The Sound Of Music

Students at Lincoln Elementary School had an opportunity to learn about the science of sound from a local musician.

On Friday, Andrew Conti visited Rhonda Ricker’s third-grade class to teach students about the nature of sound as produced by acoustic and electric guitars.

According to Ricker, who is currently teaching a unit on sound for her science curriculum, Conti was brought in to demonstrate sound in the form of music.

“(Andrew’s) daughter, Claire, is in my class, and his wife (Donelle) is a friend of mine,” said Ricker. “I was having a conversation with her, and I brought up that I was teaching this unit on sound. And she said, ‘You should have my husband come in because he plays the guitar.’ And I thought that was a good idea. So, I had him come in and talk to (the students) about the guitar and how it works to produce different pitches.”

Conti, who is a member of area bands Velvet Cabbies and The Cab Drivers, demonstrated a variety of different sounds that can be produced by guitars and their subsequent electronics, such as effects pedals and an amplifier. Conti discussed the basics of guitar construction, such as frets, electronics, pickups, and tuning pegs. He also demonstrated picking techniques, rhythmic variation, the difference between notes and chords, different styles of music and different tones that can be produced through effect manipulation.

According to Conti, teaching children is something that he doesn’t often do.

“This was easy (to teach) because the kids are so young,” said Conti. “People are always telling me I should give lessons, but I can’t because I can’t read (music). But I can teach them chords, and you can hack away on a guitar once you know how to play those.”

Following his demonstration, students were invited to ask questions and partake in some noise-making. Conti allowed students to strum his guitar while he formed chords. His “wah wah” effects pedal was the hit of the session, and students employed it heavily when they were allowed to come to the front and experiment.