Calabro Recycled Instrument Project

Recycled Instrument Project Turns Inspiration into Action
Recently, music students watched a small clip of the documentary, “Landfill Harmonic” during class, which focuses on the incredible youth orchestra in Cateura, Paraguay that performs on instruments made entirely from trash found in the town. Students watched in awe as the young musicians in the documentary performed on violins made from metal cans and forks, cellos constructed from oil containers, a saxophone with bottle caps for keys, and even a drumhead consisting of an old X-Ray film. To turn their knowledge and inspiration into meaningful action, students were tasked with creating their own instruments through a “recycled instrument project”. Students incorporated cross curricular connections throughout this process by sketching a design of their creation, calculating the dimensions of their instrument, experimenting with the frequencies needed to create different pitches, and deciding upon the most effective materials.

Upon completion, students completed a rubric analyzing their project and composed written reflections detailing their experiences during this unit of instruction. Students took turns presenting their instruments to their classmates, discussing materials used, problems they encountered, adjustments they made, and their own personal reflections on the creative process. These talented and creative students emerged with some truly extraordinary recycled instruments!
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