Musician John Adair Visits La Mariposa

John Adair and his banjo.

Over the last week or so, La Mariposa has been treated to an interactive music assembly by John Adair and our own music teacher, Mrs. Lorenzo.  Rather than having half the school meet for an assembly, only a couple classes participated at a time.  Mr. Adair brought along a number of chordophones, or stringed instruments.  He explained each instrument by
talking about its parts and how the size, shape, and materials an instrument is made from affects the sound it makes.  Then he played the instruments while Mrs. Lorenzo lead the kids in singing American folk songs.  Students were introduced to a ukelele, mandolin, banjo, fiddle/violin, acoustic guitar, electric guitar, and bass guitar.

5 Questions To Ask You Kids

  1. First graders learn about strings and vibration by feeling their vocal chords as they hold a note.

    How does an instrument’s size affect the sound it makes?

  2. Where does the ukelele come from?
  3. What is a bow string made of?
  4. What’s the difference between a fiddle and a violin?
  5. What are two things unique to a banjo?


  1. The larger the body of an instrument, the deeper the sound.
  2. The Hawaiians adopted the Ukelele from the Portugese.  They call it a Machete.
  3. Bowstrings are made from horse hair.
  4. Nothing, they are the same instrument.
  5. Banjo’s have animal skins (or plastic) stretched over a circular frame.  Banjo’s also have an open back and can also be played like a drum.

First graders rock out with the bass guitar.

This and all assemblies are paid for by the La Mariposa PTA with your generous contributions.  Special thanks to our music teacher, Gina Lorenzo, for pulling this together for our tigers.


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