Last night hubby and I had the fun of being part of the clean-up crew for a Rend Collective Concert. As a fan of this Irish Folk Worship band, I naturally jumped on the bandwagon to  volunteer for this event when it came to our church. The concert was amazing, and I give it 5 mochas (my highest rating). It was high energy, songs were well-crafted and executed, the production team was excellent, and it was family-friendly. It crossed generational lines. I saw many families of all ages enjoying the concert together. Win!

This band is dynamite on stage. The musicians take turns playing multiple instruments such as guitar, piano, accordian, bass, flute, trumpet, fiddle, drums, bells. But what was really engaging, (besides the excellent musicianship, and seeing them  seamlessly move from one instrument to another), was the use of  of oddball percussion and instruments that most of us have never seen before.

After cleaning up the festive paper rainbow of  ticker tape, (that was everywhere) with a leaf blower,  multiple brooms, and a shop vac, we tried to guess what the names of some of the crazy instruments were. Someone thought they might know what that thingie with the hand crank was called. A  quick phone trip to the all-knowing google helped us to realize that it is  called a Hurdy Gurdy. ( Thank You wikipedia). The other mystery percussion instrument I likened to  cymbals and bells on a pogo stick. (That is because I viewed the instrument from the balcony, so I couldn’t see it very well.)

This morning I made another trip to Google Images and Lo and Behold, I wasn’t too far-off. It is called a Jingling Johnny and it was used in British and Irish army bands. It is hand bounced on the floor. It seems no two are exactly alike they can vary in design. You can see it and even buy one here:  Maybe I’ll buy one myself. I will not be making my own. (Who has time for that!)

This got me thinking…I have all kinds of instruments around the studio. Many of them are brand new to my youngest students. I was personally inspired by just seeing and hearing so many multiple instruments in one concert. ( Even better that there were two I had never seen before!) Maybe it was time for a Rend Collective inspired music lesson or two.

This seems like a smashing way  to inspire students as they come back from Spring Break. We will be working hard on finishing our current lesson books and learning our recital pieces but I don’t want them to lose their sense of wonder. This lesson will be a great class opener and hopefully entice them to come back for more.

When my students return to the studio in April, they will be greeted by a circle of instruments. I’ll be pulling out the old accordian. I am really excited to get started crafting this lesson, and I’ll tell you all about it soon. The pedaling squirrels in my brain are spinning fast with this topic. I can’t wait to share it with  you and my students. If you have any unusual folk instruments to share, please indulge us in the comments! You can listen to this awesome band here: