Crothersville students recognized for handmade instruments

CROTHERSVILLE — One day in music class at Crothersville Elementary School, third-graders had a chance to check out various musical instruments.

From that, music teacher Carolyn Weddle encouraged the students to make their own instruments.

On Friday, all of the handmade instruments were on display in the music room, and Weddle announced two winners from each third grade classroom and gave them trophies.

Those were Owen Law and Abigail Coomer for Sara Salas’ class and Levi Waymire and Mason Walker for Haley Blair’s class.

“Everybody is a winner in my book,” she told the kids. “I want you to know that I appreciate, the school appreciates each and every one of you and your time and effort.”

After spring break, Weddle said she plans to have a snack party for all of the students who participated.

“I’m so happy that each child was so excited about doing this,” she said. “I try to do it every year for the third-graders. I love it. It’s amazing the stuff they thought of. I was very proud.”

Law was inspired by Weddle’s instruments and made a trombone out of PVC pipe and an oil funnel.

“He did really well, did so good,” Weddle said.

Coomer made a wooden ukulele with the help of her dad. She painted it red, orange and yellow and used rubber bands for the strings.

“I was trying to make a guitar at first because I got the inspiration from what my sister did because she made one out of a popcorn box,” she said.

She learned how to play the ukulele a few years ago after she received one as a birthday gift, so that’s what she chose to make for the music class assignment. Next, she wants to learn how to play the piano.

Waymire decided to make a rainstick after Weddle had the students use them in music class one day. He decorated a long hollow tube and put fake diamonds inside to make sounds as he moved the rainstick around.

“This was from my mom’s work because she works for a hospital building company, and this was one of the plans that was in it, so she took it out and I got the lids,” he said of the tube. “I hot glued some sandwich bags over it and I covered it, put it over (the ends) and I wrapped some orange construction paper around it and I cut out raindrops.”

He was surprised to receive a trophy for his creation.

“I really did not think that I could win because I knew when I saw other people’s (handmade instruments) that was in my class, I was like, ‘Probably not,’” Waymire said. “This is probably my 30th trophy that’s on my trophy shelf now. I play baseball, soccer and basketball.”

Walker made a drum set that consisted of two plastic cotton candy canisters, two Pringles cans and an oats container connected with a PVC pipe. He added a string to connect to both ends so he could wear the drum set.

“It’s one of my favorite instruments, and it’s one of the easiest ones to make,” he said. “I just asked my mom or dad if they could help me find some things to use as drums. I found these (cans) and this PVC pipe.”

He, too, was surprised his handmade instrument was selected as one of the winners.

Weddle had three teachers choose the winners, and she even had to add two more to break a tie. She placed numbers in front of the instruments on tables in the music room, so the judges only saw the numbers, not the students’ names.

“I was the only one that knew (the names), so it was fair and square,” Weddle said.

The handmade instrument project is just one thing she does at the elementary school to make the students feel special in her classroom.

“I think they enjoy music. They don’t get bored, and we don’t just sit and sing. We dance and do all kinds of stuff,” she said. “I get more reward out of it, I think, than they do. They all give you big hugs and stuff, and it just about tears me up.”