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An original musical instrument for the crib: the tongue drum

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Purchasing musical instruments in daycare centers can quickly become a Chinese headache. Should you prefer xylophones, metallophones or drums? Or should you rather go for wind instruments like flutes and trumpets for children?

And why not go with one of the latest developments in the music industry: the reed drum?

An inventory of the pros and cons of these five instruments once they get into the hands of our little darlings.

Xylophone and metallophone: learn about sounds and colors!

Xylophones and metallophones have several advantages for them:

- Learning sounds,

- learn colors,

- outlasting time.

The leaves of xylophones and metallophones are usually colored or have self-adhesive colored circles. These colored circles make it possible to materialize the spot to be struck with the mallets.

They also allow children to become familiar with the colors while discovering the sounds. They usually have between 8 and 18 tones.

Their resistance is also an important asset. It is known that children aged 1 to 3 years are not very careful with instruments. So, in any case, they should not pick up anything fragile or dangerous. 

The drum and the sound like a wave

The drum has a great advantage compared to all other instruments. It can be used to show children that sound is a wave.

Even though they won't fully understand the concept, they can understand the sound for what it is: a wave. If they put rice on the membrane and see it bounce out when the drum is beaten, they can grasp the sound for what it is: a wave.

This visualization of the effects of sound also allows for an analogy to how the ear works, and the eardrum in particular. Being three years old and knowing that the eardrum is a membrane is made possible by the membrane of the drum.

The only disadvantage of this instrument is precisely the fragility of the membrane. A child who walks backwards and falls when he sits on it, and the membrane is broken.

The same goes for those who get the bad idea of using the baton as a spear.

Trumpet flutes do not increase lung capacity.

Don't go about buying flutes and trumpets with the idea that by doing so you will boost the lung capacity of the little wolves.

It is an idea that often appears in the collective subconscious: players of wind instruments would have a better lung capacity than the average person.

Only: Although Usain Bolt is now recognized in the music world, it wasn't trumpet playing that won him his gold medals in the 100-meter dash. Nor, for that matter, to anyone other than him.

To prove it, researchers evaluated flute players, and it turned out that their higher breathing capacity was actually whistle [1].

Now all that was left to do was to compare the flute players with the trumpeters. This was done by another team to show that their respective lung capacities were not exceptional [2].

The main problem that arises is not so much the intrinsic quality of these wind instruments, but their sound when the little Smurfs blow into them.

We all know the hullabaloo these improvised orchestras cause. There are better instruments for the caregiver's composure, especially the Tongue Drum.

The tongue drum: beautiful sound, beautiful resistance.

The tongue drum is an instrument of the new generation. A beautiful discovery of the 21st century (2007), it belongs to the percussion instruments like the drum.

It is a pentatonic or heptatonic idiophone that produces very soft sounds and a particularly deep rhythm, well suited for meditation.

Like the drum, it does not need to be tuned and does not require any special care. Once purchased, it will last a lifetime.

Its high durability makes it the perfect companion for children, who can take it anywhere due to its small size and relatively light weight.

The numbering of the steel reeds, which is directly integrated into the instrument, allows a first contact with the numbers.

It is the smartest choice among the instruments we just discussed, along with xylophones and metallophones.

Try our tongue drum now by clicking here.

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[1] Atmungsmechanik von Berufsflötisten, Cossette, 24. April 2008, doi: RMR-04-2002-19-2-0761-8425-101019-ART11.

Externer Link: https://www.em-consulte.com/article/151339/mecanique-respiratoire-des-flutistes-professionnel

[2] Respiratory Function in Wind Instrument Players, Bouros, Protogerou u.a., Materia Socio Medica, 30. Oktober 2018, doi: 10.5455/msm.2018.30.204-208.

Externer Link: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6195392/