Gardening with kids is a great way to get kids learning and making global connections. Yesterday, Nicollete shared with us an art activity that her kids did while gardening in Ecuador. Sometimes it is a powerful thing to realize that although we may have a great distance between us, kids and parents do many similar activities across the globe.
Today we have the talented writer and musician, Daria sharing ideas for growing your own musical instrument. My 4 year old and 7 year old adore spending time on her site researching and listening to the variety of instrument recordings available.
I strongly encourage you to check it out Daria World Music Website.
Grow a Musical Instrument – Gardening With Gourds!
Sure, a garden has delicious veggies and lovely flowers, but did you know that you can also grow a musical instrument? All around the world, people have used dried gourds as the basis for some really amazing musical creations – and so can you!
Grow Some Gourds
Gourds are easy-to-grow vines that can fit in almost any garden. If you have limited space, you can plant in a pot and encourage the vine to grow up a trellis, fence or a similar structure. In Africa and South America, some “bushel gourds” are so large they can be used for cooking pots or the water drum that is pictured here.
In the USA, “birdhouse gourds” and “snake gourds” are a bit easier to grow and will definitely make a fun plant to watch, harvest and dry for crafting purposes.
But just remember, unlike squash and similar vines, these gourds are ornamental, so don’t plan on eating them!
Gourds as Shekeres
Shekeres are played in Africa and all around the world. They are a dried gourd with a special netting; called a skirt, of seeds or beads around the outside.
This gourd was made by a master craftswoman from Africa named Sara ‘Fabunmi, but we’ve created a tutorial where you can make your own simpler versions. Here is a homemade examples of shekere craft gourds (see below).
Snake Gourds as Guiros
You’ve probably already guessed how a snake gourd got its name. Its long thin snake-like shape makes it perfect for creating a Latin American-style guiro – an instrument played by rubbing or scratching the ridges with a stick or a rasp.
To hear a guiro, click here.
Recycled “Gourd” Instruments
If these musical instruments sound like fun but you don’t want to wait until your gourds are harvested and dried, here are some fun versions of the same instruments using recycled materials:
How did people discover these gourds could become musical instruments? They grew them in their garden and let their imagination and creativity take over. If you decide to plant gourds this year, you can have a lot of fun with them while they grow and chances are good that you will end up with some equally crafty and wonderful creations!
World Music children’s performer DARIA (Daria Marmaluk-Hajioannou) has spent the last two decades performing in the USA and around the world, creating music to inspire all the world’s children. Along with numerous national awards for her culturally diverse music, Daria’s website (www.dariamusic.com) was given a Parent’s Choice Award and offers many great resources for teachers, parents and kids of all abilities.
We hope to inspire you to garden with your child this year!!!
Here are some articles to get your minds spinning about gardening!