Library kids program gets a musical taste of ‘The Land Down Under’

Published 4:35 pm Tuesday, June 12, 2018

Lindsey Dank brought his collection of didgeridoos and presented an educational program titled Didgeridoo and the Land Down Under at the Library children’s reading program Tuesday morning. He explained to the children that Australia is called the land down under because it is located below the equator.

As the sound of the ancient Aboriginal instrument, accented by the drum beat and ankle cymbals, filled the room, few could sit still and moved with the beat.  Dank, a oneman band, began taking lessons on the didgeridoo from an Aborigine in 2001. He demonstrated the different sizes of the instruments and how the range of scale is determined by the length and size.

Basically it is made from a hollow limb of a Eucalyptus tree. There are many Eucalyptus in Australia and he described how the natives go around tapping the trees searching for the hollow ones— the ones the termites have eaten away.

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He gave a detailed explanation of how to play the didgeridoo, describing the breathing process and position of the mouth.

He also taught the children how they can use a hollow cardboard tube to make their own didgeridoo, and explained how they are painted and decorated.

Additional information about Australia’s wildlife was given as he showed stuffed animals indigenous to Australia. In addition to the well-known kangaroo and koala bear, he had possum, crocodiles, snakes, bats, lizards, sharks and manatee, as well as the kookaburra bird, the Dingus dog and the duckbill platypus, all native animals to Australia.

All through the program Dank stressed the diversity of the island nation and its peoples, while teaching a vocabulary of new words to the students.