Homemade Percussion Workshops
Rhythmweb Home | homemade
This series of workshops has been tested in Dallas/Fort
Worth area library systems, with groups of 12-60 kids, grades 1-5.
They are around 45 minutes to an hour in length. We focus on a few
instruments and methods, including beginning water bottle techniques,
working with shakers, and coffee can techniques. Longer, more in
depth workshops or workshops designed for other ages can be custom
designed. [stu's note: Pre-School
kids do not have the attention span for this workshop; for them,
we suggest a combination of show and tell and percussion storytime,
no longer than 45 minutes..]Adult workshops
and teen hands on drumming are also available, using homemade or
to Eric for more info..
Each kid should bring one or more of the following:
one five gallon water bottle, sparklett's type,
not necessarily Sparklett's brand.
one coffee can with plastic lid
one medium sized plastic vitamin bottle, or
a small plastic Ragu container. (Empty, of course. Parents:
please wash them out thoroughly before bringing them to the
We will supply the sticks or beaters..We will also
supply the dried lentils, peas, or unpopped popcorn to fill the
containers to make shakers..
What we want to do is to make these ordinary objects
SPEAK musically. There are different ways to produce sound from
an object. Each different sound represents a syllable, similar to
spoken syllables in English and other languages. If we could all
only speak one syllable, think how soon our language would become
boring. the idea is to learn to make different syllables, then to
learn to string them together into words, sentences, and paragraphs.
The chosen instruments give different tones based on WHERE you
strike or rub them, and WITH WHAT shape. (Your hand can take many
shapes, and with a stick, you can use the tip or the side.) The
sounds we'll make will also fall into two categories: open and closed.
An open sound is one where the instrument is allowed to ring or
resonate. A closed sound is MUFFLED, stopped from ringing.
We will explore the sounds available from the water bottle, the
coffee can, and the vitamin or Ragu jar, using both our hands and
a small stick. We will also take the filler material, and experiment
with making shakers, with the coffee can AND the other jar.
We'll be learning a little about the way rhythm works too. We'll
learn stuff like Call & Response, the Rumble, the Pulse. We'll
play in teams, some of us on the cans, some the shakers, and some
on the bottles as we discover the value of TEAMWORK.