Great Ways to Explore Timbre With String

Music (and Science) For Young Children

Luna-Valerie and uke(Like young children, cats are enthusiastic and relentless scientists.)

For years I’ve used strings (mostly ukulele strings and rubber bands) to help young children explore and understand how pitch (the highness and lowness of sounds) works. I plan to write more on this later, and I’ve shared several of these activities in my latest book, “Exploring the Science of Sounds: 100 Musical Activities for Young Children,” but the basic principle is: longer strings produce lower pitches, and shorter strings produce higher pitches. Kinders and older children are also intrigued by how “cutting” a ukulele string in half (by holding the string down just behind the last fret) produces the same tone exactly one octave higher. (Cool trick! Thanks, Pythagoras!)

But… recently I realized that children can also investigate timbre in fresh and interesting ways by plucking a variety of strings.

I bring a variety of string instruments…

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