Friday, October 17, 2008

Home Made Instruments!

Good Day!
It's a beautiful day here in Cotati, CA.
Remember, making SOUND and rhythm is the key. Be creative and have fun. Music is about experssing oneself (and ultimately releasing oneself) so there is no "right" way to do it. Just encourage your children (and you) to have fun!
Here are some instruments you can make at home.

  • Plastic Easter Egg Shakers
    filling: rice, barley, dried peas or beans. You can also fill different eggs with different things and have children compare sounds
    Hot glue gun, and hot glue
  • Instructions: Put a couple of tablespoons (you can experiment with sound before sealing) of rice or other filling in bottom half of egg. Run a bead of hot glue along the inside edge of the TOP of the egg. Carefully place top on and check to be sure it’s on straight and tight.
    Comments: The larger size egg is fun, but if you use eggs the size of real eggs, you can store them in egg cartons painted to match the egg colors, and children can sort them when putting them away.

  • Paper Mache Fruit Shakers
    vegetable spray or cooking oil
    pieces of fruit
    newspaper torn in to small pieces
    large tray to catch mess
    paste made of 3 parts water to 1 part white glue
    acrylic paints and clear finish material (water-based Polyurethane is recommended)
    paint brushes
    disposable gloves
  • Instructions: Put a thin coating of vegetable spray or oil on piece of fruit. Dip pieces of newspaper in glue or starch, removing excess by pulling paper between fingers. Completely cover fruit with several layers of newspaper. Allow to dry for a couple of days. Cut fruit in half with a serrated knife, and remove fruit and skin. Discard or compost. Put rice other filler in paper fruit, and use small amount of masking tape to seal halves together. Repeat with several more layers of glue-dipped newspaper, and again allow to dry. You can lightly sand any rough edges before painting. Paint with appropriate fruit colors, and seal with Polyurethane.

Musical Instruments for Sale

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Creating Music with your Child

Children love to create music! Music is simple to create. It doesn't have to be melodic just as long as it has some rhythm and movement! Take paper cups and hit them with a stick. Make shakers by putting dried beans/peas into a paper cup and then covering the top with cardboard or/and tape. Have your child shake the cup. Shake it LOUD, shake it soft, shake it fast, shake it slow. Gather 4 or 5 kids and give them each a shaker. Have them shake a beat - Count with them 1-2-3-4. Once a good rhythm is going direct them to shake LOUD and the soft as a butterfly. Shake it like a train, shake it like the wind. There are many different things you can do with sound. It doesn't always have to be "musical" to be creative music. Imitating different sounds in ones environment is musical. Using dynamics (loud, soft) is musical.
EXPERIMENT WITH SOUND. HAVE FUN! This is creating music.

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Monday, September 29, 2008

Musical Kid Stories

Coming on 10/15/08 - Stories and links to videos.
Send your stories or vids to
Scroll down to check out information about music and the brain!

Musical Kids:Sent to me from a customer in Chicago, IL. : My son loves to play the piano. He's had no formal training but listens to records and picks out the melodies on the piano after 4 or 5 times. I'm into The Beatles so he's been playing melodies of Beatle songs. Most recently he was playing "you never give me your money" off of Abbey Road! He's only 8 years old and I think I need to start him in some sort of lessons.

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Childrens books and dvd's

Live journal blog link

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Music and the Brain

Music and the Brain

Great news! We now have a wonderful resource! We have something which can give students a much needed break from their concentrated studies, provide them with a creative outlet and actually enhance the learning process in all areas! Yes, including the three “R’s”!
Children learn through many different ways. Music is an essential part of the learning process. Many public schools today have not included this important aspect of learning into their program. In between studying concentrated subjects such as math and language children need to “release” and play. Children love to learn through ways which incorporate play. What better way to learn than through singing, dancing, playing an instrument and creating music. There is scientific proof that music actually helps a child with the very subjects we are most concerned about.
Research has linked active music making with increased language skills, math ability, improved grades, well adjusted social behavior, and improvements in "spatial-temporal reasoning," - a cornerstone for problem solving. In the first few years of life the brain is developing rapidly. Studies show that participation in music influences and enhances that process.

Check out AMC: Music and the Brain for great research on music and the brain.

Check out for children's instruments and education.

May music fill your life,