Arts4All Blog

Summer Camps Feature - Making Musical Instruments

Posted August 4th, 2017  |  By A4A.admin

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CSMA Summer Camps offer a wide variety of classes taught by professional artists with 2.5 hours of daily instruction (Mon-Fri) and meet in the morning (9:30AM-noon) or the afternoon (1-3:30PM). We sat down to interview Claude Ferguson, instructor of Making Musical Instruments for an inside look at one of our most popular camps.


Claude Ferguson, Making Musical Instruments

How long have you been teaching at CSMA?

I’ve been teaching at CSMA about 16-18 years.

What do you like about teaching here?

CSMA offers both music and visual arts, and the students are very dedicated.

What is your favorite part about teaching summer camps?

The two-week sessions allow for more focused efforts from students.

Describe the project the students are working on today.

The students create musical instruments from recycled objects that have a particular sound and learn to play songs with them. We make all sorts of instruments, drums, cigar box guitars, glove-a-phones, and more. Today they are making a rainstick, which is an instrument from Australia. Traditionally they are made with hollowed out wood and nails, but we are using recycled cardboard tubes filled with beans and rice.  A staircase like spiral is made using wooden dowels so that the beans do not fall straight down as you turn the stick.

What was the inspiration behind this project?

I play African drums and have studied West African drumming for 20 years. I always look for new ideas by experimenting with recycled materials, and I also reference RAFT (Resource Area for Teaching).

What do you hope for the students to learn from this project?

I hope for the students to gain awareness of other cultures and music, as well as learn a non-traditional approach to music and sound.

View the performance video from the Making Musical Instruments camp below.

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