Tag Archives: young children and music

The Yaqui Gourd Water Drum From Ancient Mexico 

ghana gourd drumOne of my favorite instruments to bring around to schools is a water drum made from a gourd. Kids and adults are often shocked when I pour water into one of the gourds and float the other on top to create the drum.  Then they are amazing by the deep, resonant sound. But where did a unique and creative instrument like this come from?  Interestingly enough, gourd water drums are found in both African cultures and in the indigenous cultures that inhabit present day Mexico and the Southwestern United States.

yaqui water drumWe caught up with a talented musician from Los Angeles named Christopher Garcia who not only plays them, but has thoroughly researched their background and shares these traditional instruments with audiences around the world.

And, at the end of this post, you’ll find our DIY water drum craft. Although our plastic water drum doesn’t sound exactly like the real thing, it does produce great drum sounds and is a fun way to encourage sensory play with water and sound.

Christopher Garcia – Teaching About Indigenous Meso American Instruments

Before Spanish Conquistadors arrived in present day Mexico and the Southwestern US, indigenous cultures such as the Yaqui were flourishing with rich music and cultural lives. Many of these indigenous groups trace their history to the civilizations of the Mayan and Aztec peoples. Beautiful and unusual instruments used in their music include the water drum, singing stones, unique flutes and a marimba made of turtle shells. Christopher details many of these unique instruments at his website below, but here you can see him playing the gourd water drum and the gourd water drum plus the turtle shell marimba and singing stones.

Turtle Shells, Singing Stones And a Wooden Drum

Make Your Own Version Of A Gourd Water Drum

plastic water drum playingWe’ve done a whole post on taking various sized rounded plastic containers, floating them on the surface of the water and getting some of the same tones you’d hear on gourd water drums. You can get creative and try it yourself in a bucket, kiddie pool or basin of water, or check out that full post at the link below.

Links and Resources

Make A Gourd Water Drum from Plastic Containers
http://www.tinytappingtoes.com/uncategorized/musical-water-play-a-myo-gourd-style-water-drum/

Christopher Garcia’s Indigenous Instruments of Mexico/Mesoamerica
http://indigenousinstrumentsof mexicomesoamerica.weebly.com/

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Win A Children’s Music CD in Ladino!

Sara's cdA while ago we did a post about kids music in the Ladino language, a beautiful mixture of (mainly) Spanish and Hebrew by acclaimed artist, Sarah Aroeste.  Now we’re excited to do an encore post as well as a give away a copy of the cd- “Ora de Despertar” (Time To Get Up!).

Want to learn more?  Check out this background info before you head down to the give-away and enter to win!

You’ll love adding this cd to your collection of multicultural music for kids.

What is Ladino?

We love Sarah’s descritpion of the background and roots of the Ladino language:
“(Ladino is) the Judeo-Spanish dialect that originated by Spanish Jews after their expulsion from Spain in 1492.  Those who left Spain, including Aroeste’s family, carried the medieval language with them to the various points where they later settled, primarily along the Mediterranean coast and North Africa. In time, Ladino came to absorb bits and pieces of languages all along the Mediterranean coast, including some Greek, Turkish, Portuguese, French, Italian, Hebrew, and more.”

Who is Sarah Aroeste?

Sarah on stageSarah grew up influenced by her family’s Sephardic roots in Greece and Macedonia and has spent the last two decades bringing her contemporary style of original and traditional Ladino music to audiences around the world.   You can read about her efforts to preserve and create modern Ladino music in her bio, here: http://www.saraharoeste.com/bio/

What’s on the CD?

There are 12 original songs written in Ladino by Sarah that appeal to kids on topics like the family, foods, going to sleep, parts of the body, growing up and just being silly!  Her interview below includes links to a free teaching guide, songbook and animated cartoon series that make this CD even more enriching as a music and language experience.

Why listen to bilingual music with your child?

So many studies have shown the benefits of bilingualism, especially when introduced to young children.  Music is a fun way to “go bilingual” because everyone can listen, clap, and interact with the songs in a way that feels like pure fun while the brain is absorbing new sounds, words and concepts.  Songs are easy to enjoy and remember, so music is a great medium for instrodcuing and new language to a child.

Is it amazing and beautiful? Will you love the cd?

Absolutely. And you can enter to win below. If you can’t wait to see if you win, there are purchase links and social media links for Sarah below.  Good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway
Links and Resources

Sarah’s Guest Post About Her CD – Includes links to teaching guide, songbook and animated Cartoon Series – http://www.tinytappingtoes.com/babies-and-music/sing-a-song-in-the-ladino-language/

Sarah’s Website – Available in English, Spanish + Hebrew www.saraharoeste.com

Sarah’s Store – http://www.saraharoeste.com/store/

A Song And Kid’s Music Video For Ramadan

Ramadan videoDo you celebrate Ramadan? If you don’t, you may wish to learn more about this beautiful holiday celebrated by Muslims in almost every country around the globe!

Here’s a lovely little song and music video about the month of Ramadan that is perfect for everyone to enjoy and share! We especially love this video because it shares images of a diverse group of girls and boys from various cultures (traditional and more Western), in different situations, all celebrating Ramadan.

We also love this video because it talks about the qualities expressed and cultivated during this special time of fasting and prayer. We see children in the video embracing patience, sacrifice, mercy, kindness, being humble, not losing Ramadan video 2their temper, helping others, reading, studying and doing good works. What a lovely message for children of all religions to hear and embrace.

Plus, we like this video because it may bring up many questions that will help people have accurate information about the religion of Islam and combat Islamaphobia in their schools, communities and in the world.

How much do you know about Ramadan and Islam? Check out our discussion questions below the video.

And, in the mean time, we wish you Ramadan Mubarak (Blessed Ramadan).

Explore More

After you watch the video, here are some great discussion questions to help you or your kids understand more about Ramadan.

When is Ramadan?

How long is Ramadan celebrated.

What occasion does Ramadan celebrate?

Is Ramadan a happy or sad holiday?

What does fasting mean?

How do people fast during Ramadan?

What is the Quran?

What things can children do to celebrate Ramadan… (for instance – acts of charity).

If you were celebrating Ramadan and wanted to perform an act of charity in your community – what might you do?

Make An Ocean Drum for World Oceans Day

me and the dolphinHave you heard of World Oceans Day? Celebrated annually on June 8th, it’s an internationally recognized and celebrated day to learn, share, preserve and promote one of our most magnificent resources, the oceans and seas.

The World Oceans Days website (link below) is a wealth of information – including research on pollution, posters in 15 languages, and a variety of action steps that anyone can take to make a difference. Visit the site to learn how oceans regulate our climate, generate most of the oxygen we breathe, clean the water that we drink and so much more.

Want to combine your learning with a fun recycled music craft?  Here’s a way you can reduce, reuse, recycle and make a great homemade drum that sounds remarkably like the sea!

What Is An Ocean Drum?

If you live near the sea or have visited an ocean, you know the wonderful, traditional ocean drumrelaxing sound of waves coming and going along the seashore. An ocean drum is a 2 sided hand drum that – when played – sounds just like the surf. In fact, if you close your eyes, you can imagine you are right there on the beach, hearing the waves as they come and go.

Above is a picture of a traditional ocean drum.

Make Your Own Recycled Ocean Drum

blue ocean drum kimbertonCheck your recycling bin.  Do you have a sturdy pizza box or a mailing box with dimensions somewhat like the one seen here?  If you do, you can fill the bottom of the box with sand, salt, seed beads or any tiny pasta (like acini de pepe). There’s also some great ways to create a window to the drum, decorate the outside and seal the box so the contents don’t escape and you can use it for weeks to come.

Ocean Drum Tutorial Free

Want a step-by-step tutorial plus other great info on this drum and world music instruments? Until June 16th, we’ve reduced the price of this great kids music resource to – free!  (Note: If you read this post after June 16, 2017 and need a free educator’s copy, just contact daria at dariamusic at yahoo dot com for more info).

Links And Resources

ocean drum pdfFree Tutorial – MYO Ocean Drum – https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Ocean-Drum-Craft-1567951

World Oceans Day – Main Sitehttp://www.worldoceansday.org/

Find An Oceans Day Event Near You – http://www.worldoceansday.org/events_list

Sing A Silly Song In German

schnappi imageThis updated post is part of our new series on learning simple songs in various languages.  You can use these songs to build bilingualism or just to enjoy exploring a world of music with your kids!

of learning simple songs in  Most parents who speak German recognize this silly song about a crocodile who lives in the Nile. The song, Schnappi, das kleine Krokodil, comes from an animated German TV Show called The Show With the Mouse (Die Sendung Mit der Maus). In the TV Show, Schnappi sings about his life in Egypt and the simple lyrics and incredibly catchy tune made the song an internet success as well as a pop hit in Germany, Belgium, Austria, Sweden, Switzerland and the Netherlands. In fact, this song actually reached Number 1 on the German music charts in January 2005!

Here’s how the song goes. Take a listen and I dare you not to be singing it for the rest of the day!

Lyrics For Schnappi in German

Ich bin Schnappi das kleine Krokodil,

komm aus Ägypten das liegt direkt am Nil.

Zuerst lag ich in einem Ei,

dann schni schna schnappte ich mich frei.

 

Schni schna schnappi

schnappi schnappi schnapp
i

schni schna schnappi

schnappi schnappi schnappi

 

Ich bin Schnappi das kleine Krokodil,

hab scharfe Zähne und davon ganz schön viel.

Ich schnapp mir was ich schnappen kann,

ja schnapp zu weil ich das so gut kann.

 

Ich bin Schnappi das kleine Krokodil,

ich schnappe gern das ist mein Lieblingsspiel.

Ich schleich mich an die Mama ran,

und zeig ihr wie ich schnappen kann!

 

Ich bin Schnappi das kleine Krokodil,

und vom Schnappen da krieg ich nicht zuviel.

Ich beiss den Papi kurz ins Bein,

und dann, dann schlafe ich einfach ein.

 

Lyrics For Schnappi in English

What do the words mean? Here’s a good translation for this catchy song.

I am Schnappi the little crocodile.

I come from Egypt, it lies right on the Nile.

At first I lay in an egg,

Then I …schni- schna- snap myself free.

 

Schni Schna Schnappi

Schnappi Schnappi Schnapp

Schni Schna Schnappi

Schnappi Schnappi Schnapp

 

I am Schnappi the little crocodile,

I have sharp teeth and they are quiet pretty.

I hog what I can snap,

Yes I snap because I can do it so well.

 

Chorus

 

I am Schnappi the little crocodile,

I like to snap, it’s my favorite game.

I creep onto my mommy,

And show her how I can snap.

 

Chorus

 

I am Schnappi the little crocodile,

And because I’m snapping I don’t get there very much.

I briefly bite into my dad’s leg,

And then I easily shrink.

Chorus

Questions For Encouraging German Vocabulary

Here are some easy questions for using the song to discover new words and phrases in German or encourage bilingualism in your household.

What is Schnappi?

Is Schnappi big or little?

How do you say that in German?

What type of animal is Schnappi?

What does Schnappi do to his mother?

What does Schnappi do to his father?

What is Schnappi’s favorite game?

How do you say favorite game in German?

Can you name any other animals in German?

Kids Music Activities – In German And In Spanish

Would you like to read about children’s music and musical activities in German or in Spanish? Check out our sister blogs here:

Das Kinder Machen Musik Blog

daskindermachenmusikblog.wordpress.com

Growing With Music – In Spanish

Creciendo Con Música
creciendoconmusicblog.wordpress.com

A Mother’s Day Song in Spanish

te quiero mucho mamaAll over the world, people celebrate a holiday that gives thanks to moms.  In many countries – that day is a special Sunday in May – Sunday, May 15th in 2017!

“Mamá te quiero mucho” is a lovely song that speaks from the heart of a child to their mom.  The song was written by Sara Quintanar, a multi-talented Elementary School Music Educator as well as a bilingual educator, songwriter, and performer.

Enjoy the song in the video above or check out more about this wonderful artist here: http://www.musicwithsara.com

Links And Resources

A Mother’s Day Song From South Africa http://www.tinytappingtoes.com/classroom-music/a-song-for-mothers-from-south-africa/

Mother’s Day Traditions Around The World http://www.mothersdaycelebration.com/mothers-day-around-world.html

Playing The Spoons As an Instrument – In Russia!

Russian wooden spoonsAnyone who has experienced “down home” American folk music has probably heard a musician play the spoons. If you haven’t – then you’re in for a treat and check out the post below titled: “It’s So Easy to Play The Spoons!”

But, did you know that playing spoons as percussion is a part of traditional Russian folk music as well? Although the sound of the clicking and clacking of the spoons is similar, the Russian technique of playing adds a few really neat twists that put it in a league of it’s own!

Russian Spoons or Lozhki

Known as lozhki (Ло́жки), Russian musical spoons most often are the beautifully carved and decorated wooden spoons famous in that part of the world. Where American spoon players usually use two silver spoons in one hand, Russian players typically play three or more and use both hands. They can also put extra spoons in pockets or on their clothes and use them as extra percussion surfaces.

If you watch this video of a folk orchestra featuring a spoon player, you’ll see some pretty amazing hand (and foot) work!

How do you pronounce “lozhki”? You can hear the correct pronunciation of the Russian word for spoons here: https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/b/b5/Ru-%D0%BB%D0%BE%D0%B6%D0%BA%D0%B0.ogg

Links and Resources

It’s So Easy to Play The Spoons! http://www.tinytappingtoes.com/classroom-music/its-so-simple-to-play-the-spoons/

Balalaika – Free Coloring Page: https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Balalaika-Free-Coloring-Page-3030487

3 Great Music Crafts for Cinco De Mayo!

Childhood LearningCinco de Mayo is a wonderful time to learn more about Mexican history and culture. Making and playing simple instruments from Mexico is great fun for even the youngest child. Here are three easy music crafts that will let your little one try their hand at joining in the musical fun of this special holiday!

Make Some Maracas!

If you have two small water bottles and two toilet paper rolls, plus a bit of filling and tape, you can make a sturdy pair of great-sounding maracas.  Basically, maracas are two rattles held by the handles and played with both hands. Imagine the fun you can have with music and with music and movement with these!

prize maracas 1Professional maracas have different sounds in each of the containers and you can try that as well. You can fill your recycled instrument with combinations like beans and rice, paper clips and erasers or smaller and larger dried pasta pieces. That way the left and right maraca will make different sounds when shaken and you can create even more the rhythms with the pair!

homemade button maracasNeed a full tutorial, with different playing suggestions? You can find one here: https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Latin-American-Intruments-Make-Your-Own-Maracas-1428029

Be A Guiro Hero!

Even if you don’t recognize the word “guiro”, you’ll know the sound right away! It’s the instrument that makes the “b-r-r-r-r-r-r” sound often heard in Latin American and Caribbean music. And it’s really fun for kids to play!

homemade guiro and 6 raspsThe sound is achieved by rubbing a stick, a scraper or a rasp over a series of ridges – and any plastic water bottle with firm ridges makes a fantastic guiro. Filling the water bottle with colorful shredded paper, confetti or similar items makes it even more fun to play. When I do this project with kids or classes, I like to use an unsharpened pencil attached to the bottle with colorful yarn as my scraper, but there are lots of other items you can use as well and each one produces a unique sound. Try whisks, hair picks, chopsticks or even plastic spoons, forks, or sporks for percussion play!

Click, Clack…Castanets!

This is another creative project for discovering rhythms or developing fine motor skills. Eli and Button CastanetsCastanets originally came from the European region of Spain and Portugal and some historians believe they were actually made from tapping together walnut shells before they were crafted out of wood.

Our recycled project doesn’t include nuts or carved wood. We create fun little workable castanets out of sturdy paper and buttons or various sizes. You make them in pairs and – you guessed it – each different set of buttons makes different sounds.

Playing suggestions? Get the hang of tapping them together and separately. Then play along to your favorite songs or try singing and tapping at the same time. Often played as part of the flamenco music tradition heard in Spain and in Mexico, you’ll be amazed at how a talented castanet player can use this tiny instrument as part of a breath-taking performance.

Here’s an example of a well-known flamenco dancer and castanet player named La Emi from Santa Fe, New Mexico.

Is Cinco de Mayo Mexican Independence Day (Spoiler Alert – No!)

By the way, do you know what the 5th of May actually celebrates?  If you don’t you can check out this history freebie from my TPT Store here: https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/What-is-Cinco-De-Mayo-2514584

Links And Resources

Free Mariachi Guitar Coloring Page
https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Mariachi-Guitar-Coloring-Page-2511636

Hear or Color a Guiro   http://www.dariamusic.com/guiro.php

Make Your Own Guiro from TPT
https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Make-Your-Own-Latin-American-Guiro-1230266

Cinco De Mayo Music Crafts E-Book From TeachersPayTeachers
https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Cinco-De-Mayo-Music-Crafts-2507025

10 Musical Crafts For Exploring Hispanic Heritage
https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Celebrate-Hispanic-Heritage-Musical-Craft-And-Coloring-E-Book-1427919

Sing A Song For Earth Day – Free Music And Resources

whole world handsMany years ago I was lucky to write a song that has now become an anthem for Earth Day in over a dozen countries around the globe. A very simple song, it’s a musical parody of the beautiful African-American spiritual: He’s Got The Whole World In His Hands.  Borrowing that melody; as is often done in folk music, we changed the lyrics to reflect what children can do to show love and respect for the Earth in their daily lives.

Original ideas for the song came from school children during a workshop about Earth Day and I compiled them in a 23 verse song since there were lots of great suggestions.  Later, I edited the choices down to a smaller number so the song would a bit shorter and easier to remember. I’m really proud to think about how singing this song reminds kids of all ages that the small changes they make in their choices in life can make a big difference – on Earth Day and everyday.

Write Your Own Earth Day Song

Since the song has such a simple format, we’ve created an activity where you can write your own Earth Day song. Sing the same simple chorus, but add your suggestions to the verses.  And there’s free sheet music, too, just check the resource links below.

Spanish Translation

A lovely, easy-to-sing Spanish version was written by Cecilia Fencer, head and heart of Spanglish.house.com. Click on that link below to find the words to the Earth Day song in Spanish.

Video

Here’s the official video for “We’ve Got The Whole World In Our Hands”.   If you want to check it out on Vimeo, you can find it here: https://vimeo.com/18765345

We’ve Got The Whole World In Our Hands

Links and Resources

We’ve Got The Whole World In our Hands – Free Song, lyrics, and sheet music: http://www.dariamusic.com/earthday.php

Write Your Own Earth Day Song: http://www.tinytappingtoes.com/classroom-music/sing-your-own-earth-day-song/

Make A Rhythm Tree For Earth Day: http://www.tinytappingtoes.com/early-learning-with-music/a-rhythm-tree-for-earth-day-or-any-day/

Tenemos Todo El Mundo En Nuestras Manos – An Earth Day Song In Spanish
http://www.tinytappingtoes.com/classroom-music/sing-an-earth-day-song-in-spanish/

Make An Earth Day Nature Walk Rattle: http://www.tinytappingtoes.com/early-learning-with-music/make-an-earth-day-nature-walk-rattle/

Earth Day CD and CD Plus 10 Recycled Activities: https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/EARTH-DAY-CD-PLUS-E-BOOK-OF-10-RECYCLED-MUSICAL-ACTIVITIES-658096

Official Earth Day Site: http://www.earthday.org

A Rhythm Tree For Earth Day Or Any Day

Here’s a great project for Earth Day or a summer camp or group play activity. It’s a fun way to combine recycling and reusing materials with discovering rhythm and creative music-making.

A while back, we did a post about rhythm trees and you can find that listed below.  But since we also get questions about the best components for this project, we thought we’d share a list here, just in time for outdoor musical fun.

And remember, if you don’t have the perfect music tree, you can also do this project on a clothesline or between poles on a playground.

So here’s our top suggestions.

Pizza Pie Plate Gong

STARR GARDENS - a few instruments for Rhythm TreeThese sound great and provide a nice large surface for tapping and drumming. Look for used metal containers such as turkey pans or pizza pie plates. They can be painted and decorated and hung at various heights from your tree or clothesline. If you can find trash can lids or used pans or pots that aren’t too heavy, they might make a nice addition to the project as well.

Milk Jug Rattle

Rhythm tree - clothesline instrumentsClean a large plastic container and add some rattling components inside. Decorate the outside of the container, if you like as well.  Seal it up and hang it for a nice sound when tapped. If you hang it low enough, kids can also grab and shake or “swoosh” the container for a different kind of percussion sound.

A Giant Guiro

rhythm tree - paper towel roll guiroThreading together wrapping paper or poster tube rolls makes for a giant guiro. Take a stick or a whisk and brush it down the sides for a fun repeating percussive sound.

 

Hanging Log Drum

rhythm tree playing tubeIf you can find a large tube like these, you can hang it up and play it like the type of log drums found in Africa, the Pacific Islands or the Northern Native American tribes, like the Inuit.  Tapping different sections of the drum will produce slightly different sounds – what fun!

Play With Your Hands – Or With Recycled Mallets

homemade guiro and 6 raspsSome of the instruments you hang can be tapped or played with your hands. Easy mallets can also be created from wooden dowels, wooden spoons, sticks, unsharpened pencils, plastic spoons or forks, hair picks, chopsticks or similar objects.

 

What Else Can You Find To Make Music With?

little-guy-and-washboardThe best part of this project is seeing how creative kids can be with everyday items. Encourage your little ones to come up with suggestions of what else might become part of an amazing and fun musical tree.

Links and Resources

Make Your Own Rhythm Tree:  http://www.tinytappingtoes.com/classroom-music/a-music-tree-or-rhythm-clothesline-for-outdoor-musical-fun/

Natural Instruments – Sticks, Stones and Bamboo Percussion For Kids: http://www.tinytappingtoes.com/uncategorized/all-natural-instruments-sticks-stones-and-bamboo-percussion-for-kids/

Seven Awesome Summer Music Activities:  http://www.tinytappingtoes.com/early-learning-with-music/7-awesome-summer-music-ideas/

Turn A Milk Jug Into A Recycled Shekere: http://www.tinytappingtoes.com/classroom-music/turn-a-milk-jug-into-a-recycled-shekere/