Have you ever heard of the Vibraphone? Our piano keyboards in our KRF classroom have a special setting called the vibraphone which is similar in appearance to the xylophone, marimba, and glockenspiel. The vibraphone, like the piano, is considered a percussion instrument. Most people think a percussion instrument is only found in the drum family, but it is actually any instrument that is played by striking.
Vibraphones have been around since 1927, and were designed by an American named Henry Schluter.
The instrument looks like a piano with large brown-colored aluminum keys, arranged like the piano, but without the black and white colors. It even has a damper peddle like a piano. Since the keys are too large to be played with fingers, mallets are used to play them. Under the keys are metal tubes called resonators. Like a pipe organ, the size determines the pitch. They can be tuned. There is also a small motor to drive a disk inside the resonator.
Now when you select vibraphone on a keyboard, pretend that your fingers are long mallets hitting large keys that will resonate tubes.
My name is Vicki Woods, and I’ve worked at Kids Rock Free® for eight years.
I think my favorite thing about working here is that I love watching the kids grow, both in talent and inches. I just step back sometimes and marvel as I watch life unfold before my eyes.
Sometimes I look at a class that is really getting into a song, and I remember how some of them struggled at first. I remember a kid’s “light-bulb moment.” It’s great when they finally get it, how to do something on their own. Unfortunately, a teacher’s job is to work herself out of a job: that’s when a student takes the knowledge and runs with it. When they find their own voice, and mature into a true artist.
I love working for Kids Rock Free because we help instill good habits that apply to all aspects of life. Practice, persistence, determination, problem solving, are all things that music education brings. We also help kids find, within themselves, the optimism and confidence that they really do have the ability and the drive to learn.
I also try to show them how to practice efficiently, spending less time but accomplishing better results. This can be applied to homework habits, and scheduling chores to take less time. That will leave more time for fun!