The Ocarina is a simple instrument most often made in the shape of a potato with seven or eight holes on top and two on the bottom. Instruments resembling the ocarina have cropped up in the cultures of South and Central America, ancient China, and India among others. Generally the native versions are made of clay, which is fragile. Mountain Ocarinas are not fragile.
“Fiving” is the practice of practicing five minutes at a time. After a full five minutes, you put a little tic mark on a card and keep track of how many “fives” you do over the course of the day. No pressure, just five minutes of playing. Each mark on the card is like a little success. Each time I pick up the instrument to play more I find that I’ve a tiny bit more of a feel for what I am doing.
AUTOHARP AND OCARINA
I can just hear in my head autoharps playing the chords with the ocarina playing melody sharp and clear. I’m sure this is not original to me. There is an autoharp player, Hal Weeks, who did a combination of Native American flute and autoharp. The music is marvelous. Also, I think he may have a CD out.
The Ocarina sounds a bit different. However, I think it would give a similar effect. It is also a fun little instrument. I’ve been practicing simple scales and enjoying myself with it.
SMALL CHILDREN AND MUSICAL INSTRUMENTS
With the baby and the toddler, getting my autoharps out and tuned takes more time than I have at a stretch. It is simply not possible in my space to leave an autoharp out within reach because it will be in danger every time I step away from the desk. So I am filling my need for pretty sounds and learning to play music with the ocarina. It is durable and if the Little Tiger gets it, there is very little the child can do to damage it.
My ocarina is blue and white and the one I let the Little Tiger play is colored like moss agate. Both are key of G. I get the request, “make that noise ‘gain” several times a day as the Little Tiger wants to see what I do and try to do the same. Who knows? Someday this child may be a virtuoso and will be able to say, “I began playing ocarina and autoharp at age 2 1/2.”
Meanwhile, this mommy is having fun with music.
Dear Lord, thank You for this delightful little ocarina, for my autoharps and for my children and the opportunity I have to share music with them. Please bless my efforts to learn to play and my efforts to encourage my children to enjoy music. Amen.