Musical Glasses

What you need: Five kitchen glasses, table knife, tap water (parents will need to help young children–we don’t want broken glass!)

What you do:  Fill each glass with varying amounts of water until you have a “penta-scale” (5 finger scale, as in C-D-E-F-G). The more water in the glass, the lower the pitch. Experiment with water levels until you have “tuned” the glasses. (This is an excellent ear training exercise for your child.) The pitches do not have to match C-D-E-F-G on the piano, but each tone should be one step (one note higher) than the previous one.  The interval you are listening for is a “second.” (as in the first two pitches of “Happy Birthday” or “Do Re Mi”.) Once you have tuned your glasses, play simple five-finger position songs from your child’s book, or one of the assigned “mystery songs.” For best results, use the handle edge of the knife on the side of the glass. Older children may try playing familiar melodies on the glasses and have you guess what they are playing!

Suggested familiar tunes:  Jingle Bells, Mary Had a Little Lamb, Ode to Joy

Bonus activity: Add one more note to the scale (“A”), enabling you to play the following songs:  Pop Goes the Weasel, Twinkle Twinkle Little Star, London Bridge

Extra bonus activity: Add two additional glasses, creating an 8-note scale! You can play: Do-Re-Mi, Sarasponda, Three Blind Mice, and more!

Have fun! Students, help your mom wash the glasses afterward!