Monday, January 11, 2010

Praise Him with songs and music

Use scriptures to bring an inspirational lesson to music fun. You’ll find suggestions at the end of the article.

Paper tube rhythm instruments

Seal one end of the tube by cutting a circle of cardboard to match the size of the end. Place it in the end and secure it with a square of paper and tape. Place a tablespoon of uncooked rice or beans into the tube. Seal the open end. Decorate as desired. One rhythm instrument is ready to go.

The timbre of the instrument will vary depending on what is put inside, how much there is, how long and wide the tube is and how tightly it is sealed. With enough different “voices” you can create a real band.

Pop bottle woodwinds

A washed soda pop bottle with a little water added becomes a woodwind instrument when you blow across the top of it. Add different amounts of water to create different sounds. Ask some questions of the children: Does more water sound deeper or higher in tone than less water? Does the force of the air across the top of the bottle make a difference?

Oatmeal box and coffee canister drums

An empty oatmeal box or coffee canister (can or plastic) with a lid makes a great drum. Tap or rap on the lid to create tempo for the band. Try using plastic spoons, wooden dowels and fingertips for a variety of effects.

Tissue box dulcimer

Place rubber bands of varying thickness around an empty tissue box to make a do-it-yourself dulcimer. Sounds will vary with the width and depth of the box and the size of the rubber bands. If you don’t have a variety of rubber band thicknesses, vary tension by knotting the rubber bands to different lengths.

Play the dulcimer by sitting with it across your lap and plucking the bands, rather than strumming like a guitar.

Warning: Snapping rubber bands can be quite hazardous. Exercise extreme caution when playing a tissue box dulcimer. Use discretion as to age group.

Rhythm sticks

Lengths of dowel (eight to twelve inches long) in pairs form a simple instrument – old-fashioned rhythm sticks. By tapping one stick against the other, children can learn rhythm skills and how different tempos can combine to make music. Vary the sounds by using different thicknesses of dowel. Just beware of impromptu swordfights among the musicians.

Doing this at home? Substitute a pair of wooden spoons for dowels.

Paper tube kazoos

Okay, so they aren’t really kazoos. But kids can hum or sing into paper towel or toilet paper tubes to get some interesting harmonics going.

Jingle bells

Tie a couple of sleigh bells along a length of ribbon or yarn. Tie the ends of the ribbon or yarn together to make a loop. Shake the loop to play the bells. Punch holes through a handful of bottle caps and string them loosely on a piece of yarn or ribbon to make another jingly instrument. Metal caps will sound more “tinny” while plastic ones will be “rattle-y.”

Pot lid cymbals

Light-weight metal pot lids of similar size make dandy cymbals. Warning: don’t use enameled lids – the enamel is likely to chip.

Put together a marching band to burn off some energy, or have quiet sit down music to encourage winding down. With homemade instruments, music is just moments away.

Scripture references

Add a scripture, such as: “The Lord is my strength and song.” (Exodus 15:2, KJV) or “…therefore my heart greatly rejoiceth; and with my song will I praise him.” (Psalm 28:7b, KJV). Other possibilities: Judges 5:3; I Chronicles 16:9; I Chronicles 16: 23; Psalm 7:17; Psalm 9:2; Psalm 13:6 and many more. Use a concordance or go to to search for things like “music,” “sing,” “song,” or instrument names like trumpet or flute. You’ll find lots of choices.

No comments: