Submitted by Sonja Schultz, Michigan

Idea posted April 13, 2004

My sixth through eighth grade students have been inspired by the movie Drumline. I took the opportunity as a teachable moment, and we did a unit on sound. They made their own drums out of found objects. I showed them several examples, such as: music from crystal wine glasses, pvc pipes, various sizes of flower pots, etc.

The students loved the project. I was talking about the project in the lounge one day, and our custodian suggested that I go to the local cement contractor and ask for the cement tubes they use. Much to my surprise, the company donated two very large tubes. I cut the tubes in half and the students painted them with latex paint. Then, I purchased two cow skins. We soaked the hides for three hours and then attached the skins to the tubes using twine. The drums have a wonderful base sound.

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