If your child has a love of music, but isn't quite old enough to play an instrument like a piano or a violin, don't worry. There are still other musical instruments you can introduce your child to that he will enjoy just as much. Your child will love shaking, dancing and music-making as he practices his skills.
Bells aren't always thought of as a musical instrument, but the truth is they are one type of a percussion instrument. Usually bells are metal and have a ringer on the inside. Children can shake bells and learn about rhythm, tune and volume. You can also find instruments that have multiple bells attached to a rope. These can even be worn as wrist bracelets.
A tambourine is probably one of the first instruments that comes to mind when you are looking for something to shake. This round or crescent-shaped percussion instrument is surrounded by little metal cymbals. When you shake a tambourine, the cymbals clink together created a beautiful rhythmic beat. As you get more comfortable with using a tambourine, you might even begin to tap on the middle and use it as a small drum, although some tambourines have a hollowed-out center.
Maracas are Latin musical instruments that are typically made of wood, but can also be plastic or metal. They are usually colorful instruments and also in the percussion family. The top of a maraca is an oval-shaped container filled with beads or beans. By shaking the handle, a wonderful musical sound is created. Usually an individual will hold a maraca in each hand as she salsas and shimmies her way around.
Rainsticks were first created as ceremonial instruments. They were believed to invoke rain spirits and bring about rain because, when shaken, they create the sound of rain falling. Rainsticks are typically long, narrow, hollow tubes. They are filled with small pebbles. Each time you shake or turn the rainstick over, the pebbles fall making their soft sounds. Children will love an instrument that recreates a sound familiar to them from nature.
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