Beethoven for Kids –His Life and Music by Helen Bauer contains 21 contemporary activities to interest children. Read about this famous 18th century musician who played the harpsichord and mbira and try your hand at makingathumb piano (p53). Here’s how:
You will need: 4” x 1” Piece of wood, Sandpaper, Poster or acrylic paint, 4 Craft or Popsicle sticks, white glue, 2 rubber bands, 4 large metal bobby pins, Wire cutters, Tape, 10 pushpins
Dad & Kid Activity
- Sand the wood to make it smooth.
- Paint wood block and craft sticks to decorate. Dry thoroughly.
- Glue 2 craft sticks side by side across the piece of wood, 1-inch down from one end.
- Keep thumb down in the centre of the sticks. Stretch rubber bands across and under wood to hold craft sticks in place while glue dries.
- Bend open a bobby pin to form the long key. Measure the bobby pin so that it touches the craft sticks and reaches to the end of the wood, without extending over it.
- Have an adult cut off excess of bobby pin with wire cutters.
- Bend open remaining bobby pins. To vary pitch, cut each key a bit shorter than the one before.
- Place keys across the piano and tape ends to craft sticks to hold them in place. Wrap rubber bands around end of sticks to keep them in place while they dry.
- Stick 2 pushpins through craft sticks around either side of bobby pin key into wooden board.
- Bend each key ½ inch away from wood.
- Pluck keys with your thumb.
Check out this Youtube video of a guy who did a similar project.
This book is available at Singapore’s Public Libraries.