Homemade instruments inspire Brookfield music class - WFMJ.com News weather sports for Youngstown-Warren Ohio

Homemade instruments inspire Brookfield music class

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BROOKFIELD TOWNSHIP, Ohio -

We all have a certain idea in our head about what music class looks and sounds like, but in Brookfield that's a much different picture. One teacher is using the concept of why and how instruments make the sounds they do to get students thinking about music in a new way.

That haunting sound is coming from a 2x4 with some picture wire. On this day it's part of Dan Danch's 5th grade music class.

"All the time, there's something around you that you can use to make music," said Danch, who is in his second year teaching K-12 music in the district.

So while he does have all the more traditional instruments in the music room, he's just as likely to throw together a few pieces of PVC pipe.

"I think it's really important to understand how these sounds are made, like what physically causes the sounds, because then with that knowledge you can be a better musician with anything. You can diagnose problems with your instrument. You can create instruments," said Danch.

One of the coolest parts of this lesson is showing the kids that you don't have to spend a whole lot of money, you don't even need to buy an actual instrument to make some actual music.

"We're not just talking about it one way, like 'we're just learning to play recorder and these are the notes.' We're going to talk about how the instrument works and a little bit of the history of the instrument and the language of the instrument," said Danch. "So it's going to catch something for someone that appeals to them to say that's what I'm into."

It appeals to a wide variety of students while also hitting on a wide variety of subjects, all in one music class.

"I have a language unit where we talk about lyrics for songs and language composition and phonation, like how our mechanism actually works that we can speak," said Danch. "I talk of course of about science, the mathematics of how sound waves occur."

So while he's not expecting any professional straw-flute players to come out of the program, he is challenging the way the students see the world and quite possibly providing a new soundtrack for their future.

Danch says, he's thankful that the school's administration supports his vision, which has now expanded to include a group of bucket drummers who have performed at athletic events.

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