St. Mary School

St. Mary School is a Catholic, K-8 school in Delaware, Ohio. There is one class of each grade, and an average of about 35 students per class, and students get the unique opportunity to attend school in a sort of combined elementary/middle school setting. The students have music twice a week for 30 minutes a class.

Music class students in grades 4, 5, and 6 all participated in the instrument invention project.

  • The students first learned about "found" instruments by watching the video STOMP and discussing "found" instruments in the music classroom.
  • Next, students learned a little about how sound travels through a column, and also about how instruments produce higher or lower pitches. (The longer the column, the lower the sound...the shorter the column, the higher the sound.) Miss McDonnell demonstrated this by bringing in her trombone one day and demonstrating it for the class.

The students then had two weeks to create their instruments. Requirements for the project were:

  • The students were to create an original name for the instrument, create the instrument, and to decide if it were a percussion, wind, or stringed instrument, and why.
  • Students were asked to write a minimum of one paragraph about their instruments and to present their instrument to the class.

Final Comments

The project went very well, but in the future, the amount of parental involvement in "creating" the instruments is something needed to be discussed. Over all, however, the unit went EXTREMELY well, and the students brought in very exciting and very different instruments they had created.

They also really enjoyed the project.

By Meghan McDonnell, Teacher