Tag Archives: Didgeridoo

What Is Your Country’s National Instrument?

charango full color imageYou probably know that different countries have different languages. And diverse cultures have different holidays and foods. But did you know that almost all countries in the world have a national instrument?

What’s A National Instrument?

What is a national instrument?  It can be an instrument discovered or played in a country, like the South African vuvuzela horn.  It can also be a musical instrument that holds cultural and symbolic importance for a state, a nation or a particular race or ethnicity of people.  Some are drums, some are stringed instruments, some are percussion instruments but all hold a special significance to the citizens of that country and represents the unique character of the people it is identified with.

sistrum-posterFor instance, think about a balalaika from Russia or the ukulele from Hawaii. Can a country have more then one national instrument?  Yes, several countries have multiple instruments listed as their national instruments.  For instance, Greece has an ancient national instrument – the lyre, and also a modern one, the bouzouki. Peru has both the Afro-Peruvian cajón (box drum) and the Andean charango, a stringed instrument made from the shell of an armadillo.

Discovering Cultures Through Music

Instruments are a really fun starting point for discovering and learning about world cultures. Perhaps you have relatives or ancestors from another culture. Music is a great starting point for sharing that culture with your kids. Perhaps didgeridooyou’ll travel to another country, here’s a fun way to find out more about what you’ll see and hear in advance. Likewise, if you’re simply exploring the world from the comfort of your couch, finding out about national instruments is a great way to discover the many wonders of the musical world.

Below is a link to the Wikipedia compilation page of national instruments. This is a great source because each countries entry has a clickable link to learn more. Also below are links to free coloring pages and to one kids E-book where you can color your way around the world with unique musical instruments like the sitar from India or goat toe-nail rattles from Bolivia.

What’s your country’s national instrument?  Did you already know it? I’d love to hear from you about this!

Links and Resources

Wikipedia’s List of National Instruments  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_national_instruments_%28music%29

Australia – What Is A Didgeridoo https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/What-is-a-Didgeridoo-2816257

Ancient Egypt – Color A Sistrumhttps://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Color-An-Ancient-Egyptian-Rattle-The-Sistrum-2166721

young boy and vuvuzelaSouth Africa
 – Make Your Own Vuvuzela Stadium Horn 
https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/The-Vuvuzela-Make-Play-Your-Own-South-African-Stadium-Horn-1242716

Russia
 -Balalaika –Poster and Coloring Page
 https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Balalaika-Mini-Poster-and-Coloring-Page-917136

Hawaii
 – Ukulele Poster and Coloring Page 
https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/The-Ukulele-A-Stringed-Instrument-from-Hawaii-Mini-Poster-and-Coloring-Page-1095283

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

Peru – Charango – Poster and Coloring Page 
https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/The-Charango-An-Instrument-from-South-America-Mini-Poster-and-Coloring-Page-613417

Argentina and Brazil – Guitar Coloring Page https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Guitar-Coloring-Page-649967

Let’s Color A World Of Music – 12 Instrument E-Book https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/LETS-COLOR-A-WORLD-OF-MUSIC-1253263

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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