Plan: Making Marimbas
Long Range Objective:
Students will observe the elements of design and physics involved in the
creation of musical instruments.
1. The student will construct a marimba when given cut
pieces of 2x4 lengths of wood.
2. The student will identify the node of each board.
3. The student will demonstrate the pentatonic or five-note
4. The student will perform using the marimba
1. Students must be reminded to follow proper audience
etiquette and show respect for performers.
2. Students will need a work area to lightly sand boards.
3. Students will be comfortable sitting on the floor
The Shaking Ray Levi Society, (SRLS), a Chattanooga-based improvisational
music group, will perform a completed marimba.
1. The SRLS will demonstrate the steps to make the marimba.
2. The SRLS will demonstrate how to find the node of
the marimba by sprinkling sawdust on the board and lightly tapping.
3. The SRLS will demonstrate the five-note or pentatonic
The SRLS will provide the 2x4 lengths of boards and other materials used
in constructing the marimbas. The mallets used to strike the marimbas
must be provided by the teacher (regular rhythm sticks used in most elementary
music classes are adequate).
1. Students will work in groups to construct marimbas.
2. Each student will play the five-note or pentatonic
1. Students can be encouraged to design other musical
2. Students can make oral presentations on how their
instruments were constructed.
3. Students can look at various pictures of Western and
non-Western instruments and determine how they were made.
4. Students can speculate on how folk instruments evolved.
5. Students can identify ways instruments have been modernized
such as through the development of plastics and electronics.
Students will be evaluated on their ability to work cooperatively to complete
marimbas and explain how they were made.
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