(re)capturing the fun & wonder

Category: Music (page 1 of 3)

Paper plate banjo


This one was from the Peninsula School’s Holiday Craft Fair.

You have to hold the banjo pretty close up to hear it well, but the sound is amazing — reminds me of a Didgeridoo — way cool!

To make your own:

  • Wrap three strong rubber-bands around a thick paper plate
  • Staple that plate onto another one so you can’t displace the rubber-bands
  • Hot-glue on a paint stirring stick for the arm
  • Decorate
  • Strum!

I can’t emphasize enough how much I like easy projects :-)

Handmade guitar

marching band
Maggie gets very upset with me when I haul out the recycling because in it she sees endless possibilities, countless projects just waiting to happen. One of her favorites is Marching Band. Brothers get recruited as workers or audience members, and if they’re really lucky, they get to march as well. She makes all the instruments: maracas, shakers, tambourines, drums, bottle flutes, and guitars.

To make her Box Guitar all you need is a box, some rubber bands, tape or a stapler, and an empty paper-towl roll.

  1. Cut out a square(ish) on the front of the box, and a hole big enough for the roll at on end.
  2. Tape or staple rubber bands across the open section on the front. They should be pretty taught.
  3. Stick the tube in at the end and tape to secure it.
  4. Strum!

I was surprised at how well this worked, while not exactly the most musical of sounds, it definitely made different pitched plinks and plunks when strummed.

Next time, I’m thinking I’ll break out the tempera paints, and glitter glue so she can properly decorate her oeuvre, and make it her own (dub Tim Gunn voice-over here). As is this photo feels a bit too much like product placement for me . At least this time, she chose a soda bottle for her flute instead of the usual wine or beer :-)

Apple Camp

apple-campMaggie and Bjørn went to camp this morning, Apple Camp that is. I’d heard that our local Apple stores hosted workshops for kids — being a Mac Momma, I had to try it out.

I signed ’em up for the Music Camp and I have to say, the Apple guys and gals did a great job with the kids, first introducing them to iTunes, and then walking them through their own compositions on GarageBand. After two and a half hours M&B had far eclipsed my sorry grasp of the app.

They each came back with a song they co-wrote and produced with another camper, plus a bunch of cool schwag — t-shirt, patch, note-book, bumpersticker, and Mama’s favorite, a Field Guide to Apple Camp programs filled to brimming with good tips and tricks for the kids.

On top of it all the program is completely free — it’d better be considering that they force the parents to stay put for the whole thing (in spite of having signed waivers and whatnot), so we have to browse and daydream about all the stuff we’d like to get some day (iPhone, I’m looking at you).

I was on the fence about exposing my kids to such overt advertising and, let’s be honest here, this program really is all about introducing them to the brand, but in this case I’m convincing myself that it’s ok ’cause they’re learning something really cool and creative.

I hope I’m not deluding myself.

[cross posted on the Silicon Valley Moms Blog]

Global grooves

My friends sent me this awesome video of their kids dancing. Of course I had to beg and plead to share with my peeps — if you need a smile today, this is the vid for you :-)

Donovan’s Pied Piper

donovanToday is one of those days… I’m still under the weather (I’m convinced it’s the Plague), the house is a disaster, the laundry pile has morphed into a mountain range, the baby won’t nap, and I’m too wiped out to entertain him. For me, this is a Donovan moment.

We’ve had Pied Piper for a few years now and all our kids love it. The grown-ups, too. It’s quiet, happy, dancy-type music. Just perfect for lifting my spirits, and perfect to get the little one thinking that life is beautiful and fun.

I’m crossing fingers that all the dancing will get him ready for a snooze soon :-)