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Have you ever hear of an Ocarina? I hadn’t until recently. An Ocarina is a small ancient wind musical instrument that is used in a similar way as a recorder. It is a different shape, though. The ancient forms of ocarinas were usually made of clay and were shaped like animals. They are easy to learn and are a fun music supplement for young children. We were given an ocarina for free to try out in our home from STLOcarina and have been having a lot of fun learning how to play it. The St Louis School of Music has developed a homeschool FUNdamentals package with the Ocarina that we have been using. It comes with a 6-hole plastic ocarina for beginners (ages 9 and under), a demonstration CD and a method book.
What I loved about the Ocarina to begin with was the history of it. They have found ocarinas in ancient Mayan, Aztec, Chinese and Indian history. Since we homeschool, we love learning fun things about history, and this is a cool thing to add into our history studies! My kids are amazed at how far back they date in history. They think it is cool to be using something that was created so long ago. We looked up some images of some of the ancient ocarinas found around the world online and really enjoyed seeing the amazing artifacts that have been discovered. It was interesting to see how different countries portrayed different animals and symbols that mattered to their culture. This was a great discussion on cultures around the world for us. We also enjoyed watching youtube videos of different songs played on the ocarina. A few are shown below.
There are a wide variety of different types of ocarinas with different numbers of holes and different shapes. On their site they have really fun ones shaped like animals, they also have cute super hero ocarinas! I was amazed at the variety! The set we got included a book to help us learn how to play. The ocarina has holes on the back that you cover up with your thumbs, but for beginners, like us, you put tape over the holes to make it easier to learn. Then to make the different notes on the scale you cover up different holes to create the different tones. The book walks you through the notes first, then teaches some beginning songs, leading up to some a little more advanced. My kids enjoyed taking turns learning the different notes and songs.
The homeschool kit was just $29.95. This is a very affordable way to teach an instrument to kids! Look into it if you are looking for a fun instrument for your kids. Also, it goes great with ancient history studies!!
The following is a video to help you learn more about the ocarina and how you can use it to educate kids! This video is done by an ocarina player and homeschool mother.
Also here is a video of Let it Go being played on the Ocarina! Cool!
Another neat video of The Hobbit on the Ocarina: