New School Montessori teacher Nadja Nether shared her Brazilian heritage by taking her students on a “trip” to Brazil where they learned how Brazilians have used items from nature to create instruments and clay pots. Students learned how clay is taken from the ground, worked into coils and wound into different-shaped pots.
Dried seeds in gourds can be used as shakers to make music, but over the years percussion players have gotten a louder sound using other materials. One of the traditional Brazilian instruments the children made was a chocalho (meaning rattle in Portuguese) the other was a pandeiro (tambourine). The chocalho gets its rattly nature from clusters of tiny metal cymbals attached to a frame or stick that can be shaken to create loud jingles. The chocalho and the pandeiro are often used in samba music and require considerable muscle power to keep the rhythm going strong throughout the whole song.
Nadja marveled at children’s focus and enthusiasm as they made their pieces of art and created music together.