American minstrels and jug bands often took everyday objects—such as washboards and jugs—and used them as instruments. Spoons are another example of an American folk instrument.
How are spoons played? Two spoons are held back-to-back in one hand and played “clickety clack” by hitting them against the player’s thigh and other hand.
Spoons are used as musical instruments in cultures around the world. "Playing the spoons" may have originated in England as “playing the bones,” in which the convex sides of a pair of sheep rib bones are rattled together in the same way. Spoons are also used in Russian, Turkish, Greek, and Canadian folk music.
1. Provide or have students bring in inexpensive spoons and practice the techniques. Have them play along to a rhyme, poem, rap, or verse of their choice.
2. Have students create their own simple instruments, using the Introduction to Instruments of the World segment for ideas.
3. Play jug band music and discuss how the jugs are used as instruments.
4. Discuss how Dalglish is improvising the rhythm, using sequences he thinks sound good together. Have the class play a steady beat on percussion instruments and ask individual students to improvise their own rhythmic sequences within the beat. Discuss how that sounds and how it feels to improvise.