I call students to the gathering area. We review what we know about waves, wave movement, and sound. I tell students that we will be putting our theory into practice by making our own musical instruments. Today we will be making harmonicas.
Each student gathers:
I guide students through the process of making an harmonica. I use my document camera and perform the steps as I tell them what to do so they have a visual and auditory example. This is useful for my English Language Learners.
The closer the straws are to each other, the vibrations of the rubber band are quicker and the pitch is higher. As they are moved further apart the pitch lowers as the vibrations slow.
I give students about 10 minutes to freely explore with their harmonicas. Invariably they figure out how to change the pitch to create simple songs. Sometimes, groups of students will pitch their harmonicas into a group of notes and each child plays one note in the tune to play a tune as a group.