Splash! Gurgle! Drip! Listen closely-there's an aquatic symphony to be discovered in the movement of water. Don't believe us? Just ask your children.
Kids often seem to have an innate ear for water music, a capability that unfortunately fades as the years go by if not tuned or developed. From a chorus of raindrops pelting a rooftop to the satisfying splash of galoshes in a puddle, children delight in the varying sounds of water.
As water interacts with the world around it, it makes music. Listen to the crescendo of a rushing stream over river stones. Blow through a straw into a full drinking glass to start bubbling melodies. Plunk water balloons or full jugs to make deep bass sounds. Water sings, and children hear.
t Kohl Children's Museum in Glenview, kids can explore the world of water and sound. In the Water Works exhibit (intentionally positioned next to the Music Makers exhibit), there are a number of ways to make water music. The most noticeable way is by aiming and squirting jets of water against cowbells, gongs, and wind chimes to make a more traditional music.
Open your imagination, though, and the water room can become an orchestra. There's the high-pitched treble of spray droplets hitting the surface a small pool, accented by the deep baritone rush of a whooshing waterfall. Rhythmic splashes and splunks can be made with conveyor belt buckets scooping water into a dump tank. Where a closed mind might hear just noise, a vivid imagination picks out a melodic streaming composition.
There's a brilliant moment in the 1985 film The Color Purple in which Whoopi Goldberg sits in her living room as drops of rain plunk through a leaky roofs into strategically-placed pots. As she reads a letter from her sister in Africa, the sounds of the raindrops gradually transform into the tribal beat of native African drummers. Music is there; we just have to hear it.
For more information, visit www.kohlchildrensmuseum.org.
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