Construct Musical Instruments for Therapy

Elizabeth Tallman
For my capstone I made three of my own instruments and recorded them into a therapeutic piece of music.  Something to help people fall asleep, therefore making the day after much easier and more relaxed.  The instruments that I made were a rain stick, a thunder drum, and a pan flute.  I recorded them in a classroom at school from eight till nine in complete darkness.  This was to ensure that there were no distractions from the music.  I choose those instruments to show the history of musical instruments and varieties of simple and more complicated instruments.  The recording of them was to show the positive effect of music on the brain specifically on patients with dementia like I did my sophomore year.  Making the instruments in the winter time and playing them too also supports the capstone I wrote last year about SAD and how music can help that too. 
This project was really fun for me because I spent time doing something I loved while also learning about everything that I could improve about making music and giving it to people for their benefit.  While this was very fun each instrument had its own challenges.  For the rain stick it was making sure that the nails inside were not too close otherwise the rain wouldn't fall in a smooth sound, for the thunder drum it was making sure that the paper on top didn’t bubble too much as this would ruin the sound, but the most difficult would have to be the pan flute.  This instrument came with many challenges the first being that wood is extremely hard to drill perfect down the middle and not split it.  So then we changed to PVC pipe and that drilled much easier, But then came the issue of tying together the pipes in the order and position that they need  to function properly.  But as you can see with some help we got them together. 
I need to thank my parents for being patient with me, helping me with buying all the materials, Mr. Jenson, a family friend for his guidance, my Grandpa Mike for help drilling, Mrs. Throndsen for being the best capstone adviser ever, Ms. Gefvert for letting me use her saw, and of course, Ms. Bird for all of her willingness to work with me on everything that I needed help with.

Listen to a sample of the music.

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