Strumming on Handmade Guitars

Olly led similar classes, with assistance from Merideth, at both Fishtown Rec Center & Cione Rec Center last week (Thursday, March 28). He started with a little “pop quiz” to see how many students knew what a few different instruments looked and sounded like. We later tried to identify which instrument was playing in different songs.

Our objective here was to establish a baseline for the students. Eventually, we want all the students to be able to identify at least 5 different instruments and identify the sound they make.

After the “quiz,” the students colored and decorated their own paper cut-out guitars. They then “played” the guitars during sing-along songs, which the students seemed to enjoy. Most of the children seemed to know and understand what a guitar is and what sound it makes. We also watched a few videos of people playing simple guitar songs and sang along. Olly & Merideth pointed out the chord changes and had the students imitate the strumming with their own guitars.

Creating customized guitars at Cione Rec Center
Students play their hand-made guitars at Fishtown Rec

Following the music and art portion, Olly led the students in some guided meditation. For this exercise, he had the students focus on breath, and also incorporated Buddhist chimes and a vibration bowl. He allowed each student to play with the bowl, feeling the different vibrations and noting the different sounds it could make depending how they struck it. Allowing the students to interact with the props kept their attention and piqued their interest.

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