January 19 to 21, 2016
Grades 3 and 4
Pre-Show Information for Teachers
Referred to as “the Thomas Edison of entertainers”, Al Simmons’ concerts are full of bizarre gadgets, wild costumes, witty songs, ingenious vaudeville-inspires routines and, of course, bad puns. His one-man, multi-prop, music-filled, off the wall performances have elevated audiences worldwide to collective giggles and all-out guffaws.
Al Simmons explains the science of music (sound waves, vibrations, resonance and pitch) in a zany manner, while also teaching the importance of recycling and re-using through the use of homemade instruments.
Questions/Suggested Discussion Points
- What are the four types of instrument?
a. Strings – violin, guitar, cello, viola, etc.
b. Percussion – drums, xylophone, maracas, piano, etc.
c. Brass – trumpet, tuba, trombone, bugle, French horn, etc.
d. Woodwind – ‘whistles’ (recorder, flute, piccolo, etc.) ‘reeds’ (clarinet, oboe, saxophone, etc.)
- How does the size of an instrument (how big or how long it is) affect the pitch (highness or lowness of the sound)? (longer/larger instruments produce lower sounds; smaller/ shorter instruments produce higher sounds)
- What are the two things required for an instrument to make sound? (A vibration and a resonance chamber)
Refer to Al Simmons’ Sounds Crazy Booklet for information and instructions for making instruments from “found” materials.
School Program Coordinator
519- 837-5662 extension 2291