|Grade span:||3 to 12|
|Duration:||Two 45-minutes sessions|
Description:This lesson is one example of how you can implement the practice of Integrating the Arts with Other Subjects. In this activity, students learn about the Incan civilization of the Andes mountains, listen to traditional Andean music, and make a siku -- a traditional Andean musical instrument.
- Learn about the geography of the Andes mountains
- Learn about the relationship between nature and traditional Andean music
- Make and play a traditional Andean siku
- A map of the world that shows South American countries and the Andean mountain range
- CD player and CDs with Andean music. (one example of a CD is The Andean Flutes by Joel Francisco Perri, which includes the songs "El P87jaro Campana," "Soplo del Viento," "Carnaval Equatoriano," "Tierra del Fuego," and "Los Condores del Sol")
- Bamboo (5f" x 36" piece per student, found at garden supply stores)
- Craft saw
- Plastic wrap
- Colorful yarn
- Cardboard cut into 5f" strips (optional)
- Pictures of the Andean siku (optional)
- Research basic information about Andean civilizations and music. (See Resources for suggested Web sites.)
- Read Secret of the Andes by Ann Nolan Clark and select excerpts to read aloud to class.
- Listen to some Andean music and review musical concepts. Syncopation stresses an "off-beat" in music. Siku music uses a form of syncopation that involves a "short-long-short short-long-short" note pattern. To demonstrate, clap a steady rhythm while saying "dit-daaaaaaah-dit" in the syncopated rhythm.
- Review materials and instructions for making an Andean siku.
- Using the craft saw, pre-cut bamboo into 5 pieces (9, 8, 7, 6, and 5" long) per student.
What to Do:Session 1
- Read aloud excerpts from Secret of the Andes by Ann Nolan Clark.
- Ask students to find the Andean mountains on a map and identify the countries that the mountains span.
- Discuss music and how people find inspiration for music. Play an example of traditional Andean music. Ask students what they think of when they hear the music and what the inspiration for this music might have been.
- Explain to students that the people of the Andes often found their musical inspiration in nature. Discuss how nature can create music. Ask students to brainstorm sounds in nature and demonstrate how someone might imitate those sounds. For example, tapping fingers softly on desk can simulate rain; saying "sssshhhhhhh" can simulate the sound of a breeze through the leaves.
- Play the example of Andean music again. Discuss how syncopation stresses an "off-beat" in music, and that siku music uses a form of syncopation that involves a "short-long-short short-long-short" note pattern. To demonstrate, clap a steady rhythm while saying "dit-daaaaaaah-dit" in the syncopated rhythm. Have your students try it, too.
- Ask students to explain the sounds in nature that they think inspired this piece. Remind them to consider the environment and climate of the Andes mountains.
- Begin by playing some Andean music for students. Remind them of the Andean music that they heard and discussed in the last session.
- Explain that students will be making an Andean siku -- a traditional pan flute made from bamboo reeds.
- Give each student the supplies to create a siku:
- 5 bamboo reeds, precut into lengths of 9, 8, 7, 6, and 5"
- Cardboard strips and/or colored yarn
- Instruct students to sand the ends of each piece of bamboo until smooth.
- Wad up a small piece of plastic wrap and put inside the bottom of the longest piece of bamboo. It needs to be a tight fit -- blow into the bamboo piece to make sure that no air escapes past the plastic wrap. Move the plastic wrap up or down inside the bamboo to adjust the pitch of the pipe. Repeat for the remaining four bamboo pieces.
- Lay the pieces next to each other, longest to shortest, and line up the tops of each piece. Tape the pieces together about one inch from the top. You may want to stabilize the pipes by placing a cardboard strip horizontally across the pipes before taping. Cover the tape by wrapping yarn around the pieces multiple times.
- To play the siku, hold the panpipe vertically, placing it against your chin and just under your top lip, with the longest piece to your left. Blow across the top of each pipe as you would with a bottle, making the sound "tu" or "pu."
- Point out that siku music uses brief notes rather than longer, sustained notes. This means that students should use a forceful attack when playing the siku.
- Ask students to think about sounds in nature and use their sikus to "play" those sounds. For example, raindrops falling, thunder crashing, or birds chirping.
Evaluate (Outcomes to look for):
- Student participation and engagement
- An understanding of how sounds in nature can inspire music
- An understanding and appreciation of Andean music and culture
- Student use of sikus to create sounds that emulate sounds of nature
Click this link to see additional learning goals, grade-level benchmarks, and standards covered in this lesson.