"Music produces a kind of pleasure which human nature can not do without." ~Confucius

Monday, May 7, 2012

Drum "D" - Learning about Timpani

Well, this morning I asked K if he was ready to start learning the violin soon. To which he replied a firm, "No." Sigh.... I'll try again later. But, you may know that he has always loved drums... whenever asked which instrument he'd like to play, that is his answer.
So, today I thought I'd combine some craft-time with music-time in a "Drum D" - only kicking it up a notch to make the drum a very sophisticated, orchestral instrument.... the kettledrum - aka timpani).

So, we gathered some materials.... 
Construction Paper (any colors, but if you want to be closest to the drum, use brown for the D and white for the drum head....
plastic straws
Felt (cut into small circles for mallet head)

You can also use a book with pictures of the kettledrum to add to your instruction.

Here's the one I had on hand and we used this one today, keeping it open on the table as we talked about the drum: Meet The Orchestra by Ann Hayes.

Gather your kiddo/s and talk about the D for Drum concept, then have them figure out which way we need to turn the D for it to look like the kettledrum.... (I know you purists out there think I should have a K for kettledrum.... (which unfortunately wouldn't work very well) but you'll just have to work with me on this one!)

Have child glue the drum to their paper in the correct position.

If you used brown for the drum, great! If not, you can have them color it brown.

Next add 2 legs on the bottom for the drums' stand.
Then, have child draw him/herself playing the drum (I had to help 2 1/2 yr. old J with this, but he tried!).

Add a white stripe to the top for the drum head.

Next talk about Mallets (mallets are those sticks that you strike the kettledrum with, btw...).
Cut your plastic straws to make two small sticks, and cut circles out of your felt.
Glue straw-sticks onto each hand, then glue the felt circle at the end for the head of the mallet.

Voila! A wonderful example of kettledrums for your little budding musician!

 To take it ones step further, find some good videos of timpani playing on YouTube or another source. *Caution - Check out the YouTube videos on your own first, then put them to "full screen" on your computer to protect little eyes from the sometimes undesirable advertising images you probably don't want your tot seeing.

K loved this... here he is imitating the cross over sticking as observed by one performer:
Link of this video: Go here.
Here he is dancing around to the fast rhythms of another example:

(I just noticed that the laptop does not look very sturdy... Don't worry, honey... your laptop is just fine!)

This last one was a cool video of a piece called Timpanic MemBRAIN, (link:  Go Here) - it's 4 guys doing some fun percussion quartet playing.

Although I would love to see K learning Bach Minuets on violin, it was pretty cool to see him get so excited over kettledrums. :-)

Have fun!

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