World Music Qtorial: Aerophones & QSoundFX!

by Abby @ Quaver on May 21, 2012

in Qtorials,

Welcome back to Quaver’s World Music Month – where we are digging into a different category of World Percussion Instruments every week of May!

Each week, Quaver will be giving you a quick Qtorial project to try in the classroom. This week is all about AEROPHONES! Check it out . . .


Quaver Says:

Aerophones are instruments that produce sounds by vibrating columns of air.

There are so many Aerophones to talk about! Brass instruments are Aerophones, as are all instruments in the Woodwind Family. In Quaver’s World Music area, we featured the bulb horn which is a simple pitched percussion instrument, used by Gershwin in his famous piece An American in Paris.


Here are some quick ideas for exploring Aerophones in your classroom:

  • Visit our Brass or Woodwind episode Online Quaver Classrooms and look at our Instrument Anatomies whiteboard activities.
  • Try one of our great classroom activities in the Teacher’s Guides for those episodes.
    • One of my favorites is in the Brass Classroom and uses tracks 10 and 11 from the music selection. We recorded a great swing piece in our Quaver studio and then loaded two different versions of the track. On Track 10, we muted the brass track, so when you hear the real thing in Track 11, students can really hear what a difference brass (Aerophones) make to the song!

How about a more off-the-wall idea for teaching about Aerophones?

Okay, okay! If you insist!

I noticed this week that in a house like mine with 3 small children there are many rather annoying Aerophones to be found. Every day I seem to discover new toys that, when hidden under a cushion, squeak, moan, or honk – all sounds created by air!

  1. Challenge students to bring in Aerophones they find around their homes.
  2. Visit Quaver’s Lab and open QSoundFX with your class.
  3. Click on the video called “Ropes” (this video costs 25 QuaverNotes, but you could create a similar project with one of our free videos as well!)
  4. Have groups of students map out the timings of the various rope pulls in the video so they have a timing scheme for their sound effects and music.
  5. Have one group of students create a simple Ostinato to use as a backing, and have the other groups in the room with play their found Aerophones to create sound effects for the video.
  6. When this is rehearsed and ready, press record on the QSoundFX recorder (bottom right) and record your Ostinato and Aerophone Music sound effects into the computer.
  7. Save it and play it back for everyone to enjoy!

sound effects machine at

Have Fun with Aerophones this week!

To enter to win our month-long contest for the Quaver DVD of your choice – try this with your class and tell us how it goes in the comments!

If you aren’t able to access the Online Quaver Classrooms via the Bus Stop at

  • Quaver’s World Music is FREE with any Online Quaver Classroom Access!
  • You can sign up for a free preview at The Access Code you receive will give you a Sneak Peek of Quaver’s World Music as well! Details in this post.
  • Or you can purchase any Online Quaver Classroom for just $8 a year and get Quaver’s World Music included!

Leave a Comment

Previous post:

Next post: