Two Dutch interns who stayed in South Africa for four months doing their Music Therapy Internship in Port Elizabeth volunteered to help a group of children at WB Tshume Primary School make musical instruments from waste materials.

The project was set up informally between the Dutch interns and Calabash Trust with the purpose of adding value to the learning and experience of the existing Environmental Education Group at WB Tshume Primary School. The Environmental Group was initiated by Calabash Trust after starting a permaculture design and implementation project in partnership with the School. The idea to make musical instruments from waste materials was a perfect fit with the principles of permaculture which is to reuse, reduce and recycle.

The group was expanded from 15 children to about 30 children, to include additional children also showing a keen interest to partake. The children varied from Grade 4-7.

The children we very excited and keen to participate in the project. From the first introduction it took about 2 weeks for the children to collect enough materials to start making instruments. Collections included plastic bottles, cardboard, tins, ropes and string etc.

The children were divided into groups according to the type of instruments they preferred to make, which included guitars, percussion, shakers etc.

The levels of concentration was high while they were given paper to first draw ideas of what they were going to use to make their instruments, and what it was going to look like.

They were very keen to start making the instruments, and some already finished that same day!

Have a look at some photos and videos of the songs they sang after making their instruments…

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