Tag Archives: Sistrum

Make Your Own Egyptian Sistrum And Join The MENA Blog Hop!

sistrum color image

We’re proud to be part of the Middle Eastern North Africa blog hop. Naturally we have a post about music, but make sure you check out all the other related posts (listed below) to learn more about this beautiful and culturally rich part of the world.

Crafting is a great hands-on way for kids to learn about world cultures, so our post shows you how to make a sistrum, a unique rattle that was used in the courts of the Pharoahs of ancient Egypt.

What is a Sistrum?

You can see images of sistrums in hieroglyphics found in the pyramids. A bit of study of the courts of the Pharoahs reveals that the sistrum was played mainly by women or priestesses and that it was played by moving it back and forth from side to side so that the metal bangles create a unique sound and distinctive rhythms.  It was often part of ceremonial or the sacred/religious music of the time.

sistrums - sticksMake Your Own Sistrum From a Tree Branch

If you take a walk in a wooded area, it’s easy to find a tree branch that is shaped like the letter “Y”. You can use the branch “as is” or cut and sand it down, if you like.

Next, you’ll need a bit of floral wire or craft wire. Wrap it around one side of the Y, then add whatever bangles you may have. Below we have a post showing how to safely make bangles from bottlecaps, which is a fun recycling project. Instead – or in addition to bangles – you can also use things like beads, making sistrums peace valleyjingle bells or bits of jewelry to add to the bling of your sistrum. Be as creative as you like!

Playing A Sistrum

Although the traditional way to play a sistrum is to move it back and forth only, it’s a rattle so feel free to use it as a percussion instrument any way you like.

Links and Resources

Free Egyptian Sistrum Coloring Page- https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Color-An-Ancient-Egyptian-Rattle-The-Sistrum-2166721

Make Your Own Bangles From Bottlecaps Post – http://www.tinytappingtoes.com/ecologynature/how-to-make-bottle-cap-bangles-for-recycled-musical-instruments/
Middle Eastern and North African Heritage Month | Multicultural Kid Blogs

Welcome to the third annual Middle Eastern and North African Heritage Month series from Multicultural Kid Blogs! Follow along all month long for great resources on teaching children about the heritage of this region, and link up your own posts below. Don’t miss our series from last year and from 2015!

You can also find even more resources on our North Africa and the Middle East Pinterest board:

 


August 4 Sand In My Toes on Multicultural Kid Blogs: 10 Fun Facts About the United Arab Emirates
August 8 A Crafty Arab: Jordan Craft Stick Flag Tutorial
August 15 Sand In My Toes: Wind Tower Craft (UAE)
August 17 All Done Monkey: MENA Countries Worksheets
August 18 Tiny Tapping Toes
August 21 Biracial Bookworms on Multicultural Kid Blogs
August 23 Jeddah Mom
August 28 Crafty Moms Share
August 30 Creative World of Varya

 

Link Up Your Posts!


 

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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

Take A Nature Walk – Make An Instrument!

sistrums-sticksAutumn is such a great time to take a nature walk with your child!  Maybe you have a wooded backyard or a park nearby?  Or perhaps there is a natural area near your home where you can enjoy the changing seasons.

As you take a walk in nature, look for any stick or small branch that’s formed in the shape of a “Y”.   If you find one, you can take it home and make a wonderful little musical instrument that actually dates back to ancient Egypt.

What Is A Sistrum

sistrum-posterSistrums are rattles that are found all over the world.  This clever little percussion instrument starts with some sort of forked object and then has a string or wire running between the two forks. On the strings or wires are objects that rattle and clank, making a lovely noise when shook back and forth.  In ancient Egypt, sistrums was used as part of the Pharaoh’s court and can even be seen pictured in hieroglyphics!

Supplies

Small stick or branch
Sand paper (optional)
Sturdy twine or floral wire
Colorful yarn
Noise-making Objects – buttons, beads, jingles, paper clips,
Recycled noise-making objects – soda tabs, bottle caps, compressed bottle tops (our next post will show you how to make and use these safely to avoid sharp edges).

Start with the Stick!

Once you’ve found a sturdy stick or branch that’s shaped like the letter “Y”, you making-sistrums-peace-valleymight want to take a bit of sandpaper and sand down any rough edges.  Then take the sturdy twine or floral wire and secure it to one side of the “Y”.  Now add any of rattling objects and hold the wire in place without wrapping it on the other side.  Check to see if you like the sound it creates.  If you do, then wrap the wire or twine securely in place.  If not, experiment with adding or removing objects to get the sound you like.

Here’s a hint, less objects often make a more pleasing sound!

Add extra strings of noise-makers if you like.

wooden-sistrumMaking It Unique

After creating the noise-making part of the rattle, you may wish to decorate the handle or the sides with colorful yarn, woven bands, electrical tape or even painting or adding other decorations. This is a very open-ended project and you can be very creative with it!

Learn About The History Of The Sistrum

If you want to tie this project into a study of world cultures, you can check out the Ancient Instruments of the Middle East kids music mini-course.  Or simply have fun with the Egyptian coloring page.  Links and other resources are below.  Happy crafting and music-making!

Links and Resources

Free Coloring Page – Egyptian Sistrum  https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Color-An-Ancient-Egyptian-Rattle-The-Sistrum-2166721

Ancient Instruments of the Middle East  kids music mini-course https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Ancient-Instruments-From-The-Middle-East-Mini-Lesson-2127995

Free Doumbek (Middle Eastern Drum) Poster and Coloring Page https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Middle-Eastern-Drums-Doumbek-Background-Coloring-Page-2049118

Color The Musical Instruments – All The Way Around The World!

Coloring Book CoverWho doesn’t love to color? No matter how young or old you area, it’s fun to get out a set of crayons or colored pencils and personalize a perfect page!   And if you can also learn about other cultures in the process, all the better!

We’ve just released this e-book that’s actually a compilation of readers’ favorite musical instrument pages from the WORLD MUSIC WITH DARIA  website. Called “Let’s Color … A World Of Music!” there are 12 pages including common favorites like the guitar as well as more unique instruments such as the balalaika from Russia, the sitar from India or the panpipes (zampoñas) from South America.

erhu coloring pageIn addition to coloring fun, you can also use this book as a creative way to learn about other cultures. For instance, if you listen to any classical or traditional music from China, you’ll probably hear an erhu. In “Let’s Color … A World Of Music!” you can not only see what it looks like but find out what it is made of and how it is played as well.

Exploring the culture of India?  You can learn about a sitar or a two-headed drum from Northern India called a dhol. If you’re taking a virtual trip to the Andes, you can find a miniature guitar made from shell of an armadillo or a special rattle (called chapchas) made from the toenails of sheep or goats.

Best of all, during June and July 2014, you can get your copy free at the link below. And in the meantime, here’s a list of the 12 instruments you can discover and enjoy:

sitar coloring pageBalalaika

Bombo

Cajón

Chapchas

Charango

Dhol

Sistrum

Erhu, Guitar, Sitar, Ukulele and Zampoñas.

“Let’s Color … A World Of Music!” From TeachersPayTeachers

http://www.tinytappingtoes.com/chinese-mandarin/color-the-musical-instruments-all-the-way-around-the-world/

This post was originally published in 2014 with a “free E-book offer.  If you’re a teacher or parent on a limited budget and want a free Educator’s copy, please e-mail dariamusic at yahoo dot com.

 

 

 

 

Simple Instruments from Africa For Children

Making music with young children is a great way of combining creativity and fun with learning about global cultures.  Whether you are quietly crafting, reading and researching or drumming and dancing, here are some simple instruments that can be a part of any study of the diverse and beautiful cultures of Africa.

this tongue rattle hereMake It Rattle!

Different types of rattles can be found throughout Africa and the world.  They are easy to hold and play for kids of all ages and almost all abilities.   Here are three very different rattles from Africa – one that even can be seen in hieroglyphics that date back to ancient Egypt!  All of these are perfect to be made and played by small hands!

Tongue Rattle

http://makingmulticulturalmusic.wordpress.com/2012/10/02/make-your-own-african-style-tongue-rattle/

Caxixi Rattle

http://tinytappingtoes.wordpress.com/2013/02/05/make-your-own-woven-caxixi-rattle/

Egyptian Sistrum Rattle – Make It From A Recycled Hanger

the Eco-Egyptian Sistrum

Egyptian Sistrum Rattle – Make It From A Tree Branch

the Natural Egyptian Sistrum

Egyptian Sistrum Coloring Page
the Egyptian Sistrum Coloring Page

South African drummer - farahHands On The Drum!

There are an astounding number of different drums and drumming traditions throughout Africa.  Crafting a simple hand drum from recycled materials is a great place to start an exploration of drumming for very young children.

http://www.dariamusic.com/docs/Make%20Your%20Own%20African%20Drum.pdf

Shake A Shekere

In this unique and beautiful percussion instrument, the rattle is on the outside of the gourd.  It can be shaken back and forth, tossed hand to hand or used like a ball in simple children’s musical games.  To hear or color a shekere or find crafting instructions and simple activities, check out the links below.

shekere iconHear A Shekere

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

Color A Shekere Online

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

Make Your Own Shekere

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

Easy Gourd Shekere For A Kid Or A Classroom

http://tinytappingtoes.wordpress.com/2013/08/05/easy-gourd-shekere-for-a-child-or-a-classroom/

Alphabet Shekere

http://www.trueaimeducation.com/2012/10/guest-post-learning-letters-with.html