Thursday, March 29, 2018

March 29 Making Musical Instruments





The book Ada’s Violin has been very popular this year in our libraries.  As children have read the story of the Recycled Orchestra of Paraguay many have started to make their own instruments from recycled materials.    This is a wonderful opportunity for libraries and maker spaces to engage their learners.

Recently EMMA (my mobile studio for creating and making) was invited to visit Stowe Elementary School to help K-5 students explore making instruments out of recycled instruments.  

We explored sounds and new tools and materials throughout the week.   We even ventured in the world of circuits to add some interesting visuals to our our instruments.  In today’s March is for Making Series, I’d like to share one of our favorite instruments - created collaboratively with students from different grades level (K-4)
It was a wearable drum that was capable of making several different types of sounds and also lit up as you turned it upside down.  This allowed students to experiment with sound, light, and energy and learn new beats in their music class.   As the end of the week, a classroom set of new light up beat instruments were  presented to their music teacher during the weekly school wide morning assembly.

Here’s a look inside our collaborative build!
EMMA  brought us some new materials and tools to work with.
We  used a 6 volt battery holder  with a switch that held two coin cell batteries. We also used old recycled network wire and learned to use wire connectors and electrical tape.  
My original prototype had 4 lights around the drum.  During the week we realized that the short class time only gave us enough time for the students to create ONE light that could be triggered by a tilt sensor, so we simplified our instrument.  It was still fun to be able to tilt it at certain points to add light to our beats and rhythms. 

Because I only saw each student once time during the week for a short amount of time, we did not o meet all the possible standards that could be met with this collaborative project.   But here are some of the standards that your students could explore at different grade levels during this project.
With the right facilitation,  a teacher could help a student meet the following standards.