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

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Good Vibration(s)

Today was a simple lesson in how sound is produced. Key word: Vibration.
Sometimes we take sound for granted... I mean, it's just... sound.
You bang a pot, it makes a sound.  You open your mouth to speak, there's sound. You touch a piano key, there's sound.
Vibration makes that sound possible... so I decided to plant some seeds for that concept today.

Super easy.
This is what we used:

A cork board
Push pins that have a plastic grip --->
rubber bands of different lengths (thin-ish ones, the thick ones are too strong for this humble activity)
Construction paper cut into long strips (2 per child).

And - NO part of this activity should be done without parental involvement and supervision! This is kind of obvious, but just in case...

OK, so gather kids and bring them to the materials.

I told mine to put the two strips into the shape of a letter "V"

Once, they figured that out, I helped get them to put 4 push pins in their letter: one at the bottom, one at each of the top ends, and one about 2/3 the way up one side. Be very involved in this - or just do it yourself. Make sure the pins are in as far as they can go.

Yes, that is my foot. So professional, I know.

Next, loop the rubber bands from one tack to the next, along the shape of the V. You should have three rubberbands on the V when you're done - one very long, one medium long, and one shortest of all.

Once you're all set up, talk about your key word for the day, "VIBRATION!" Hence our V for Vibration.
**Gently** pluck the rubber bands on each group, listening to the sound each makes and watching the rubber vibrate back and forth. Pick out the low, medium and high sounds and talk about shorter "strings" producing higher sounds, etc..

We tried some rhythms and patterns... OK, I tried rhythms and patterns and they did their own brilliant improv...  :-) 
They had a lot of fun with this... but as is their nature, they started to get a bit carried away with the "plucking" so it was time to move on to phase two. 

If you happen to have a stringed instrument in your house, this little add-on can supplement what you were just doing... if not, no worries! Just mentally check out now. :-) 

Being music nerds, we have a few string instruments that demonstrate this vibration concept... guitar and violin. 

First, demonstrate how to make vibration on each instrument. Demonstrate where low-pitched and higher pitched strings are. 

Again - with MUCH SUPERVISION, invite kiddos to pluck or strum the instruments to produce a vibration, and hence - sound! 

You can see that the two-year-old has abandoned these lesser things and moved on to Mozart Piano Sonatas... way to go, buddy.


1 comment:

  1. This is a great idea and I think I will use it to teach the letter V when we get there - thanks for sharing.