Tag Archives: kids make music

Make a Water Drum In Your Own Backyard

Does this look like fun?

This musical water play is based on an actual instrument called a gourd water water gourd drumdrum. Found both in Africa and in the ancient Mayan culture of Mexico, this drum has a completely unique and amazing sound that is deep and resonant and can be heard for long distances. Here’s a picture of an actual gourd water drum.

Originally made from a bushel gourd as the bowl and smaller gourd pieces as the stand and the floating resonator, we’ve come up with a fun way to try this at home that ghana gourd drummakes for great play, especially when the weather is hot!

First, take any kiddie pool and fill it with about 1-2 inches of water. Next add round items gently into the surface of the water. Last, tap them with homemade beaters like an unsharpened pencil, wooden spoon or make your own beater by wrapping electric tape around one end of a stick or a wooden dowels.

Tips For Drummers

Tap gently, and listen for the sound. Each floating drum head will sound different try. Which sound do you like?

If the floating drum head has sunk into the water, you’ll lose the quality of sound.  Lift it up and set it back on the surface if the water to continue playing.

kiddy pool water drum (Tacony)Put on your favorite summer songs and tap along with the music.

If you enjoy this unusual drum and want to play more -  look for other potential floating drum head at places like yard sales, garage sales and thrift stores. It’s a great way to continue this fun and exciting sound and sensory activity.

Can You Step Into The Pool While Drumming?

Sure! They did it in the video and play session pictured above. Go ahead, as long as it’s okay with mom, dad or whoever else is watching.

Links and Resources

MYO Drum Beater – http://www.tinytappingtoes.com/classroom-music/make-a-little-drum-beater-for-a-big-drum/

FacebookTwitterGoogle+Share

Ada’s Violin – Making Music From Trash!

Ada's Violin - AdaHave you heard about the children’s orchestera where the instruments were made entirely from trash taken from a garbage dump?  How could this happen?

You’ll love to hear the true story of a man named Favio Chávez who came to a small town in Paraguay as an environmental engineer and went to work in a huge landfill.  As he worked to teach safety practices at the dump, he became friends with the kids and the families – some of whom had working in that dump for generations!  And, he also loved music and was able to teach it!

Ada's Violin- Ada's TownCan you imagine what happens next?  Favio dreams of a better life for his new friends and especially one where they could play music. One little girl named Ada dreamed of playing a violin but didn’t know how she could ever afford to buy a violin or take lessons.  This inspiring story is a powerful testament to the power of music, hope and the difference that caring and creative people can make in the lives of their community.

Ada's Violin CoverAda’s Violin was written by Susan Hood with beautiful illustrations by Sally Wern Comport.  You’ll love reading about the Recycled Orchestra and how it changed one small town and  inspired the world!

Ideas For Making Music From Recyclables

Although these are simpler instruments, you can be inspired to turn trash and recycling into working musical instruments in my E-books.  If any teacher or educator does not have the means to purchase them, please contact me (daria music at yahoo dot com) and I can make a special copy available to them.

Turn Plastic Into Music
https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Recycling-Projects-TURN-PLASTIC-INTO-MUSIC-5-Multicultural-Music-Activities-3747012

Reduce, Reuse, Recycle and Rock Out
https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Reduce-Reuse-Recycle-Rock-Out-E-Book-With-10-Musical-Activities-653502

Daria’s World Music For Kids TPT Store – Follow me for lots of freebies and resources here – https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Store/World-Music-With-Daria

Where To Buy World Music Instruments – For Your Kids or Classroom!

sunita playing quijadaI’ve traveled the world to perform and I love to share really amazing world music instruments with my audiences when I play live.   The three most frequent questions I get are: “What is that?” “Where does it come from” and “Where can I find it for my child or my classroom?”.

These questions are not surprising. People around the world make music in some really beautiful and unique ways. It’s a great way to celebrate diversity or teach about world cultures.  And folk instruments are fascinating.  They generally come from natural or recycled materials,  like turning bamboo into Hawaiian rhythm sticks called pu’ili or using seed pods from the “ice cream tree” to make pacay rattles.  Bushel gourds turn into water drums and smaller gourds learn to dance as shekeres.  This is not just a fun sensory experience for a child but also a way to share creativity and encourage music-making as awesome tingsha, limberjack, kalimbaplay!

But if you haven’t just gotten off a plane from some remote location, how do you find these great instruments for your kids? Here are my best tips with an emphasis on places you can buy things that are fair trade.

SAFETY FIRST

Before we begin, I encourage any parent or teacher to think of safety first. Any

Rattles made from gourds, seeds, feathers and a donkey's jawbone

Rattles made from gourds, seeds, feathers and a donkey’s jawbone

toy or instrument may have small parts – such as beads that might break off – so keep that in mind. I also encourage parents and teachers to play with their child musically, then keep the instruments in a special place. This usually keeps things from breaking and keeps smaller children safe from choking hazards.

WHAT ABOUT FAIR TRADE?

When you go to work, don’t you want to be paid a fair or a great wage? Would you like to work all day then receive .24 for your labor? Heck, no!

I am a huge fan of fair trade.  Having lived in many third world countries I’ve seen awful working and living conditions and am thrilled to see many companies now that only offer fair trade products. I heartily encourage you to make that choice, whenever possible.

TEN THOUSAND VILLAGES

zamponas front and backTen Thousand Villages began as a fair trade endeavor, started by a Mennonite woman in the 1950’s. It’s now blossomed to a company with many retail stores across the USA and a brisk online business. Although Ten Thousand Villages does not exclusively sell musical instruments, they work with artisans in over 35 countries and have a beautiful selection of instruments from Asia, the Caribbean and Africa. My favorite items from their store are their panpipes (pictured here), kalimbas, African percussion, handbells, small gongs and beautiful singing bowls.

You can find their online store and list of locations, here: https://www.tenthousandvillages.com/

JAMTOWN

Exclusively a music retailer and wholesaler, Jam Town is based in Seattle and mini shekere for storeoffers a wide variety of hand drums, box drums (cajón) as well as diverse hand percussion. What they offer varies so stop by their online site and see what is available or locate a store that offers their products near by.
Although their customer service really could use improvement, I wholeheartedly recommend the quality and sourcing of their instruments. Buying from Jam Town means offering meaningful support to an artisan in a third world country where few opportunities exist. Plus, their website has a great clearance page, too.

https://jamtownlive.com/

The Didj Shop

Although not certified fair trade, this online store and website promotes all didg by treeIndigenous Aboriginal artists and their creations. The website is filled with great info from various Aboriginal cultures. The website is set up so it allows a person who wishes to buy a didgeridoo, the chance to hear it as an mp3 and often see an image and profile of the artisan who created it.
https://www.didjshop.com

The Didgeridoo Store

Although not certified fair trade, this store has some great low-priced didgeridoos and sells packages where a beginner can get a didg plus an instruction video.  They also sell Australian clapsticks that are beautifully decorated and other percussion items such as Indian ankle bells.  You can see those here: https://www.didgeridoo.store/percussion

ChapchasBOLIVIA MALL

This is a store that’s not certified fair trade, but they have been very helpful to me.  I’ve purchased large drums, panpipes, tinya drums and goat toe nail rattles from them. Their customer service is outstanding and it is my hope that they have the same care for the artisans who create their instruments.

https://www.boliviamall.com/en/musical-instruments.html
puili sticks on a leafHAWAIIAN INSTRUMENTS

Here’s an excellent site for learning about Hawaiian, Hula and South Pacific instruments. You can buy many of the basics such as these pu’ili rhythm sticks in their shop, here:  https://www.nakaniohula.com/

Is That Everything?

No way!  I’ll keep adding to this article but I encourage you to subscribe to this blog to see what’s new. And let me know if there’s a shop or a vendor you’ve found that create beautiful instruments. I’d love to list them here or even do a special post on what they do.

Wishing you a happy, musical day!