A few weeks ago, I started a project with my adult groups, asking them to bring in some trashed materials so we could form a junk band. Pretty much everyone got in the act with varying degrees of creativity. Some people brought straight cans or bottles or cartons or plastic cake pans. Others made it into an art project, making shakers out of jars and beans, kazoos out of cardboard tubes, or cowbells out of Pringles cans. One guy even brought in some bubble wrap. It was fun making music with all of these things, and even more seeing what they came up with.
Last week, I was working on planning and listening to good ole Pandora, trying to come up with some ideas (that Pickle song came on again…I still hate it). That when this song came on:
I have a couple of adolescents with autism that I work with. They are both very into Disney stuff, and one in particular really likes the Muppets. And I thought, well, why don’t I try this with them? I showed that video to the Muppet fan last week, and he loved it. This week, he brought in a guitar made out of a ziti box. Two rubber bands were stretched around the box, with a pencil taped underneath the hole to form the bridge. He showed me how to press the bands to change the sound.
This really impressed me, and that feeling wasn’t lessened when he admitted that his dad was the one that made it (he had the idea before leaving last week, and I’m not grading him anyway). I’m going to have to remember the technique for future reference. Anyway, he really got a kick out of the process, and enjoyed going through the box of junk from the adults.
I’ll be trying it with the other adolescent tomorrow. He’s never shown that much enthusiasm for Muppets, having a particular dislike for the relationship between Kermit and Miss Piggy. If you think about it, he has a point – a pig and a frog? Romantically involved? Really? But he might go for Oscar and the Grouches. We’ll see. But I’m really glad I found this song, and I plan to use it into the future. I’m not crazy about this video, particularly because it seems like there are synthesized instruments at various places, but it’s the best I can do with visuals. The audio version is much better.
Thanks for reading!