Sorcerer's Apprentice & The Water Xylophone

 We've been delving into some fun projects this summer.  One of them has been listening to The Sorcerer's Apprentice - another great CD from Maestro Classics.   

This story has always been a favorite... we have read the book and seen the clip from Fantasia as well.   What I appreciated about the Maestro Classics version, however, was the knowledge we received of the composer, Paul Dukas.  

{I never knew that Paul Dukas was such a perfectionist that he BURNED most of his music, thinking it wasn't good enough... so the music from The Sorcerer's Apprentice is really all that survived of his compositions.}


In addition to listening to the CD and reading the story we have also been making a water xylophone.   It's simple really.   Visit the Maestro Classic's "Home Projects" section and find the instructions for the Glass Xylophone.  

We used eight Mason jars and I let the kids experiment on their own to determine high and low pitches (the more water in a jar, the lower the tone it will play).   We discovered, however, that not every jar made the same sound when it was empty, so my son thinks the glass might be of different thickness on different jars.  Interesting.

We read a little about the science of sound:  

Small vibrations are made when you hit the glass, this creates sound waves which travel through the water. More water means slower vibrations and a deeper tone.

The kids also wanted to compare pitches with the piano and the recorder... once they discovered how high to fill the glasses to make a B, A and G on the recorder they were ready for a little performance.  

The kids color coded the jars with food coloring and then set about playing songs on their xylophone.  (Oh when will I learn to hold my iPhone SIDEWAYS to recorder a video??  Sorry!  And... just keeping it very real here with my messy stairs and baseball game playing in the background.  That's REAL LIFE in my house!)

  (Side note:  the recorder is a VERY easy instrument to self teach if your child wants to learn a musical instrument!)  

This is a fun and easy project that will help your children remember this musical story for a long time!  


Have you done any fun musical projects this summer?  

Science Sunday