Do you know what a Lagerphone is? If you know who The Bush Wackers are (were?), or if you went to a lot of bush dances in your day, then you probably know what I’m talking about. If not, then think of a stick with lots of metal bottle caps hammered into it, and when you bash it with another stick or tap it on the ground it makes a noise. I guess you could say it is a ‘traditional Australian percussion instrument’, if you wanted to get technical.
When our big boy asked if we could make a musical instrument, initially I was going to go with the easy to make, but somewhat boring, shaker. But then I had an idea…. I have vague memories of making a lagerphone as a child and loving it, so I decided that we’d go all out and make our own. Sadly, we are not a beer drinking family, nor do we drink anything else that comes with a metal bottle cap… so ours is not a traditional lagerphone and it doesn’t sound quite the same, so we renamed it the ‘Music Stick’.
Make Your Own music Stick
To make your very own Music Stick you need a decent sized stick, we used an old tent pole sawn in half. You need some bottle caps – we used a selection of plastic bottle caps, but it sounds even better if you use metal ones, and you need some nails with large heads.
Because we used plastic bottle caps I needed to melt holes in them first by carefully heating a metal skewer and pushing it through each cap, make sure you do this outside because the melted plastic smells terrible (If you are using metal bottle caps you can just nail straight through them). Then hammer your bottle caps onto your stick, make sure you don’t hammer the nail all the way in, the bottle cap needs to be loose so it jiggles around.
To add a bit more jingle and pizzazz to our music stick we added some bells and streamers to the top. And to save our hard wood floors we added a piece of fleece padding to the bottom.
How do you play your music stick?
That’s easy! You tap it on the ground in time to the music. Or you can shake and jiggle it. Or you can even tap it with another smaller stick! Here’s a quick video of Morgan playing his music stick.
The music he is playing along to is Songs of Connection by Alice Garrick at Alice Makes Music. The lovely Alice sent us a copy of her CD to listen to and we absolutely adore it. The CD is has some great songs on it. Of course my big boy likes the dinosaur songs and the girls like ‘Mad as a Wet Hen’…. and I’m often wandering around the house humming and singing “Lil Lil Lil Lil Lil…..”. This is not a CD of computer generated, teeny bopper, or cutsey kids songs…. it’s lovely, real, folksy music that is a joy to listen to.
You can listen to Alice’s music on her website and also buy the CD or download the album from there.