Fourth graders jam out with homemade instruments in Oshkosh

Local News

OSHKOSH, Wis. (WFRV)-There was a concert at Oshkosh West High School Tuesday morning, but it probably wasn’t what you expected.

Fourth graders in the Oshkosh Area School district created homemade instruments.

“The kids were so creative about how they put their instruments together,” says Kellie Ruedinger who is a fourth grade teacher at Emmeline Cook Elementary School which is a part of the Oshkosh Area School District.

The instruments ranged from guitars made out of shoe boxes and rubber bands to bucket drums. The fourth graders took a field trip to Oshkosh West High School where the Oshkosh Youth Symphony jammed out with them and taught them about pitch, rhythm, and other concepts around sound and music.

“I liked how the music was really loud and booming and it was dramatic, I like things that are dramatic,” says Norah who is a fourth grader.

The concert was the culmination of a unit called full steam ahead. STEAM is an acronym that stands for science, technology, engineering, arts, and math. Teachers tried to incorporate all of these elements into their unit on music.

The kids learned about the science of sound, used technology, engineering, and math skills to build their instruments, and tackled the arts element by playing the instruments.

“Sounds can sound more different than I thought they could,” says fourth grader Mooka.

“If your body and your soul likes it then you can play what you like,”says fourth grader Leo.

Yukiko Grine is the music director for Oshkosh’s Youth Symphony and helped develop the lesson plan for the full steam ahead unit.

“I love working with young people because they are still uninhibited and willing to take risks and their ideas are amazing and inspiring,” says Grine.

Over 400 fourth graders participated in the concert.

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