The Swan Valley Anglican Community School approached me to build a Sound Garden at the school with the students from the Student Council. A small piece of garden with two trees in it was set aside for the task. We would be using mostly recycled materials for the task.
Our workforce comprised about 16 students, two wonderful parent volunteers, a couple of fantastic staff, the very handy Thom Scott and myself. It would be very full day.
Before we commenced on the day, I asked each of the students to say what they hoped the Sound Garden space would provide. The kids came up with some very thoughtful comments, with a few common themes:
- Somewhere to have fun,
- Somewhere to express your feelings,
- A place to go when you feel down,
- A place to go when you feel good,
- A place to enjoy playing music with your friends, and
- A place to help you feel better.
Clearly kids, too, have an appreciation of the connection between music and emotions!
Well, the aim of the Sound Garden is to be true to these wishes and much more...
Being involved in the building of it would deliver other dividends from participation by the students.
The kids and teachers together had decided on the layout of the Sound Garden. Once this was done, the task of digging all the holes for the posts began.
|Fitting the keys to the Marimba.|
I had gathered up a heap of materials, and pre-made some components in order for the task to be achievable within the day. The net result made by the end of the day installed in the new Sound Garden was:
- A Marimba, with two pairs of hammers.
- A set of four long Steel Pipe Chimes hanging from the branch of a tree, with hammer.
- Two Cajon Drums (mounted on posts).
- A Tongue Drum with two pairs of hammers (mounted on posts).
- A variable Base Drum.
- A Kitchen Percussion Stack.
- A Cultery Wind Chime, hanging in a tree.
- A Wooden Wind Chime, hanging in the other tree.
- A TomTom or Big Base Drum.
The Staff at the School say the next phase of the Sound Garden will include installing a Thong-a-phone, a small Stage made from Pallets, a Chalk Board on the wall behind, and some Musical Note stepping stones as part of the landscaping. Nice.
It was a great day, a noisy day, and a day when many of the kids had their first experiences with hand tools. Some students got right into the making tasks, with shovels, saws, hammers, block planes, rasps, hand drills, brace and bits, spanners, and much more - while others provided an array of musical accompaniment for us!
It will be great to see how the new Sound Garden evolves. Great job, Student Councillors!
May the Sound Garden give you all you hoped for and more...