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MUSICAL INSTRUMENTS:CREATING MUSIC STORIESSandra Kirkwood                          Photograph by Babasteve                ...
INSTRUMENTS – INDIGENOUS TRADITIONS Just as there are many different Indigenous  language groups in Australia, there are ...
DIDJERIDU – WHERE DOES IT COME FROM?   The Didjeridu is a traditional instrument of the    Aboriginal people from Arnhem ...
DIDJERIDU   David Hudson explains how to play the    didjeridu on You Tube.(The uploading of this video has been approved...
BULL ROARER The bullroarer is a wooden slat with a cord  attached. It can be whirled in a circle to make  a noise. The tr...
WHIRRING SOUNDS This plastic tube makes a whirring sound that  sounds like a bullroarer as I swing it round  and round. ...
PAPUA & NEW GUINEA DRUMUSING NATURAL MATERIALS      See the carved animals, person’s                              head, a...
CONCH SHELL – TORRES STRAIT   It’s fun to play wind instruments that you    blow. Steve Turre plays shells with drummers ...
GUITAR   Does anyone you know    play the guitar?.   Uncle Archie Roach    sings “From Little    Things, Big Things    G...
MAKING OUR OWN INSTRUMENTS                   These are instruments                    made out of coconuts.              ...
MAKING OR PLAYING CLAP STICKS   Can you find some clap        You can paint the    sticks or boomerangs to        clapst...
WHY IS IT IMPORTANT TO PLAY INSTRUMENTS? Playing drums or clap sticks helps the dancers to keep in time.                  ...
TEACHING OUTCOMES This presentation opens up a whole range of possibilities for broadening the children’s knowledge and ex...
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Playing Musical Instruments: Creating Music Stories

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The Creating Music Stories modules were developed by Sandra Kirkwood for use with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander and other Australian children. The purpose is to support children to actively contribute to developing music stories that are relevant to their lives and the places in which they live, work and play. Further music modules are available on the Tracking the Milky Way website (http://trackingthemilkyway.com/) and Music Health Australia (www.musichealth.com.au). Gunawirra Services supported the development of the music modules: Creating Music Stories.

Playing Musical Instruments: Creating Music Stories

  1. 1. MUSICAL INSTRUMENTS:CREATING MUSIC STORIESSandra Kirkwood Photograph by Babasteve Music Health Australia
  2. 2. INSTRUMENTS – INDIGENOUS TRADITIONS Just as there are many different Indigenous language groups in Australia, there are also numerous songs, dances and musical instruments Sadly, many musical traditions have been lost or forgotten since European settlement But, there are written accounts and recordings of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples making music with a wide range of natural objects, such as hollow tree trunks, possum skins, shells and drum heads made of lizard skin.
  3. 3. DIDJERIDU – WHERE DOES IT COME FROM? The Didjeridu is a traditional instrument of the Aboriginal people from Arnhem Land in Northern Australia. It was originally known as a Yirdaki in the traditional language. If you want to make a didjeridu, you have to find a special tree which is hollow inside. Aboriginal people chose tree trunks that had been hollowed out by ants to make didjeridu. The timber has to be scraped out and carved – using special methods that people who lived a traditional lifestyle invented. They passed this knowledge down to younger generations and also taught people how to play.
  4. 4. DIDJERIDU David Hudson explains how to play the didjeridu on You Tube.(The uploading of this video has been approved by David Hudson.) Can you blow raspberries like he shows you? Try making some animal/bird sounds. The didjeridu player cues the dancers when to start the next dance step. Watch adults play. Practise breathing and blowing.
  5. 5. BULL ROARER The bullroarer is a wooden slat with a cord attached. It can be whirled in a circle to make a noise. The traditional name of this instrument is not usually spoken in public. This is what a bullroarer looks and sounds like. (You Tube) This video shows boys using a bullroarer. They have to be very careful so it does not hit them, or fly off and hurt other people (You Tube). Only use a bullroarer if an adult is helping you because they can be dangerous. Adults make them with sharp carving tools.
  6. 6. WHIRRING SOUNDS This plastic tube makes a whirring sound that sounds like a bullroarer as I swing it round and round. We usually play outside where there is lots of space.
  7. 7. PAPUA & NEW GUINEA DRUMUSING NATURAL MATERIALS  See the carved animals, person’s head, and shells on this drum.  The head is made of lizard skin  It is 1 metre high.  Is it as tall as you?  They are sold to Torres Strait Islands
  8. 8. CONCH SHELL – TORRES STRAIT It’s fun to play wind instruments that you blow. Steve Turre plays shells with drummers and other band members (You Tube)This is how to make a conch shell horn with help from an adult (You Tube)A Pirate Tune on Ocarina (You Tube)Next time I go to the beach I’ll put a shell on my ear to see what it sounds like. Some people say you can hear the ocean sound.
  9. 9. GUITAR Does anyone you know play the guitar?. Uncle Archie Roach sings “From Little Things, Big Things Grow.” (You Tube) Here’s a song about “Family” by Uncle Warren H. Williams. (You Tube). Can you hear the guitar in the music? Listen as someone plays guitar.
  10. 10. MAKING OUR OWN INSTRUMENTS  These are instruments made out of coconuts.  The ones with handles are called maracas.  The brown balls are called shakers.  The round one with keys made of nails and goanna pictures is called an African thumb piano.
  11. 11. MAKING OR PLAYING CLAP STICKS Can you find some clap  You can paint the sticks or boomerangs to clapsticks(You Tube) tap together? You need a round stick of hardwood timber that is about 2-3 cms thick. It is cut 20 cm long and ends are rounded by an adult. Now children can clap their sticks with digeridoo Pete or friends. (You Tube)
  12. 12. WHY IS IT IMPORTANT TO PLAY INSTRUMENTS? Playing drums or clap sticks helps the dancers to keep in time. The didjeridu player can tell stories because he makes animal sounds. It is usually only men who play the didjeridu. Ladies may sing, dance or beat time on their thighs or possum skin lap drums. We love to sing along with the guitar. We can sing our favourite songs from the radio, or even make We can make instruments from up new songs. things that we find around us like shells, lizard skin, coconuts, tree Instruments are part of our trunks, branches and leaves. music culture. We can decorate them with artwork as well as play them.
  13. 13. TEACHING OUTCOMES This presentation opens up a whole range of possibilities for broadening the children’s knowledge and experience of constructing, decorating and playing musical instruments. The focus is on instruments that are commonly associated with traditional or contemporary Indigenous Australian song and dance. If children are given the opportunity to watch, hear and play musical instruments when they are young, they may become interested in learning how to play from adults, teachers and siblings. After watching the You Tube videos or performances, the children can indicate the style of music that they prefer and choose to work in small groups on their chosen instruments. Eventually, children can join in with the rest of the class, friends and family playing a range of instruments and singing or dancing as well. The main objective is to demonstrate a love for music and to let them observe active involvement of people of all ages. Playing music can be fun, and it is especially helpful for making sound effects when telling stories. Please involve Elders/cultural advisers where possible. The discussion can be made relevant to the children’s interests by allowing them to explore found items in the natural environment. After the children have completed all of the music modules, then they will be more able to participate actively in developing music stories, dances and songs with those around them. They will better understand how to listen, use their voices, and work together whendancing and playing musical instruments. The children usually learn by imitating their family, friends and teachers if music is incorporated into everyday routines at home, childcare/preschool, and in the community. Children may learn about music by attending festivals and concerts as well. Sandra Kirkwood, Music Health Australia www.musichealth.com.au B.Occ.Thy, B.Music, M.Phil 27 August, 2012

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