Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Who can make a kazoo?

We can, it's easy!

First get your cardboard tube like you find in the middle of the gladwrap roll. You will also need a thin rubber band, a pair of scissors, textas or stickers to decorate it and a six inch square of waxed paper.

Vibrations are responsible for all the sounds we hear. We can experience vibrations using several of our senses: we feel the vibrations in our throat when we hum music, and on our lips as we play their kazoos.


- Define the word vibration
- Show that vibrations make sound
- Recognize that vibrations can be changed to alter the pitch of a sound
- Determine that sound travels through solids as well as gases (air)

What causes the kazoo to vibrate? Place the back of your hand gently against your lips and hum the same way you did for the kazoo. Again, you feel vibrations. Where are those vibrations coming from? Put your fingers lightly on your throat and hum again. The vibrations are coming from your vocal cords in your throat.

Air from your lungs moving across the tight vocal cords causes them to vibrate. That causes the air in your throat and mouth to vibrate. The vibrations are transferred from the vibrating air to the paper of the kazoo.

The vibrating paper then causes the air around it to vibrate. Because the paper is flexible and loose, it distorts the vibrations, giving the kazoo its interesting sound.