The Black Banjo!

by Jerad N.

My dad and I started on my project the day it was assigned from school, When I got home I already had in mind what I wanted to do. I ran inside and told my dad that I wanted a black banjo. Luckily, it just so happened my mom was doing laundry and had emptied out a plastic washer soap bottle.

We took the bottle and sliced it with a jack knife. I did that part myself, dad just guided my hand along side. Then we went to Wal-Mart, and got some fiber glass (only $4.99). We took it home, got out a plastic cutting board then me and dad put on some latex gloves, because it's really itchy if you get it on your skin. Then we peeled the fiber glass into thin pieces, we stuck it to the bottle, I made glue and stirred it with a paint stick. We set it out to dry for 12 hrs.

After 12 hrs. we peeled it off the bottle, then after that we took the cutting board and made the frame for my banjo. It dried for ten hrs. because it was warmer in the house than the garage. We peeled that off because it got stuck to the cutting board. We glued the frame to the big long pole sticking out the top and let that dry for 15 minutes, then drilled it into the frame for better support.

I began to spray paint my banjo soon after the base coat had dried. Then came the hard part: putting on the strings. My dad had to help me do that part because the strings had to be tight so I could determine whether or not my dynamics were loud or soft. I figured both, because it depends on how hard you strum it.

Next came the determination on the pitch. My Mom and I came up with the idea that the thicker the string the lower the pitch, the thinner the string the higher the pitch. The description of my sound slash ,timbre would be flat and pure.

For all the other fourth graders for years to come I had a real blast doing this project. Not only did I spend quality time with my dad ,but I had fun learning what the words dynamics , pitch, and timbre mean.