Music, Little Children & More Woodwind Instruments of the Orchestra!


"Show us the OBOE!"

      All photos from the artists at BigStock Photos site

The little children were excited to see the miniature oboe that I brought to music classes this week. They had already been introduced to the Woodwind Family of Instruments in the Orchestra in last week's lessons.You can read about it at this link: Introducing the Woodwinds to Children where they were introduced to the Orchestra, the Woodwinds Section, and specifically the FLUTE and BASSOON. 
                             Woodwind instruments!

First, the little ones prepared their ears for listening by rubbing the ears gently around the edges (I call it "giving the ears a little massage!") Then, we listened to the selection featuring the oboe from this great cd that you can find on Amazon at this link: 
Introduction to Instruments of the Orchestra

Of course, the children asked to see my miniature oboe, since they had so enjoyed seeing the miniature flute & bassoon in the past music classes. (see the above link for my past blog post about these miniatures & where to buy them)

I love being able to show the children miniature replicas of instruments, because first, children love miniatures (of just about anything!) and secondly, because I simply can't bring in the real instruments, even if I had all of them!

The very interesting thing about the oboe is that the mouthpiece is the REED. The miniature that I have shows this very well, but here's a photo of the real thing:
                      Oboe and case
We've talked a little about the reeds that are in the woodwind instruments. When we warm up our voices, sometimes I have the children lean forward a little and make the mmmm sound and ask them to notice if they feel any tickling in their lips, mouth, cheeks...! 

That's how I explain that the vibrations from the sound of their voices making the mmmmm, causes their lips to feel a tickle.

So, when I introduce the Woodwinds, I can refer to the tickle of the mmmmm in our vocal warm ups and relate it to the vibration of the reed of each woodwind instrument.

I found this photo of a boy making one of those little nature whistles from a blade of grass and it is a great way to illustrate a little more about how the reed in the woodwinds works. I explain to the children that a reed is a stiff grass-like plant.
                               Playing a "leaf whistle"

Then, I explain that the reed sticking out of the oboe is the mouthpiece. The children have already decided that it takes very strong muscles and lots of practice to play the oboe!
                              Playing the oboe

                                Playing the oboe

Next, we prepare for listening to the clarinet, and I like to show the miniature instrument right away because it looks a lot like the oboe, except that the reed is inside the wood of the clarinet mouthpiece, instead of showing (the way it is in the oboe.)
                            The clarinet

Playing the clarinet

A great selection for hearing the clarinet is "Cuckoo in the Woods" from Camille Saint-Saens, Carnival of the Animals, which we have listened to before in our music classes. Check out this link for my post about it: Elements of Music & Carnival of the Animals

I have an antique rubber toy cuckoo that I bought on eBay a few years ago, because I just couldn't find a plastic model of a cuckoo anywhere! The children in one of the classes I taught last week knew all about the cuckoo bird as they were studying about the Black Forest of Germany. Montessori kids!!!

Anyway, I think props like my toy cuckoo help the children to make the connections, since most didn't even know that the cuckoo sound made by the clarinet was  mimicking the actual bird's sound!
Here is one of my quirky little videos using the music from Camille Saint-Saens, "Cuckoo in the Woods." This song is fun for children to listen for the cuckoo sound made by the clarinet.

      Click here to see the video:

I have found some photos of children playing a toy clarinet and it looks like it might be a fun experience for the young child who really wants to play some type of woodwind. I think that children are usually ready for beginning to learn the recorder when they are a little older. ( at the age of 7 or 8.)
                                                            Playing a toy clarinet

                                            Playing the recorder

                               Playing a toy clarinet

These cutie-pies look like miniature jazz musicians themselves!
Thanks for visiting my blog and I hope there was information that you found useful.

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