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Around the World in 80 Instruments

Posted by Rosemoor Garden on 03 Sep 2009 at 11:39 AM

Australia week (17th – 23rd August), part of our Global Planthunter Adventures theme for the summer, was a great success with action packed events and activities happening everyday. The creepy crawly shows have had kids and parents on the edge of their seats and other novelties such as face painting and magic shows all added to the fun.

My focus was on the Wednesday when, with the help of my brother Rich and friend Tristan, I hosted two open musical sessions throughout the day, where visitors to the garden were encouraged to join in. The event was supposed to be held in our new picnic area in ‘The Brash’, but due to rainy weather, it took place in the lecture hall. Both sessions were well attended, so ‘No Worries’ either way.

The sessions started with an introduction of the Australian instrument - the Didgeridoo – where Tristan (our token Aussie), gave a short speech on its history followed by some musical demonstrations. We then got the kids and parents involved, arming them with drums, wobble boards and Aboriginal sticks to play along; starting with a simple beat at first allowing the didges to drone over the top. The children were a bit shy at first but soon came out of their shells, beating the drums, ‘trancing out’ and enjoying the music.


For the next half of the session we decided to take our audience on a musical tour around the world. This allowed us to open our bag of tricks introducing many more world wide instruments. We let the kids choose the destinations, taking us first to America where Tristan could play his slide guitar and harmonica in a blues – like fashion while we all jammed along with a subtle beat. Our next stop was Mongolia where Rich played some Trance music on his Jew’s Harp. India and Brazil came soon after, and then I could teach Bhangra rhythm as well as the fun but hectic Samba style. We played cow bells, triangles, maracas, and, you have probably guessed it – drums! Other countries visited were Egypt, Russia and Turkey.

We finished off by letting the kids have a musical jam of their own, involving nearly all of the instruments. Myself, Rich and Tristan walked around giving guidance and one-to-one tuition where needed.

With many fingers numb and eardrums ringing, all participants left, with gleaming smiles and warm musical glows, hopefully inspired to take up an instrument of their own. All in all a brilliant day, ‘fair dinkum!’

Starring Johnny Bongo, Rich ‘The Didge’ and Tristan Musical Aussie.


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