Tag Archives: ukulele

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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A Musical Journey To Hawaii!

Hula LullabyeCan’t make it to the beautiful island of Hawaii this summer?

No worries – here are some fun and easy ways to have a Hawaiian-themed musical play-vacation with your kids!

Make Some Pu’ili Sticks!

There are many different kinds of Hawaiian hula dances.  One form of hula uses bamboo rhythm sticks (below right); called pu’ili, that are tapped together by the dancers to make interesting beats.   And the sticks are not just tapped together in front of the dancers – use can use them as a part of some terrific music and movement activities.

Making your own pu’ili sticks from paper towel rolls – much easier then finding and cutting bamboo – can be the basis of some wonderful percussion play with your child!  Find the step by step directions plus movement suggestions in the resource list below.

Sticks and Stones!

josef rocks outHula dancers also tap together smooth stones as part of their percussion fun.  They play them in a way that is similar to Spanish castanets!  Even if you can’t tap these stones together like talented dancers, you can use river rocks make up rhythms as a part of natural musical play.

A Ukulele and You!

A uke is a great first stringed instrument for a child.  It’s small size and easy chord positions mean that your little one can be playing easy songs within the first few hours of instruction.

And what about you?  Learning an instrument with your child is a great way to show your child how acquiring a new skill requires patience and practice – even for grown-ups!  And it sets the stage for wonderful bonding.  If your child is better at the uke, let them play and you clap out the beat or sing the words.  Or trade places and see what happens.  This is a fun way to make music a part of your everyday learning and enrichment.

Lilo and Stitch

Aside from the exotic Hawaiian setting of this animated Disney Classic, we love the bonus features on the DVD that share more about Hawaiian music, hula and musical instruments like the gourd ipu.

HawaiiSerious Crafting – Hawaiian Style

If you’re a serious crafter and got inspired by gourd instruments from Hawaii, this book offers fantastic instructions on making both the simple and the more complex Hawaiian instruments, including lots of percussion that can be enjoyed with any type of music.

Not up for crafting? There’s a link below where you can browse and purchase real musical gourds from a Hawaiian family-owned business that grows and makes their own.

Hawaiian Lullabye

Last of all, you might want to nod off to sleep with this beautifully illustrated book that will lull everyone to sleep with an island lullabye.  A Hula Lullabye is a great way to end an exciting day of play!

real ukelele color posterLinks and Resources

All About The Pu’ili – Blog Post
http://www.tinytappingtoes.com/classroom-music/make-your-own-puili-hawaiian-rhythm-sticks/

Screen shot 2014-02-02 at 8.33.56 AMPu’ili Instruction PDF from TPT
https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Make-Your-Own-Puili-Hawaiian-Rhythm-Sticks-1205139

Playing River Rocks As An Instrument – Hawaiian `ili`ile

https://makingmulticulturalmusic.wordpress.com/2014/02/13/playing-river-rocks-as-an-instrument-hawaiian-iliile/

Ukulele Coloring Page
http://www.dariamusic.com/docs/Ukelele%20BW%20Coloring%20Page.pdf

Hawaiian music on Multicultural Kids Music Vids http://multikidsmusicvids.com/?cat=79

drting gourds (bright picture)Authentic Hawaiian Hula Gourds
http://www.ipufarm.com/

How To Make Hawaiian Musical Instruments – Book Review
https://makingmulticulturalmusic.wordpress.com/2014/11/03/the-ultimate-make-your-own-hawaiian-instruments-book/

Hula Lullabye Book Review
http://favoritemulticulturalbooks.com/?p=2140

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.

 

 

 

 

The Ukulele – A Great First Instrument For Young Children

 

Is your child interested in learning an instrument?

Although kids get excited about all kinds of instruments as they explore music, it can be helpful to choose an easier “first instrument” to begin to learn to play.  That way, the process is rewarding sooner and it builds confidence in their ability to learn.

Here are 8 reasons why a ukulele can be a good first choice for any child interested in rocking out on a stringed instrument:

real ukelele color posterThe ukulele is a perfect size for children to hold and play.

The fretboard is easy to see and the strings are not hard to hold down.

The ukulele has 4 strings and most common chords are formed from very easy combinations of finger positions.

Most ukulele songbooks are written in tablature – an easy-to-read graph that shows you where to place your fingers.

By following the tablature, you can learn many of your favorite songs within hours.

A ukulele is small and lightweight – easy to take out to practice or perform for others.

A ukulele can easily play the chords to a song while a parent, sibling or other friends clap along or play the beat on a simple percussion instrument like a tambourine or shaker.

A ukulele can easily play the chords to a song while a parent, sibling or other friend play the same song on guitar for an instant musical duet!

Kids Play Ukuleles

It’s easy to be inspired to play when you see young children really shining as they master the basics of this easy instrument.  Take a look at this 8 year old sharing one of his favorite songs at a ukulele festival or  check out our Hawaiian video page that features a variety of ukulele players – many of them under 10 years old!

Hawaii videos on Multicultral Kids Music Vids
http://multikidsmusicvids.com/?cat=79

Learn With Your Child

A ukulele is a great first instrument for an adult as well.  And you can give your child a real gift by learning along with them.  They can see you try and fail, try and succeed and understand what it means to have patience and to take the time to learn and grow at a new skill.

Showing a child how everyone struggles with learning new things and eventually succeeds is a powerful life lesson that will resonate in every area of their life.

Don’t Buy The Cheapest Ukulele

Although a good ukulele is not very expensive, make sure you buy one that sounds good to your ears and has sturdy tuning pegs (the little knobs at the top of the fretboard).  Cheaper ukuleles will not hold their tuning and can be incredibly frustrating to play.  It’s hard for a child or any new learner to be getting their part right while the uke slips out of tune and sounds like it’s playing the wrong chords.

You can opt to buy from a local music store where the staff can show you several options and hopefully play them for you.  Or you can buy online after checking customer reviews.  Look for a model that fits your budget but also gets good reviews from first time players.

Resources And Related Musical Fun

Ukulele Coloring Page from DARIA MUSIC

http://www.dariamusic.com/docs/Ukelele%20BW%20Coloring%20Page.pdf

The Ukulele – 4 Strings and Jumping Fleas!

http://makingmulticulturalmusic.wordpress.com/2014/02/05/the-ukelele-4-strings-and-jumping-fleas/

Make Your Own Pu’ili – Hawaiian Rhythm Sticks

http://www.tinytappingtoes.com/classroom-music/make-your-own-puili-hawaiian-rhythm-sticks/

“Beach In A Bottle” Rattle

http://www.tinytappingtoes.com/babies-and-music/beach-in-a-bottle-rattle/

Playing River Rocks As An Instrument – Hawaiian `ili`ile

http://makingmulticulturalmusic.wordpress.com/2014/02/13/playing-river-rocks-as-an-instrument-hawaiian-iliile/