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
These 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
Clean 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
Threading 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
If 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
Some 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?
The 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/