The Early Bird Can’t Hang Around Forever

OUR EARLY BIRD EXTENSION WILL END SOON!!

You can still get a 15% – $40-$50 – discount…
But not for much longer!!
REGISTER NOW & use “early bird” as the promo code.

Sign up for multiple weeks and GET $105-$125 OFF!

Additional siblings & referrals gets you even more discounts.

And don’t forget that the fee listed is the price you pay.
There are no other additional fees or taxes charged!

 

IN CASE YOU DON’T KNOW, MusiCamp is an excellent all-day (9am-4pm)summer day camp experience for kids (8-14 years) that explores music making in a positive environment, filled with activities that build your child’s musical skills and challenges their creativity in intuitive and fun ways.
The activities are designed to supplement traditional formal musical training but also be accessible to the less experienced… read more

 

THIS YEAR’S WEEKLY THEMES
The Blues

All the greats – from the Rolling Stones and Daft Punk to Beyonce and Katy Perry –  know the blues. So should you!

Composition & Song

Appeals to aspiring song writers and singers, with practical and fun hands on experience at composing and arranging!

Roots Music

Call on fiddlers, guitarists, ukulele and banjo players and others who just love to sing and harmonize. Special guest this week is acclaimed roots musician Hannah Naiman. (Rental of instruments can be arranged.)

West African Drumming

It’s all about polyrhythms and the GROOVE. No need for a drum, guest master drummer, Anna Melnikoff is bringing her chorus of dununs and djembes.

More about our camps themes and registration can be accessed here.

 

 

visit our Flickr Gallery – click on the images below

MusiCamp at a glance

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A Little Lax on the Early Bird…

OUR ORIGINAL MAY 1st EARLY BIRD EXTENSION
HAS COME & GONE BUT WE’RE A LITTLE LAX…

which means you can still get a 15% – $40-$50 – discount!
But this won’t last for long!!
REGISTER NOW & use “early bird” as the promo code.

Sign up for multiple weeks and GET $105-$125 OFF!

Additional siblings & referrals gets you even more discounts.

And don’t forget that the fee listed is the price you pay.
There are no other additional fees or taxes charged!

 

IN CASE YOU DON’T KNOW, MusiCamp is an excellent summer day camp experience for kids (8-14 years) that explores music making in a positive environment, filled with activities that build your child’s musical skills and challenges their creativity in intuitive and fun ways.
The activities are designed to supplement traditional formal musical training but also be accessible to the less experienced… read more

 

THIS YEAR’S WEEKLY THEMES
The Blues

All the greats – from the Rolling Stones and Daft Punk to Beyonce and Katy Perry –  know the blues. So should you!

Composition & Song

Appeals to aspiring song writers and singers, with practical and fun hands on experience at composing and arranging!

Roots Music

Call on fiddlers, guitarists, ukulele and banjo players and others who just love to sing and harmonize. Special guest this week is acclaimed roots musician Hannah Naiman. (Rental of instruments can be arranged.)

West African Drumming

It’s all about polyrhythms and the GROOVE. No need for a drum, guest mast drummer, Anna Melnikoff is bringing her chorus of dunks and djembes.

More about our camps themes and registration can be accessed here.

 

 

visit our Flickr Gallery – click on the images below

MusiCamp at a glance

Instrument Making at MusiCamp

Yes, these are real, playable instruments. They aren’t toys or kids’ versions. They are still played today and have an interesting social history worth telling. But best of all, they are fun to play and are excellent pedagogical tools for teaching musical concepts of tonality and harmony.

 

The Diddley Bow

The diddley bow is the instrument featured in the picture above on the left. As you can hear and see in the video below, the diddley bow is played with the neck of a glass bottle and a stick (though at MusiCamp we replace the glass bottle with a copper washer, it’s a little less dangerous). The result is very bluesy! No wonder the diddley bow is considered the precursor to the slide blues guitar.

The diddley bow is related to many different instruments found around the world (like the andibidi from the Congo, the umakweyana of West Africa, the dan bau of Vietnam, the gobichand of India). But this particular set up, a metal string expanded over wooden 2X4 (it used to be the wall or beam of house) with a metal or glass resonator, is of African American origin and emerged out of  the ugly social and economic conditions of slavery in the Southern United States.

More pictures of the diddley bow construction at MusiCamp can be found here.

The Bucket Bass

The featured image at the top of this post show three campers building/painting their bucket basses.

Below is a video of Andrea, MusiCamp’s director, and her son performing In The Highways Of The Hedges with the bucket bass. NOTE, you need headphones or good speakers to hear the bass because laptops and mobile devices tend to cut out the bottom end.

The bucket bass, closely related to the washtub or tea-chest bass, is not so different from the diddley bow. Both are one-stringed instruments and vary the tension on the string to alter pitch. The emergence and use of either the bucket, the washtub or the chest as a resonator is similarly linked to conditions of economic hardship.

For more information about the construction of the bucket bass visit our earlier post about making a washtub bass.

Cigar Box Diddley Bow

In 2015 we started making cigar box diddley bows as well (picture below).

cigarbox diddleybow

Diddley Bow Song

Must Hear! Especially the ending!!
Diddley Bow Song from the Rhythm & Stuff week at MusiCamp 2015.

 

A large part of MusiCamp is making instruments and the tin-can-2X4 diddley bow featured in this post is just one type of instrument campers can choose to make during their week at MusiCamp. This past week, these three campers decided to really explore the playing of the instrument and in particular drew from the instrument’s African origins. They based this song off of a Malawian song we heard from another Youtube video that discusses the history of the diddley bow – and it was so much fun to figure out and then play – and these guys did a great job getting the groove! Have a listen to them and make sure you listen to the end to hear their singing!

 

Malawi was probably used as an example in “The History of the Diddley Bow” video because Malawians were and are so successful at using recycled containers as resonators for homemade instruments and then creating music that is exciting and fun yet distinctly Malawian. I spent a few years in Malawi in the 1990s and especially recall the Malawian Chibuku beer box guitar!

 

The diddley bow, as seen in the above video, with tin resonator attached to wooden 2X4, is believed to be an African American origins, though it is related to many different instruments found around the world, like the andibidi from the Congo, the umakweyana of West Africa, the dan bau of Vietnam, the gobichand of India. More information on instrument making at MusiCamp can be accessed here.

 

By the way, in case you are wondering, the Rhythm & Stuff week was originally scheduled as West African Drumming Camp; however, because we didn’t have enough registrants (we needed 7 registrants to run the drumming) we ran an alternative program that involved lots of rhythm fun, including lots of body percussion as well as beatboxing, rhythm games and some hand drumming and singing.

 

More Home Made Diddley Bos at MusiCamp

Diddley bos are the precursor to the slide guitar and arguably the first blues instrument. We had intended to make these instruments only during Blues summer camp session but the kids loved them so much we made them every week! Not only that, we incorporated them into the music making of each week – quite a satisfying experience!

Click the picture below to view larger gallery of pics and video.

MusiCamp Diddley Bo, summer camp, kids, music

MusiCamp’s Homemade Diddley Bos

Surprisingly, I got the pics of the DIDDLEY BOs up earlier than I thought. Enjoy! By the way, exploring the acoustic properties of these instruments, we played with different resonators (a bottle for the instructor versus different size tins for campers), using a wooden block as a bridge or not, as well as the placement of the resonator. As you can see, campers were spectacularly creative in how they painted their diddley bos as well!

 

Making A Diddley Bo

The video below (click the picture) demonstrates a MusiCamp homemade diddley bo, which is the precursor to the slide guitar and arguably the first blues instrument.

In a few days (or maybe a few weeks ; )  ), I’ll post the whole lot of diddley bos campers made at MusiCamp in its inaugural Blues Week!

diddley bo, musicamp, toronto, summer camp, music

click on the picture to hear what a didley bo sounds like