Whacky Sounds

by Teresa Jennings

In our "Sounds" series, we have touched on a number of subjects, from Christmas to reading 5/4 music. As diverse as the subjects are, however, they all share a common form. The variable length allows the building and unbuilding of sounds, words, melodies, or rhythmic performances in creative ways.

In the case of Whacky Sounds, our goal was to write a piece that uses the building and unbuilding technique by combining voices and Boomwhackers®, which are pitched plastic tubes. They are played by striking them on surfaces, such as knees or tables. The tubes are brightly color coded by pitch. For this tune, we used the C scale tubes.

The legend at the bottom of page 43 indicates which tubes belong to which part. This is also marked in the left margin of the music. We assigned two Boomwhackers® per player in the studio, but you can assign one per player for more players. It will be fun and challenging for students to learn which pitches are theirs and when they should play! (This is similar to how handbells are played.)

The form we used in the studio is also indicated at the bottom of page 43. If you listen to the recording and follow this guide, you will have a better understanding of how it works. However, as with all of our "Sounds" pieces, you may alter the form to suit your own situation. And if you do not wish to use the recording, you can vary the length of the piece as well.

For your convenience, Boomwhackers® are available through the Music K-8 Marketplace.

Text is taken from Music K-8 magazine.