Tag Archives: playing music with young children

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/

FacebookTwitterGoogle+Share

Sing A Silly Song For Groundhog’s Day

phil is too cuteDo you love doing tongue-twisters and silly songs with your child?  Then this is a perfect choice for celebrating Groundhog’s Day.

Sing this song and you may discover not only how much wood could a woodchuck chuck and how much ground can a groundhog grind as well as – how much sap a sapsucker can suck!  I dare you to sing it and now collapse in giggles!

But, before you do, here are some groundhog and groundhogs day FAQ’s.

When is Groundhog’s Day?     February 2nd.

Where is the official groundhog prediction?  The official celebration is in Punxatawney, Pennsylvania where our good pal; Punxatawney Phil, gets up early and gives us his prediction of when winter will end.

Where does Phil see his shadow? The special celebration of Groundhog’s day happens on a spot called Gobbler’s Knob, right in the center of the town of Punxatawney.

What does it mean if he sees his shadow?  If the groundhog sees his shadow, 6 more weeks of winter are predicted. Not seeing a shadow means an earlier Spring (hooray!)

Is Groundhog’s Day an American holiday?  Yes, but it comes from a German custom and there are many different types of ways that animals are predictors of the weather around the world. This is a great topic to research!

What are Groundhog Lodges?  In Pennsylvania Dutch tradition there gatherings where there is food, entertainment and skits or plays at this time of year.  All who attend must speak only in Pennsylvania Dutch dialect or they are fined a nickel, a dime or a quarter for speaking English!

Are there great books about groundhogs and groundhog’s day?  Yes!  Check out our list below and “Go To Sleep, Groundhog” is a funny, cute and truly adorable pick for any home or classroom library!

Daria_GroundhogCover_WebGroundhog’s Day Song – Free Lyric Sheet https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Groundhogs-Day-Song-Lyric-Sheet-2357681

Groundhog’s Day Song and Pop-up Puppet Activity

https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Groundhogs-Day-Song-and-Pop-Up-Groundhog-Puppet-Activity-484374

The Groundhog Song on Itunes

The Groundhog Song on Amazon.com

Great Books About Groundhog’s Day

Go To Sleep, Groundhog! by Judy Cox/Paul Meisel (Illustrator)
Screen shot 2017-02-01 at 4.54.38 PMA groundhog can’t seem to fall asleep when it’s time to hibernate and has a tough time getting up when his own special holiday comes.

Ten Grouchy Groundhogs By Kathryn Heling and Deborah Hembrook
A cute counting book for young children with some good groundhog facts sprinkled in!

Groundhog Gets a Say By Pamela Curtis Swallow/Denise Brunkus (Illustrator)
A groundhog thinks his holiday should last more then one day. His animal friends help make his case for the world to know more about groundhogs.
Groundhog Day! By Gail Gibbons
Wonderful fun and great facts about groundhogs and the Groundhog’s Day celebration.

The Groundhog Day Book of Facts and Fun By Wendie C. Old/Paige Billin-Frye (Illustrator)
A sampler of groundhog facts and a good description of the special day in Punxatawny, PA.

Groundhog Weather School By Joan Holub/Kristin Sorra (Illustrator)
A groundhog is encouraged to open a weather school everyone gets to learn more about hibernation, groundhogs and the holiday.

A happy Groundhog’s Day to all!

Win The “Kids Around The World” Mama Lisa Songbook!

mama-lisa-songbookHave you read out enthusiastic review of our new favorite kid’s international songbook?

Well, we’re excited to say that – thanks to Mama Lisa’s World -  we are giving away 2 digital copies of this amazing encyclopedia of 100 songs from diverse world cultures.  That’s 352 awesome pages of songs, song descriptions, translations, sheet music and even details of how certain songs are used as games and activities.

Of course, we’d love for you to read the whole review here: http://www.tinytappingtoes.com/family-fun-2/a-trip-around-the-world-in-song/  but feel free to jump to the give-away and enter to win below.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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

Chinese New Year Music Crafts For Kids!

mandarinBoyRedHave you heard? February 8th marked the beginning of the Chinese Lunar New Year and it’s the year of the Fire Monkey.

If you’re unfamiliar with Chinese New Year, here is our compilation post that shares some wonderful ways to learn more and celebrate right in your home or classroom.  The first group of posts are music and music-related, but we just could not resist adding ones about food, fun and other festivities!

And stay tuned for our next post that teaches you a very familiar and easy-to-learn Chinese New Year song!

Music Crafts For Chinese New Year

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

Make Your Own Chinese Gong https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Make-Your-Own-Chinese-Gong-From-Recycled-Materials-486935

Explore and Make Tibetan Handbells https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Explore-Tibetan-Handbells-Plus-a-Make-Your-Own-Handbell-Craft-560016

Erhu - Color ImageColor an Erhu – A Two-Stringed Chinese Violin https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/The-Erhu-Chinese-Violin-Instruments-From-Around-The-World-1037355

About Chinese New Year

“Gong Xi! Gong Xi!” – The Excitement of Chinese New Year https://makingmulticulturalmusic.wordpress.com/2014/01/02/gong-xi-gong-xi-the-excitement-of-chinese-new-year/

Chinese New Year ScrollsWhat To Expect In The Year of The Monkey http://multiculturalkidblogs.com/2016/01/18/year-of-the-monkey-chinese-new-year/

Chinese New Year Astrology Chart – Find Your Birth Year Here! https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Chinese-Astrology-Chart-What-Lunar-Year-Is-It-2377484b

dragon dance imageChinese New Year – Crafts And Creativity!

Chinese Dumplings For New Year  http://kidworldcitizen.org/2016/02/08/8935/

Lucky Money Envelops  http://www.activityvillage.co.uk/lucky-money-envelopes

Chinese Paper Lantern Craft – https://www.pinterest.com/pin/462956036675678391/

How To Make Paper Fortune Cookies http://unsophisticook.com/how-to-make-paper-fortune-cookies/

Recipes To Celebrate Chinese New Year http://intheplayroom.co.uk/2015/01/26/chinese-recipes-celebrate-chinese-new-year/

Picture Books Celebrating Chinese New Year http://youthlitreviews.com/2014/01/13/chinese-new-year-books-for-kids/

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!

Doum – beka- Doum-beka – Doum! Middle Eastern Drums!

doumbek imageMusic is a great way to explore the world with your kids. If your cultural heritage is from the Middle East, doumbek and darbuka drums are probably part of the soundtrack of your life. If you’re adding music to your family’s fun or studying that region, then this easy-to-play drum is a great first instrument for any child.

Doumbeks and Darbukas

Both the doumbek and darbuka are goblet shaped played throughout the Middle boy and darbukaEast, Turkey and North Africa. There are lots of names for each drum and plenty of variations for the spelling of each name. For doumbeks, you might see “dumbec”, “dumbek” or “doumbec”.  Darbuka style drums are also called debuka, dumbelek tablah, tarabuka and toumperleki.

Historians think that these drums date back to Ancient Babylonia and that the name comes from the Arabic word “darba”, meaning “to strike”.

How Do You Play?

little girl plays darbukaOne of these simple Middle Eastern drums, there are three basic sounds. The “doum” sound comes from striking the drum in the center. Tapping the drum near the edge produces a higher sound called a “tek”. Tapping then muting the drum creates a third sound called a “pa”.

What If You Don’t Have a Drum?

Don’t have a drum? Although it may not sound exactly the same, you can also tap on a round container in these three different ways and make all the basics sounds you might hear on a doumbek or darbuka. You’d be surprised how good a “recycled drum” may sound when using even the most basic material found around your home or garage!

doumbek black and white imageColor A Doumbek!

Although some are plain, many doumbeks and goblet drums have beautiful folk or mosaic patterns that wrap around the body of the drum. In the coloring page below you can create your own colorful Middle Eastern drum.

https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Middle-Eastern-Drums-Doumbek-Background-Coloring-Page-2049118

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/

Best Instruments For Young Children – A “Play By The Numbers” Dulcimer!

can and picks yellowThis simple and satisfying “first instrument” is a lot of fun and  introduces any child or grown-up to the basic skills needed to play any fretted, stringed instrument such as the guitar, ukulele or mandolin.

Play For A Child, With A Child, Or Let The Child Play!

Learning an instrument with a child is a great way to teach them about the learning process.  It can be helpful for a child to see that every person continues to learn throughout their lifetime and how that process works.  Watching you try to play and struggle a bit, then persist, and succeed teaches persistence, patience and determination.  Learning a simple instrument – even with the ups and downs involved – is a great way to bond with a child while building musical skills at the same time!

josef and dulcimerPlay By Numbers

Play-By-Numbers song sheets for the tin can dulcimer or any dulcimer are just as easy as they sound.   Each number corresponds to a “fret”, one of the long spaces you’ll find on the fretboard of your instrument.  To play, push down gently but firmly at the center of each fret and then strum or pluck the string with the other hand.

If the songbook says 2, then press the 2nd fret in the middle and strum until you get a good sound.  Get the picture?  And if you see a “0”, that simply means to pluck or strum the instrument without holding down any fret.

Play By Numbers Songs

Want to start with an easy song?  How about “Mary Had A Little Lamb”?

5   4   3   4   4   5   5    5             4   4   4        5   7   7
Mary Had A little Lamb, Little Lamb, Little Lamb

5   4   3   4           5   5    5
Mary Had A little Lamb,

5        4      4           5      4     3
It’s fleece was white as snow

“Happy Birthday” By The Numbers

Here’s “Happy Birthday” on the Appalachian lap dulcimer.  Numbers for both “Happy Birthday” and “Feliz Cumpleaños”, a Spanish version of that song, are below.

0               1      0      3   2        0           1   0          4    3
Happy Birthday to you.  Happy Birthday to you.

0              7    5          3       2      1                         6     5        3         4     3
Happy Birthday, dear (add their name), Happy Birthday to you.

0             1  0   3  2      0      1   0    4  3
Cumpleaños feliz, te deseamos a ti.

0               7 5  3  2  1   6     5   3  4      3
Cumpleaños felizes, te deseamos a ti.

Have any questions about these instruments?  These are two instruments I really enjoy playing so I’d be happy to answer your questions.  Drop me a line in the comments section below.

Win A Tin Can Dulcimer!

And if you’re reading this during July or August 2014, you can enter to win one of these great little tin can dulcimers on the DARIA MUSIC monthly song page here: http://www.dariamusic.com/monthly_song.php

Links And Resources

Post On The Tin Can Dulcimer
http://www.tinytappingtoes.com/classroom-music/best-first-instruments-for-kids-a-tin-can-dulcimer/

Hear A Dulcimer   
http://www.dariamusic.com/dulcimer.php
Hear A Dulcimer Song   
http://www.dariamusic.com/dulcimer.php
Color A Dulcimer (Online)  
http://www.dariamusic.com/color_Dulcimer.php