MAKE YOUR OWN JINGLE BELLS FOR THE HOLIDAYS
Throughout time people have loved the sound of bells that jingle. You can hear them on the wrists and ankles of dancers from India. You can see them placed around the collars of reindeer up near the Arctic circle or on horses as they pull a “one horse open sleigh”. They are worn around the wrist, ankle or waist by some Native American tribes and can be found attached to a jingle stick as a percussion instrument in bands or to play along with music at home.
Here are some ideas for making your own jingle bells.
WRISTS, ANKLES AND WAIST BELLS
Jingle bells of various sizes are available at practically any craft or sewing store. To make them into anklets or bracelets is simple. For the easiest project, begin with pipecleaners in your favorite colors and wrap or twist the pipecleaners stopping at regular intervals to string on a jingle bell. Stop when you’ve created the right length to fit your wrist or ankle. For a waist belt of jingles, keep twisting in more pipecleaners and adding bells until you’ve reached the desired size.
If you braid or finger-weave...
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Written by Daria Marmaluk-Hajioannou
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If you got the chance to travel around the world, you’d find some unique and wonderful musical instruments made from everyday items. For instance, in the rural United States, the washboard left it’s soap and suds behind and was turned into a dynamic rhythm instrument that you can hear in Cajun music or keeping the beat in old-timey or jug band music. In Peru, a donation box used in churches to collect offerings became a little box instrument called a cajita. Simple to play, it creates great rhythms while encouraging both motor and listening skills as well!
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Have you ever enjoyed the limbo with your kids or in your classroom? It’s great fun and can be adapted to almost any age, grade or ability level.
If you’ve seen movies about Trinidad or Tobago or the other beautiful islands in the Caribbean you’ve probably watched a crowd of people trying to bend under the limbo pole. Music is playing and everyone forms a line that circles around to dip under the stick and find out, “How low can you go?”
Sadly, the history of the limbo is not a pleasant one. The limbo was brought to Caribbean islands with slaves from Africa. The slaves were held separately – with men and women in different areas of the ship...
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There are so many wonderful songs celebrating mothers. And many people like to consider Mother’s Day the same type of holiday as Earth Day – a concept that should be honored daily and not just one particular day each year.
A while ago I recorded one of my favorite songs about mothers. It’s called “Here Come Our Mothers, Bringing Us Presents” and it comes from the Zulu tradition of South Africa. I learned the song and the story from a wonderful traditional group of singers from South Africa called Ladysmith Black Mambazo. Ladysmith Black Mambazo was formed in 1960 and has been creating beautiful vocal music with South African roots for almost 5 decades! You can listen to a short sample in the audio player below.
Have you ever wondered what the first musical instruments might have been? Anthropologists say that they were very simple but powerful creations made with natural materials, such as a log drum from Africa, a bone flute from South America or corn kernels or pebbles placed inside a gourd and sealed to make a Native rattle. You might even say that early people or indigenous people were the original reusers and recyclers. But that type of creativity doesn’t need to be a part of an ancient or far-away civilization. If you work with children and have access to recycled materials, then you can also create some awesome instruments that work very much like their real counterparts around the world.
For instance, take the guiro. A guiro is a simple instrument with ridges often found in Latin America countries and it is scraped with a stick or pick or rasp to create wonderful rhythms. The last time I visited Lima, Peru, young kids had created their own guiros from soda bottles with ridges and were playing them with plastic hair picks, while singing their favorite songs. It sounded fantastic. If you want to hear a guiro, color a guiro, hear a guiro song or find a pdf to make one yourself, Click Here.
And how about a didgeridoo from Australia?...
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