Submitted by Kristin Lukow, Nebraska

Idea posted July 26, 2002

Question: Will a student only be whacking 1 Boomwhacker® (that is, 1 tube per student opposed to handbells where they have two bells each)?

Answer: Okay, here goes... I have done it both ways. My 6th graders like the challenge of playing 2 tubes at a time.

Question: Is floor whacking the better choice over arms, legs, etc.? And if so, then should I prepare to move chairs and have students sit on the floor (I know the Fun With Boomwhackers®! book has circle formations on the floor)?

Answer: Try different approaches, and let the kids analyze which sound they like best. I do like the variety of sounds they make. Bonking on the head is always fun.

Question: In the regular diatonic set offered in catalogs, is the C note (lowest in the set) middle C? If so, then the bass set extends down to the lower octave C, right? OK, what are the Octavator™ Tube Caps for, and do I need these if I have the bass set?

Answer: Middle C is the lowest note of the diatonic set. The Octavator™ Tube Caps make them sound 1 octave lower, and they make them louder, too. I like them to use them both ways.

Question: How do you facilitate the use of the Boomwhackers® with larger classes, say 24? Does everyone have a tube to play (doubling up notes and having to use multiple sets)? If not, what are the non-whacking kids doing?

Answer: I want every kid to have one. They would revolt otherwise! I set them up on the floor as a scale. Low C to high C... in order. Sometimes, when we are playing choral accompaniments, I put them in chord groupings.

Question: Lastly, if the kids are sitting on the floor (say in a circle), where is their music? On the floor in front of them (and they just avoid whacking the music when it's their turn to whack the floor)?

Answer: I don't sit in a circle because I want them to see me better... with my back to no one... and I want them to get the picture of the scale. And we do use music on the floor in front of the students.

I admit to being very adventurous and I love to try new and different things and never want anyone to show me how... I always want to figure things out on my own... So, all my advice here is what I have found that works for ME. I've tried a lot of different configurations... but you know... my students learn a lot through the experimentation!! I'm sure there are plenty of other ways to make these wonderful instruments sing!