Music hath charms of its own, as a creative expression and as a specific camp activity, but it also has a close relationship with such other camp activities as dramatics and arts and crafts. Many projects in the crafts field will help campers enjoy music activities. Simple instruments for rhythm bands, for Indian ceremonials, and for campfire music can be made by campers. Many dramatic presentations call for music; and musical presentations call for scenery, props, and costumes when ballads, action songs, and singing games are presented. Puppets and shadowgraphs will be fun to use to illustrate favorite songs. Some instruments, such as shepherd's pipes, can be made by campers, and cases for such instruments may be part of the project.
The camp's library of sheet music, song books, and records can be protected with books, folders, or special files made and decorated with craft skills.
Music is a good accompaniment to some activities; finger painting, for example, may be helped by the rhythm of a smooth-flowing tune. Murals for the library or "music room" may well depict characters and scenes from folk songs, especially those of Indian or pioneer origin. Folk songs that tell the story of those who lived out-of-doors, like gypsies, cowboys, or sailors, are good ones for camps, and with Indian and pioneer songs, provide background for special events that call for posters, invitations, or decorations (see Chap. XVII).
Books or sheets to preserve copies of camp songs, or to keep the camp's collection of original songs, can be made in the same manner as logbooks (see Chaps. V and X) with leather or wood covers.
The books may be bound, but loose-leaf books are better for changes and additions as the years pass. For easy identification, single songs can be mounted on colored construction paper; sea songs might be on blue, nature songs on green, hiking songs on brown, and so forth. Library files for such song sheets can be made from cardboard boxes. Files for phonograph records may be edged in different colored tapes for ease in sorting and identifying. Such files and folders for songs or records can be decorated with stencils, prints, or sketches (see Chaps. VII and VIII). Covers for the camp's song books can be made and stenciled with the camp symbol, and mending or re-covering such books can be a fine rainy-day service project for campers.
Ballads and action songs call for scenery, costumes, and props. Many folk songs and action songs will lend themselves to shadowgraphs, puppet shows, and flannelgraphs, as campers illustrate their singing at campfires or on rainy days (see Chap. XIII). Costuming for singing games and for square and other dances will be part of the campfires that include such activities.
Rhythm Sticks, Sand Blocks, Rattles, etc., for Rhythm Bands
Rhythm sticks are about 12" long, thick. They are sanded and shellacked or varnished, and are used as drumsticks or to click together. Plain sticks do not have the "ring" that shellacked sticks have. Sticks can be decorated before finishing (Fig. XIV-3 a).
Sand blocks are made of blocks of wood, about 4" long, 3" wide, and 5/8" deep, with coarse sandpaper glued or tacked on the bottom. Handles of leather or cloth or small pieces of wood help in handling the blocks. The blocks should be well sanded, and decorated (Fig. XIV-3 b).
Rattles are made of gourds, tin cans, cardboard or wooden boxes, and so forth. They may be decorated in many ways, either in a free hand or in a stylized manner. Pebbles, seeds, tiny shells, small nuts, and similar hard objects may be used to make the "rattle" inside the case. Handles may be made of whittled sticks inserted in the case. Experimentation will produce variety in sound from the different sizes, shapes, and materials used inside the rattles. Hawaiian and Mexican rattles sometimes have feather trimmings. Rattles are important accessories in Indian dancing (Fig. XIV-3 c).
These are all made in similar fashion: a piece of material is stretched over a round case of wood, metal, or some natural object such as a gourd or cross section of a hollow log. The stretched material may be unbleached muslin, sailcloth, rubber, leather, or oiled paper. Cloth such as unbleached muslin can be treated with shellac or airplane cement to stiffen it; oiled paper may be obtained by rubbing melted wax into heavy brown wrapping paper. Material is stretched tightly over the head of the drum or tom-tom, and held in place with rubber bands, tacks, or lacing that holds the top and bottom pieces together. Material treated after being stretched into place will shrink in drying. Heads and sides of the instruments can be decorated in many ways (Fig. XIV-4).
These true woodland instruments can be made of bamboo. They are good projects for campers who have progressed beyond the novice class in crafts, and who have an "ear" for music. Full details on making and playing shepherd's pipes may be found in pamphlets listed at end of this chapter.
These may intrigue older campers, and will add much fun and music to campfire and informal singing (Fig. XIV-6).
These instruments may be made with graduated pieces of wood that "ring" when tapped with a small wooden hammer. The crosspieces are sanded and polished, and graduated on a base (Fig. XIV-7). A small hammer may be made by whittling a ball, and inserting a small stick for a handle. Experimentation is needed to catch the right tone of the wooden crosspieces, but an octave of eight notes can be made by placing graduated pieces of wood-longest piece is about 12" long, 11/2" wide, 5/8" thick. A strip of felt is placed on the base sticks, and small holes drilled in the crosspieces, to be fastened with a small brad (Fig. XIV-7).
Cases can be made by following the general directions for making patterns and cases in Chapter V (Leatherwork). Leather or cloth cases for recorders or pipes, for harmonicas, and for other instruments will be valued by those who own such instruments. Methods of decoration suitable to the material used will individualize the cases (Fig. XIV-8).