Australia Class week 5

This week we should have started our last half of our 8 weeks session. However, earlier in the week we found out that we had to drop a week so now wre into the 5th of 7 classes. Not sure how we will fit everything left in only 2 sessions.

Today was a big day for us. We were making didgeridoos from PVC pipe. I cut some 10 foot long pieces into 3 each at 40 inches. This size has pretty good tone. Armed with a heat gun, we heated one end and made a flared bell by pressing a small bottle in that end. Some of you may recognise it as a hot sauce bottle. They we heated the pipe abut 12 inches from the other end and put a twist in it. This makes it look less like a pipe.



Once everyone had shaped their didges they got some time to decorate them with magic markers. We then watched a video which showed how to make the basic drone sound. After that the students got some time to try to play. That becomes a fun time with some noise and lots of giggling. Another video demonstrated how to do circular breathing and how to learn to do it. We gave playing another shot and I even took a short video. To finish up we all watched a music video of Outback performing Baka. You can find this video on youtube.

As the students were heading out the door and back to the bus, we saw they were getting some attentio. I do remember hearing a didge being played as they left. Makes it all worthwhile.

By boomerangdave

Australia Class Week 4

We had a week off so hadn’t been with the students for 2 weeks. This week one of the instructors was not available so we picked up a couple students from his class. Fortunately it was the same students who were with us in week one, and they were familiar with some of the material.

We spent the entire first half of class finishing the artwork started in the previous session. The new people got to start their work but couldn’t finish. Here are examples of the art they produced.

After that we read the story of the Red Waratah and followed up with two songs via youtube. Both were performed by Rolf Harris. The songs were Waltzing Matilda and Tie Me Kangaroo Down, Sport. We finished up with the reading of the dreamtime story about the Rainbow Serpent.


By boomerangdave

Australia Class week 3

We started off by asking the class to explain how boomerangs work to the student who was absent last week. Only one student tried, and she was rewarded with a boomerang shaped keychain.

I had hoped for a really fun class today. The students were going to make their own Aborigianl style art. The class was hesitant at first to paint but we finally got them going. Unfortunatley we couldn’t finish today so will try and finish next week. A couple of the students got the hang of it, or so it appeared. Here are a few photos of the artwork in progress.


After cleaning up we read and discussed the Dreamtime story about where the Brolga came from. The students shared in reading out loud and then answered the questions we had prepared in advance. To finish the class we watched a video of the song “My Boomerang won’t Come Back” which the students thought was pretty funny.

By boomerangdave

Australia Class 2, Sept 29

Today we started class with how a boomerang works. I used a Powerpoint presentation by Tom Conally maker of Flying Frog Boomerangs. The presentation is titled “BOOMERANGS: Magic or Science?”. It explains Bernoulli’s Principle and gyroscopic precession. It also includes instruction on how to throw and catch a boomerang, effects of the wind and even a bit of history of boomerangs. It is a useful tool when doing classes such as this.

After learning about boomerangs we got to have some fun. Each student got to decorate a Roomerang (thanks to Gary Broadbent) and bend airfoils into it. We then headed to the building’s lobby to test out the boomerangs.

Next we switched gears and started reading stories from the Aboriginal Dreaming. Todays story was “How the Sun was Made” a story whinh included a large emu egg (are there any other size?) being thrown int the sky, landing on a fire and the yolk glowing in the night creating daytime. We finished class by watching the video of Yothu Yindi performing their song “Treaty” and discussing what it meant.

My assistant, Hector, demonstrated how to make and launch paper “flicker rangs”. The students were sent back to school with the Dreamtime story, and plans for both Flicker rangs and a cereal box boomerang.

By boomerangdave