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Nepalese Drum on a Stick

Enjoy the lively rhythm of a handmade percussion instrument! This one is designed to look and play like the damaru drum of Nepal.

  • Grade 2
    Grade 3
    Grade 4
  • Multiple Lesson Periods
  • Directions

    1. Many drums are struck only on their tops with hands or sticks. The damaru of Nepal is played on both sides. Invite students to locate Nepal on a map. What countries surround it? Research information about the damaru. With what materials is it traditionally made? When and how is it played? Discuss these questions and ask students to share any additional information about Nepal that they researched.
    2. To make a replica of a damaru from Nepal, ask students to find a small recycled plastic container with a tight lid, such as a margarine tub. Remove the lid. An adult will poke a small hole in both the center of the lid and the center of the bottom of the container.
    3. Ask students to cut yarn that is about 3 times as long as the depth of their drums. Push yarn through the holes. Tie a knot on the yarn end on the bottom of the drum.
    4. Tie a fairly large bead to the end of the string that is dangling from the lid. (Make sure the string isn't too long, or it will get tangled. To play your drum, the bead will hit the container when it is twisted.)
    5. An adult will cut a hole in one side of each drum, and in the side directly opposite the first hole.
    6. Push a short, fairly thick dowel stick, a stick fallen from a tree, or a recycled wooden spoon into the holes. Wrap yarn around the outside edges where the stick enters and exits the drum. Hold the yarn in place with Crayola® School Glue. Glue the lid to the drum. Air dry.
    7. Students decorate drums with Crayola Gel Markers. The drums are ready to play. Enjoy playing music with your classmates.
  • Standards

    LA: Ask and answer such questions as who, what, where, when, why, and how to demonstrate understanding of key details in a text.

    LA: Use information gained from the illustrations and words in a print or digital text to demonstrate understanding of its characters, setting or plot.

    LA: Know and apply grade-level phonics and word analysis skills in decoding words.

    LA: Read with sufficient accuracy and fluency to support comprehension.

    LA: Participate in shared research and writing projects.

    MATH: Use the four operations to solve word problems involving distances, intervals of time, liquid volumes, masses of objects, and money, including problems involving simple fractions or decimals, and problems that require expressing measurements given in a larger unit in terms of a smaller unit.

    SS: Describe ways in which language, stories, folktales, music, and artistic creations serve as expressions of culture and influence behavior of people living in a particular culture.

    SS: Use appropriate resources, data sources, and geographic tools to generate, manipulate, and interpret information.

    VA: Intentionally take advantage of the qualities and characteristics of art media, techniques, and processes to enhance communication of experiences and ideas.

    VA: Select and use the qualities of structures and functions of art to improve communication of ideas.

    VA: Select and use subject matter, symbols, and ideas to communicate meaning.

    VA: Identify specific works of art as belonging to particular cultures, times, and places.

  • Adaptations

    Possible classroom resources include: I See the Sun in Nepal by Dedie King; N is for Nepal by Anita Adhikary

    Students investigate traditional patterns in the artwork of Nepal and include them while decorating your drum.

    Working in small groups, have students create several different-sized drums. Use as many recycled products as possible. Students compare the sounds that the drums make. Discuss the differences. What causes this?

    Students use their drums to attempt to duplicate the rhythms and tones of damaru recordings. Possible website resource: https://soundcloud.com/#damaru_records.

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