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Music at the Morris

The Music at the Morris exhibition has opened! Come see the history of music in the south and look below to make your own diy harmonica.

Terry Rowlett, The Dance, 1999. Oil on canvas. © Terry Rowlett. Morris Museum of Art, Augusta, Georgia.


DIY HARMONICA


Supplies:

  • 2 popsicle sticks or craft sticks

  • 1 wide rubber band

  • 2 smaller rubber bands

  • a plastic straw

Instructions:

  1. Cut two approximately 1 inch pieces off the end of your straw

  2. Wrap the wide rubber band lengthwise around one popsicle stick

  3. Take one piece of straw and tuck it under the rubber band on one end of the popsicle stick

  4. Place the other piece of straw on top of the rubber band on the other end of the popsicle stick

  5. Place your other popsicle stick on top, and wrap a small rubber band around each end of the popsicle sticks

  6. Blow into your harmonica, just like you would a real harmonica!  It’s tempting to think you need to hum, like with a kazoo, but a simple blow will do the trick!

You can try the same activity with tooth picks, instead of straws.

Listen to the sound your harmonica makes.  If you move the two straws closer together or farther apart, how does the sound change?  What happens when you pinch the harmonica together more with your fingers or your lips?

Sound is the energy produced by vibration.  When you bang a drum, the boom sound comes from the drum surface vibrating at very high speed – so fast you can’t even always see it move!

The vibration carries through the air and into your ear.  Once your eardrum starts to vibrate, the brain interprets that vibration as sound.

When you blow into your harmonica, the straws and rubber bands start to vibrate from the force of your breath, causing the sound you hear.

Explore how other sounds are accompanied by vibrations as you go about your day!

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