Music with Household Objects

Hello music lovers and welcome to my latest blog. I am here to share my passion for all things music. I explore every nook and cranny of the art form and no instrument, artist, genre, or historical fact goes unnoticed. There are anecdotes humorous and sad; there are long-lost records; and there is a myriad of inventive compositions of all types from the traditional and conventional to the avant-garde. Let’s revel together in this fascinating realm full of creativity and emotional expression.

I am going to open today with a story about a child that shows youthful whimsy and imagination. You never know what you are going to get with kids when they see a musical instrument. You never know what they will fashion into a readymade musical instrument. I saw this first hand. I was babysitting a friend’s son as a favor. He had a last-minute urgent appointment and no other recourse. All his usual sitters were booked. I stepped in thinking that it would be just another ordinary day with the little one. We know each other so it was instant recognition. We are, in effect, great pals. I asked him what he wanted to do and he had no special preference. He nixed my idea of playing ball in the park, going for an ice cream cone, or taking in the latest animated movie.

I thought long and hard to come up with a better idea. We weren’t close enough to the zoo and we couldn’t go bike riding. We could go window shopping, but for a tot that is a bore unless you make a bee line to the nearest toy shop. I didn’t want to go that route and have to fork over significant funds for a pile of new toys. It had to be my last resort. Instead, I took him to my apartment and see if he would play cards or a board game. We could also watch TV or listen to music. He was happy to oblige. He loved snooping around my place and immediately found some packaged cookies. We were off and running. He then explored the kitchen drawers and pulled out all kinds of gadgets. He banged them on pots and pans and he turned on the electric mixer. After he taped two spoons together to make that old-fashioned primitive instrument, he blurted out, “I am making music.” This occupied him for a good hour before he retired to playing games and browsing the internet on his iPad. All of a sudden, he sprung up like he had just had a sudden inspiration. I looked at the screen and he had a site about vacuums for pets open, called https://www.pethaircleanup.net. He rushed to the kitchen broom closet and pulled out my portable vacuum cleaner. It is one with an attachment to clean up pet hair—I have a dog.

The vacuum noises fascinated him and he loved turning it off and on. He changed the attachments and hit them and pushed them along the floor. “This is bootiful music,” he crooned. I gave him a big hug and laughed and laughed. Let’s sing along, I suggested.