“Wow, that’s so cool.” – L. Penguins
It’s the week of the elementary musical and through the midst of rehearsals, I wanted to have something cool for the students as a break. The preschool students’ theme is water, learning about the beach, ocean, and sea creatures. With that, I decide to show my students the water gong.
Taking a large box, I filled it about half way with water. Take note, a box filled with water is heavy! Then I played my gong and dunked it in the water. Very simple. For variations, I played the gong and then dipped it in and out of the water; another way was to have the gong start in the water, play it, and the move it up and down.
With each class, we talked about the sound of the gong and what we were hearing. How it sounds different when placed in the water, when struck in the water, and when being moved in and out of the water. They noticed the sounds slowed down and became lower. We even felt the vibrations on the box while the gong was played in the water. It sounded like ghosts to some students, and the wind to others.
The gong’s sound is composed of many frequencies (low, medium, and high) sounding at the same time. As the water moves around the gong, it alters the resonance and amplifies or reduces some of the frequencies, causing silly effects that make students laugh and giggle in their chairs.
We listened and explored the effects of water on the tone and pitch of the gong. The students learn the joy of wet musical play through playing the water gong.