Instrument Lab with the Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra

We teamed up with the Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra for Instrument Lab. They did a show and tell with their instruments, and we did a hands-on workshop where kids (and adults) could make a D.I.Y. Kalimba.

The Kalimba is an African musical instrument consisting of a wooden board with attached staggered metal tines, played by holding the instrument in the hands and plucking the tines with the thumbs. They are sometimes referred to as a marímbula or a thumb piano. “Kalimba” is a Bantu word which means “little music”.

We made our Kalimbas using a piece of pine, a few nails, some eye bolts and nuts, and some pieces of spring steel. Mike and Becky took turns leading the workshop and walking people through building them. Kids and adults worked together, which is good, because sometimes it’s hard to hold everything in place and tighten the nuts.

We also had MSO musicians showing off a French Horn, Clarinet, and Oboe. The kids got to see how the instruments worked, got to touch them, and got to hear a bit of a performance from each musician. Who knows? Some of the kids may be future orchestral performers.