Paul Metzger - Instrumental Alchemist


Paul Metzger describes himself as an “instrumental alchemist.” Look up the word “alchemy.” Then write about how one of Paul’s made-up instruments exemplifies alchemy.

Try your hand at “instrumental alchemy” by making your own instrument using items from around your home or from nature. (Make sure to ask for the help of an adult if needed!) Experiment with different sounds you can create by changing variables. For example, a drum-like instrument’s sound will be modified if you change to tautness of the head, or the material of the mallets, or the size of the drum itself.

In class, without playing your instruments, gather in groups of 3-4. Given what you know about the science of acoustics and what you learned from making your own instrument, form hypotheses about how you think your classmates’ instruments will sound. Now play your instruments to test your hypotheses. Were you correct?

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