Musical Instruments - Percussion, String, and Wind
Musical Instruments in a School Band
Music and the Brain
The world of sound is available to us from conception. It has been tried and proven by scientific research that the unborn infant can learn music in the womb from the great masters before entering our earthly world announcing their arrival with a loud vocal cry.
Music is not only pleasurable, but it also stimulates and awakens brain waves. Creating sounds or music is as essential as reading and mathematics. Music is a part of our vital being.
Music Class in Session
Noisy Sounds but Music to Our Ears
Do you remember making sounds or singing in kindergarten? The teacher played the piano while the students pounded on percussion instruments which they made in craft class. Not every student pounded out the correct rhythm. There was always the students that just enjoy banging and making noise.
In kindergarten the teacher handed you items that made booming, loud, or noisy sounds. These were the drums, bells, triangles, and whistles. In the first grade you may have played with these same instruments or maybe a simple handmade drum of a can and a stick.
As you advanced through the public school grades and discovered that you enjoyed music a decision was made as to playing an instrument in the school band or joining the vocal choir if singing was preferred.
For those students who enjoy music parents helped to fund a musical education with private instructors or attending a private school of music.
For many of us music is around us from before birth and during the growing up years.
A Stringed Instrument
What are stringed instruments? Stringed instruments are those which produce vibrations from their strings. Every culture around the world has stringed instruments and they have their individual names.
The vibrations are created by plucking the strings, strumming across the strings, or picking the strings with a plastic tool known as the "pick".
In the American school system the most popular instrument which students begin playing is the violin. Other stringed instruments which are popular include the guitar, banjo, fiddle, harp, and ukulele.
Smaller stringed instruments are easy to transport and easy to hold unto. Because of their smallness they are very popular at party events. The strings of these instruments are usually made of metal and therefore the fingers of the player must develop callouses on their fingertips.
These callouses will develop with short frequent practicing on a daily basis.Musicians who love to play these instruments feel that their callouses are their earned badge of courage and devotion for playing.
For a young child construct a handmade guitar-like instrument. Use any material which can be fastened with a nail or glue and attach a string or more. For example, a small flat wooden board attached with a broom handle, then attach one or two strands of rope to the board and along the length of the broom handle. To help with sound, attach bells to the rope and when the string is pulled sound is created.
A Drum Set
Do it with a Bang!
What child does not enjoy banging on any surface? There isn't a boy who doesn't kick or strike an object as he walks down the street or hesitates to drum on anything when given the opportunity.
Drumming seems to belong to the male gender. There are a few girls who will be interested in drumming.
One can make their own drums. Any surface of your choosing and a stick will do. Here are some suggestions:
1. pot or kettle
2. An empty can
3. trash pail; bottoms up
6. upside down bucket
Percussion Instruments by the Hundreds
There are many different percussion instruments around the world and once again these instruments will have been named by the language of the people.
In America these percussion instruments are very familiar. There are many different types of drums. And for the sake of practicing to help eliminate the repetitive sounds while a student is practicing use a "practice pad". Other drumming instruments will include the triangle, bells, such as the cowbell, or hand bells. Cymbals small and large are available. Spoons, tambourine, and chimes are commonly used. The use of our human hands for clapping and finger snapping is also considered a percussion instrument.
Wind instruments refer to any object which produces sound by blowing. People who have strong lungs would enjoy these instruments. Wind instruments include the trumpet, saxophone, flute, piccolo, and more.
Do you have a conch shell from your last beach vacation? Blow it like a trumpet and you will hear its sound. If you have trouble converting the shell into a horn for its unique sound, place the shell to your ear and listen to the waves of the ocean.
Take a hair comb, fold a half sheet of waxed paper over it and blow. It makes a rather pleasant sound.
Pierce your lips, like blowing a flute, into an empty soda, beer, wine, or any narrow neck shaped bottle and it will produce sounds like the conch shell.
Suggestions for homemade wind instruments include:
- Hollowed reeds
- Plastic bottles
- Paper or plastic tubes