Music of the Earth

[vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]Happy Earth Day! Well…it will be Earth Day in a couple days. First observed in 1970, Earth Day is intended to bring awareness to environmental issues and our interconnectedness to the only home we’ve ever known. Carl Sagan Said it best:

“…That’s here. That’s home. That’s us. On it everyone you love, everyone you know, everyone you ever heard of, every human being who ever was, lived out their lives. ”

– Carl Sagan, Pale Blue Dot: A Vision of the Human Future in Space

Dr. Sagan was referring to a photo of the Earth taken on Valentines Day, 1990, by the Voyager 1 spacecraft from a distance of about 6 billion miles. Here’s that iconic image:

Pale_Blue_Dot[/vc_column_text][vc_column_text]That’s the Earth – Sagan’s Pale Blue Dot – the tiny speck in the yellowish beam of light. Puts things into a different perspective, doesn’t it?

Well, our perspective is music, and believe it or not, the Earth makes its own music; we just have to listen for it. Let’s explore Mother Nature’s symphony.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]

Singing Stones and Ringing Rocks

Yep. Stones can sing – and I’m not referring to Mick Jagger and Keith Richards (although, those guys can sing!).These amazing, natural rock formations can be found all over the globe, from Bucks County, Pennsylvania to Omaruru, Namibia. The rocks ring like a bell when struck, producing different tones depending on physical make up and size. Here’s the interesting thing: scientists still can’t come to a consensus on what causes the rocks to ring. Regardless, they still sound beautiful. Take a listen![/vc_column_text][vc_video link=”https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y5cJbcoWaH8″][vc_column_text]Interested in checking out ringing rocks for yourself? Here’s a list of locations over at Wikipedia.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]

The Sea Organ

Ok…this one is a bit of a stretch. In Zadar, Croatia, a human-made structure is played constantly by the waves of the sea. From the website, Odd Music:

The Sea Organ (morske orgulje) is is a natural musical instrument, seventy meters long with thirty-five organ pipes built under the concrete. The musical pipes are located so that the sea water and wind movements produce musical sounds that are heard by passers by so that it achieves a communication with nature and promotes a unity of architecture and environment. As sea forces and energies are unpredictable in terms of tides and winds, this organ offers [a] never-ending concert of numerous musical variations in which the performer is nature itself.

That’s the key here, friends – nature itself is the player of this instrument. If there ever was an example of humanity and the earth coming together to make music, this is it. Have a listen – it’s mesmerizing.[/vc_column_text][vc_video link=”https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YREFMRGMzLU”][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]

Aeolus – The Wind Sculpture

The Aeolus Acoustic Wind Pavilion - photo: newatlas.com
The Aeolus Acoustic Wind Pavilion – photo: newatlas.com

This piece of art, created by Luke Jerram, falls into the same category as the Sea Organ; this is on a smaller scale but no less beautiful. Here is a human-made instrument designed to be played by one of the earth’s forces – the wind. In Greek Mythology, Aeolus was the ruler of the winds, so the sculpture is aptly named. Consisting of 310 stainless steel pipes with some containing suspended harp strings, Aeolus is always being played whenever the wind is blowing.

For some time, the sculpture was traveling around England but now has a permanent home in Canary Wharf, London. If you’re there, check it out![/vc_column_text][vc_video link=”https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9_2Fkqkiuj0″][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]We certainly have done much with music as a civilization, but remember, the oldest musician around is the Earth itself. Beyond sounds of the planet, other inhabitants make music from bird songs and whale songs to the buzzing bees and howling wolves. Music is all around us. Take some time this week to go outside, maybe to a park, and listen to the music of nature. You might just find some inspiration for your own music![/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row]

10 ways to celebrate Earth Day with little kids

Kindermusik Green - Sustainability

Happy Earth Day! Today (and every day, truth be told) we celebrate the beautiful world Kindermusik Green - Sustainabilityaround us. After all, working (and playing, singing, and dancing!) with children brings out the best in us. They teach us to pause and notice the beauty in the tiniest of details. Through the eyes of a child, a puddle becomes a splashing adventure; a caterpillar provides a reason to giggle as it creeps up an arm; and a stick morphs into just about anything.
At Kindermusik, protecting the earth is a process. It doesn’t happen overnight—kind of like raising a child. It takes deliberate, consistent steps. (You can see how we actively seek ways to reduce our carbon footprint as a company.) Today, however, we celebrate Earth Day the best way we know how—by involving the youngest members of our world in the process! So, we hope you enjoy 10 of our favorite ways to celebrate Earth Day—and teach kids about sustainability—with these kid-friendly activities from Pinterest!

10 activities for kids to celebrate Earth Day!

  1. Fine Motor Play with Recyclable Materials. Use paper towel or toilet paper rolls, egg containers, and duct tape to create a fun “fine motor skills center” for toddlers and preschoolers. Young children will enjoy the playtime and you will model for them how to re-use and recycle materials!
  2. Recycled Outdoor Music Station. Make this with children and play with it all year! Young children will enjoy designing and decorating their own little musical symphony.
    (Source: http://mynearestanddearest.com/)
    (Source: http://mynearestanddearest.com/)
  3. Earth Day Hunt. Go on a nature treasure hunt with little ones. Provide them with a list of things to look for on your walk, such as “collect three rocks” or “make a leaf rubbing.” Consider taking a small bag to pick up trash along the way, too! 
  4. 20 Family-Friendly Books about the Environment. Looking for a good book about the environment to read with young children? This list will get you started! Plus, it will teach kids about sustainability and support early literacy skills.
  5. Go on a Virtual Field Trip to learn about and listen to the Landfill Harmonic. 
  6. Make a Recycling Bin with Children. Use a trashcan and some paint to decorate a recycling can for the entire family. Then talk about (and show) the different types of things you can recycle. Children love to contribute to the family or class, so give a child “the job” of recycling certain items, such as plastic water bottles or juice containers. 
  7. Go bird watching (and listening!). Bird watching celebrates key Kindermusik skills of listening and engaging and helps children notice the world right outside their window. After your bird walk, sing along with Kindermusik bird songs and use instruments to mimic birdcalls.
  8. Create a “plant pal” by planting grass seeds. Children learn best by engaging all of their senses. Planting seeds and watching them grow gives them the opportunity to learn more about a plant’s life cycle. Toddlers and preschoolers will especially love this fun twist! When the grass grows long enough, give the “plant pal” a trim!
  9. Host a Recycled Dance Party. This party has it all—music, movement, and a fun way to learn more about recycling for kids. 
  10. Follow our “Living Green with Kids” board on Pinterest! Need even more ideas? Be sure to follow Kindermusik on Pinterest!

Contributed by Lisa Camino Rowell with a little help from her 8-year-old daughter and former Kindermusik student, Emerson. After all, living green with kids takes input from every family member!