theremin virgin!

Posted: 2/24/2006 1:25:54 PM

Joined: 12/26/2005

no haven't given up although i haven't
done much serious practise recenlty. I took my theremin into school last week and the children loved it. They were absolutley fascinated!

good to have it working properly again.

thanks for all your help along the way!

Posted: 2/28/2006 8:48:58 AM

From: Jax, FL

Joined: 2/14/2005

My son's school has a parent's talent day thing every year where the moms and dads get to play music or demonstrate art skills or whatever to the students.

I have been thinking about bringing the theremin to it this year and letting the kids have at it.

I want to get really good at doing a few tunes with no accompaniment, though. I am fine in a band setting where I can adjust the notes here and there when I miss.

I think it could be a good lesson in both science and music for them.

Posted: 3/2/2006 3:32:38 PM

From: Hillsborough, NC (USA)

Joined: 2/13/2005

You HAVE to do this! Think about how many young minds you could be molding (in a good way). If you end up doing it, please post about how it went. What fun!
Posted: 3/3/2006 10:07:19 AM

From: Jax, FL

Joined: 2/14/2005

If I don't do the parent talent thing I may just talk to the music teacher and see if she would be interested in having me give a little demo.

It could be a "hands-off" demonstration.
Posted: 3/3/2006 3:27:33 PM

Joined: 12/26/2005

i am a music teacher and would totally agree that theremin's should get into schools! I played the kids some tunes that they would recognise like twinkle twinkle little star. They were totally fasconated with how it worked and tried out different ways of making it work. The boys in particular were really fascinated. Go for it - even if it sounds a bit dodgey the children will love it...
Posted: 3/3/2006 5:14:50 PM

From: Croxley Green, Hertfordshire, UK

Joined: 10/5/2005

Hi Hels, I have a question for you as a primary music teacher...

If you did not know what a theremin was and a parent asked if he might bring his in to show the children, what information would be useful to you in terms of making practical arrangements and devising a lesson plan to make the most of the visit.

For instance - need to be close to a mains outlet - need twenty minutes set-up time - might be an idea to start with the children all copying the thereminist as he plays "air theremin" and sings "ooooeeeeooo" so they get the idea before they play the instrument - knowing that the theremin music is very evocative, might want to end with the children listening to a performance and writing poems or painting pictures inspired by the music.

Also, what advice would you give to the parent?
Posted: 3/4/2006 11:52:04 AM

Joined: 12/26/2005

ok, let me see... lots of ideas so i'll just throw them down and you can pick out what you like:

1. theremin could fit into work being done on pitch or linking music and ICT

2. start by asking the children how they think you make the theremin work - they will suggest twiddling the knobs etc. Then ask a child to walk towards it - ask them to describe what is happening. would it work with just your head moving? would it work if we moved a stick instead of our hand?

4. explain how it works - if anyone could write a child friendly explanation of how a theremin works i would love it!! i don't really get it myself.

5. demonstrate making the theremin get higher and lower. Ask the children to make a physical movement as you change pitch e.g. raising/lowering their arms, gradually standing up/sitting down

6. demonstrate the volume aerial. One child could work the pitch aerial, another could work the volume aerial

7. Play them a piece they will recognise - over the rainbow, a nursery rhyme. - make sure they give you a big clap!!

8. There is a virtual theremin availble online and some lesson ideas at
which the music teacher may want to use to follow up your visit. I can't say whether it's any good as i seem to have a problem with getting the thermein to work. If you manage it, let me know what it's like.

9. some schools may have access to a soundbeam (a little similar to a theremin, used with special needs children) that the children could use after your visit.

hope that helps - if you go into school let me know how it goes - and if you're in the southampton/portsmouth area you can visit my schools any time! We could do duets!!

Posted: 3/4/2006 11:53:35 AM

Joined: 12/26/2005

ps love the idea of children drawing pictures inspired by a piece! poems would depend on the age group / ability of the children
Posted: 3/4/2006 12:24:03 PM

From: Kansas City, Mo.

Joined: 8/23/2005

Hi, Hels!

My personal "Reader's Digest" explanation of how the Theremin works is:

The Theremin has two antennae that sense the position of the performer's hands. The performer creates music by moving his/her hands in midair without touching the instrument.
Posted: 3/4/2006 3:05:54 PM

Joined: 12/26/2005

thanks - i like it, but how is a question that the kids always ask? is it electricity, magnets???


ps i know i should know!

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