Norwood Elementary School

Port Jefferson Station, New York 

From the Music Teacher, Cynthia Krusemark:

I have been teaching music for 30 years at every level,  high school to elementary.  The bulk of my career has been at the elementary level. 

I started the idea of having the students create "Homemade" Instruments as a homework assignment 30 years ago.  I felt that the students would have a better appreciation for how an instrument works by making one.  I have seen some very creative ideas over the years.  The projects are graded and are worth 50% of that semester's grade.  The students are graded on their knowledge of how the instrument is made, their understanding of how the instrument produces the sound, their creativity and ingenuity. One of the most important questions I ask them is "Of all the instruments you could make why did you decide on this one?"  The answers to that question have been very interesting and give me an insight into the students.

After the instruments have been made I work with the students on musical composition. They write and score their own music and we perform the music with the "Homemade Instruments".

This is a culmination of a whole year of study about orchestral music. 

I found out about your site through a colleague who was searching the web for ideas for her 4th grade class.  She told me about it because she knew for years that I did this project with the students.  I am just so excited that I can have my students share their creative projects with other students throughout the US.