In this 1.5 hour program Ian Dobson shares how people with few resources in various cultures have used their creativity and resourcefulness to engineer sophisticated musical instruments from recycled materials. The primary example used in the show is the Caribbean instrument called the steel drum. Ian begins the show by performing on the steel drum, getting attendees involved with dancing and rhythmic games, providing a bit of cultural and historical background, and introducing the musical concept of “syncopation” which is so prominent in Caribbean music. He then presents a section on the physics of the steel drum with the cognitive learning objective of students being able to explain a sound wave and how multiple different pitches are achieved on one piece of material. Recycled buckets are then given to the students and they are asked to explore the sounds of the bucket themselves, apply the physics learned from the steel drum to the sounds created by the bucket, and be able to explain the basic physics of how the bucket sounds are made.
Ian then explores syncopation more deeply by teaching students basic bucket drumming with the physical learning objective of students being able to demonstrate syncopation.
To finish up the show Ian introduces digital technology into the mix so that attendees can relate their workshop experience more to the contemporary digital music that teenagers listen to. Attendees perform acoustic sounds that Ian then captures digitally with the cognitive learning objective of being able to explain what happens to the sound wave when it becomes digitized. Attendees collaborate with Ian to decide which digital processes to apply to these acoustic sounds and a final acoustic/digital performance is created.
Ian’s interactive web site provides related learning opportunities for attendees before and after the show.
1. The general learning objective is for students to understand connections between creativity, resourcefulness, arts and technology.
2. Participants will be able to identify elements of syncopation (cognitive) and they will demonstrate on the bucket drums (Physical).
3. Participants will be able to explain a sound wave and how multiple different pitches are achieved on one piece of material using the examples of the steel drum and the bucket drum (cognitive and physical).
4. Participants will be able to explain what happens to the sound wave when it becomes digitized (cognitive).
5. Participants will experience the relationship between acoustic music creation and digital music creation.
All ages but the target audience is Middle School, Junior High and Teen (ages 13-18)
Generally maximum of around 30 students per 1.5-hour session.