Zero Waste Musical Instruments
Set of 3 wooden instruments (for children over 3)
Zero waste musical instruments can mean buying recycled or buying more sustainable options. Learning a musical instrument is great, and could even lead to a nice job later in life. But there are quite a few issues. Although most pianos are no longer made with ivory, we still have guitars and other instruments made from endangered woods, and some guitar picks are made from tortoiseshell and endangered species.
Many violin and harp strings are made from cat gut (not from cats, but from other animals like sheep and cows). And many modern instruments are made from plastic. Drums can also be made from animal skins, and some harmonicas are made with animal parts.
wooden bird xylophone (18 months plus)
- If you are buying instruments, choose secondhand or look for ones made with more sustainable and ethical materials. If buying new, buy synthetic violin strings and synthetic harp strings).
- You can donate unwanted musical instruments to Sistema England who give playable strings, woodwind, brass and percussion instruments to children who would like to learn.
- Music & Memory is a charity that takes donated unwanted iPads, and gives them to dementia patients. Often music from the past is the only thing to trigger happy memories. Chiltern Music Therapy has also developed the first iPod Pharmacy. This initiative takes unwanted MP3 players, and cleans them up, before loading with tailored music to help stimulate, soothe & engage patients.
The Power of Good Music
The healing power of music therapy is well known. In her book Music Medicine, music therapist Christine Stevens writes of how a disabled boy in Africa sways to the beat of the drums, temporarily forgetting his disability. It’s only when the music stops that his leg goes numb again.
- How to Play the Piano can teach you how to play Bach’s Prelude No 1 in C Major in 6 weeks, with 45 minutes practice a day, even if you’ve never played piano before. Learn how to read music, the difference between the treble and bass clef and sharp or flat notes.
- Tales from the Music Therapy Room invites readers to share their encounters on the benefits, with thoughtful writing and beautiful illustrations. Find a music therapist at Nordic Robbins.
- Playing for Change links talented musicians worldwide virtually, to perform concerts to link communities, and promote world peace.
- The Bravest Man in the World is the true story of Mr Wallace Hartley, a musician on the Titanic. As he watched others get rescued in lifeboat after the ship hit an iceberg, he and his band bravely played on, to calm the remaining crew and passengers. His body was found 2 weeks later (fully dressed, with a music case strapped to his body) and there is a bust of him in the Lancashire town of Colne.
I’m playing all the right notes – but not necessarily in the right order. Eric Morecambe (to conductor André Previn)