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Ministry of Education.

Learning task 5

To view the second video clip - click here

Language and literacy intention(s) We are learning to look at similarities and differences of musical instruments from different cultural contexts
Opportunities for key competencies development Thinking
Using Language Symbols & Text
Participating & Contributing
Relating to Others
Managing Self
Principles and values coherence High Expectations
Learning to Learn

Big Idea - Musical instruments must make the air vibrate before we can hear music.
Based on the Big Ideas in the previous activities the teacher invites students to experience and share their knowledge and understanding of musical instruments from different cultural backgrounds.

The teacher will introduce and focus on Maori and Pasifika instruments of the past using a range of materials available to schools.

Opportunities to read to, establish or further understanding can be initiated by using the following resources as either; a starting point in guided reading, shared reading or oral language or continually throughout the Sound Unit.

Part 2 Number 2 2009
Taonga Puoro – exploring traditional Maori instruments and their significant roles

Part 1 Number 1 2001
Make a Purerehua (Porotiti)
Part 3 Number 2 2010
Call Of The Conch – exploring the significance of the conch shell /Foafoa in Samoa. This article also talks about how to make a Foafoa.

Part 4 Number 2 1997
Make your own Kōauau  

Connected 2 1998
Amazing Sound
The Bone Studio and Gallery
Nga Taonga Puoro Traditional Maori Musical Instruments
The Pūrerehua

The Pūrerehua was used for luring lizards, summoning rain and attracting a soul mate and several could be played together at a tangi.

The Pūrerehua is also known as a ‘Bull Roarer’. Māori made these traditional instruments out of bone, wood or stone and they are blade-like and swing on a long cord producing a loud deep whirring that can be heard from a distance. The pitch can be varied by the speed that you swing the Pūrerehua.

You can make your own Pūrerehua by using a ruler and a piece of string.

What You Need

  • A 30cm ruler with a hole drilled in one end (a piece of wood the same size as a 30cm ruler)
  • A piece of string 1.5 metres long

What You Do

Tie one end of the string through the hole in the ruler

Hold the end of the string and swing the ruler (Pūrerehua) around like a helicopter blade.

Try shortening the string to see what effect this has on the sound.

Spin the ruler in the opposite direction to see if this makes a difference.

The Pūrerehua was more blade shaped. Would this make a different sound?

What to Look For:

  • Can the student explain how the noise is produced?
  • Have they noticed the change in pitch with the speed of the swing?

Student inquiry as a result of the Big Idea focus:

As a result of generating some base knowledge around the Pūrerehua and Foafoa all students are then encouraged to actively explore & inquire in order to:

  • gain information within their family and community about instruments that are of cultural significance (taonga);
  • share/demonstrate what the instrument is, how it
     works, and the significance of the instrument;
  • discuss in groups/class and make comparisons looking for similarities and differences
     (eg. There are a number of variables that the comparisons could be made by: Appearance; significance; tone; pitch; construction).

Published on: 21 Jan 2011