and decorating bilma clapsticks with kids.

bullroarers - plasticA Buzzing Bullroarer

If you don’t mind getting outside and can find a bit of elbow room, a recycled water bottle makes a fine bullroarer.  Directions and a video of this really unique instrument can be found in the Links and Resources section below.

You Gotta Didg!

If you haven’t watched it yet, check out the video at the top of this article that features the didgeridoo and bullroarer.   It’s a kids music video of the song “You Gotta Didg” by DARIA.  The animation shows didgeridoos being played,  beautiful Aboriginal face and body paint and the sacred site of Uluru in Australia, formerly known as Ayers Rock.

Links and Resources

Hear, Color or Create A Recycled A Didgeridoo
http://www.dariamusic.com/didgeridoo.php

Make Your Own Bullroarer
http://www.tinytappingtoes.com/uncategorized/outdoor-musical-play-make-your-own-bullroarer/

Legend Of The Didgeridoo
http://makingmulticulturalmusic.wordpress.com/2012/08/24/the-legend-of-the-didgeridoo/

Step-By-Step Bilma Instructions ($1.99 from TeachersPayTeachers)
http://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Australian-Instruments-Make-Your-Own-Bilma-Clapsticks-1133140

You Gotta Didg on Itunes
https://itunes.apple.com/us/album/beautiful-rainbow-world/id208109471

You Gotta Didg on Amazon mp3
http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0013XM8GM/ref=dm_mu_dp_trk2

Celebrate International “Make Your Own Instrument Day” – June 21, 2014

MAID graphicRecently a friend of mine came up with an exciting idea – to create a holiday to focus on making your own musical instrument. It’s part learning, part creativity and part crossing cultures to share our common desire to have a blast, blast a horn, strum a stringed instrument or bang a gong!  With the first celebration scheduled for June 21, 2014, you can find out all about International Make Your Own Instrument Day at the link below.

Who created this new holiday that is more fun than donut day or national overalls appreciation week?  It was dreamed up by Jay Sand, guitarist and children’s music teacher as well as the active dad of three beautiful young girls, ages 4-9.  Along with this holiday, Jay also created the All Around This World music curriculum as a way to introduce children to the countries he’s already visited and the many more he hopes to visit with them.  Jay uses his music to really connect kids with a wide world of cultures and creativity.

And – you’re gonna love this!  Every time Jay plays music he starts his show with a song he learned in Uganda called “We Are Happy”.   It’s a song that was originally used to greet special guests who came to visit the tribe in Africa, but  Jay’s changed a few things and now it’s a great way to begin any activity or put a smile on any child (or adults) face.   You can read about the “We Are Happy” song at the post below.

So – on June 21st or any day -  be happy, create an instrument and make some joyful noise!

Resources And Links

International Make Your Own Instrument Day
http://www.allaroundthisworld.com/international-make-your-own-instrument-day/

All Around This World Music Programs
http://www.allaroundthisworld.com/

We Are Happy – A Song Of the Abayudya of Uganda
http://makingmulticulturalmusic.wordpress.com/2014/06/15/we-are-happy-a-song-of-the-abayudya-of-uganda/

Easy May Day Jingle Sticks

Many cultures celebrate the Spring with music and festivities.   In The British Isles, traditional morris dancers have bells on their legs and sticks in their hands that they use as part of the choreography of the dance.  You can use the same ideas to celebrate the season or as part of music and movement fun; indoors or outdoors, any time or the year.

morris bells on kyraBells and Sticks

We’ll be sharing a post soon about a variety of different dancing bell traditions from various cultures – each with it’s own simple craft versions you can try at home.  For now, if you’re looking for an easy, wearable  “morris bells” craft, check out the resources and links below.

And what do you hold in your hands while dancing?  These bright and colorful jingle sticks are easy to make and fit perfectly in a child’s hands while they are dancing or moving – around a Maypole or during any dancing or movement activity.

morris jingle sticks suppliesA Few Supplies

To make these easy jingle sticks, you’ll need:

Pencils (unsharpened)

Pipecleaners (4 – 8 per stick)

Assorted jingle bells

Ribbon (optional)

morris jingle sticks - pencil and bellWrap it Up!

Start your stick by threading a jingle bell into the middle of a pipecleaner.  Then wrap both sides of the pipecleaner down over the pencil.  Take a second pipecleaner and wrap around the pencil until it is covered, adding jingle bells at regular intervals.  When the pipecleaner is too short to wrap, start with another one and wrap the end of the last one underneath.

Use as many jingles as you like and then tie on pieces of colorful ribbons as streamers, if desired.

morris jingle stick completeWhat Can You Do With Jingle Sticks?

You can use jingle sticks for playing music while seated at a desk in class in school.  You can make a pair and hold one in each hand during any form or movement of free form dance.  You can shake jingle sticks along with the beat of a favorite song.  You can practice, left hand and right hand patterns while listening to recorded music or create left hand and right hand patterns while singing.

Get creative and have fun!

morris jingle sticks 2 sidewaysResources

Easy Morris Bells Craft

http://www.tinytappingtoes.com/early-learning-with-music/easy-morris-dancing-bells-for-children/

Make Your Own Indian-Style Ankle Bells (from Teachers Pay Teachers)

 http://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Make-Your-Own-Indian-Style-Ankle-Bells-or-Ghungroo-486879