CyberFair Project ID: 2353

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International Schools CyberFair Project Narrative
Title: Uzbek Instruments: Sounds From the Land of Uzbekistan
Category: 8. Local Music and Art Forms
Bibliography: No bibliography page cited

School: Tashkent International School
    Tashkent, n/a, Uzbekistan

5 students, ages 11-12 worked together to complete this CyberFair project on March 18, 2003. They have participated in CyberFair in the following year(s): 2001,2002

Classes and Teachers: Ms. Dietz and 6th grade students

E-Mail contact:

Our School's Web Site:

Project Overview

1. Description of Our Community

Uzbekistan is a desert area located in central Asia, just north of Afghanistan. It gained its independence from the Soviet Union in 1991. The two largest populations are ethnic Uzbeks (80%) and Russians (5%). Most Uzbeks are Muslim. Tashkent is the capital city, approximately 2.4 million people live here. Both Uzbek and Russian are common languages in Tashkent. Uzbekistan is a developing country-- in the cities people earn an average of $50 a month, and much of the countryside uses a barter system (source: Mayhem, 2000).

Soon after Uzbekistan gained its independence, United Nations volunteers came. Tashkent International School (TIS) was started to provide students an American-based education. In 1995 TIS became an independent school. We have 145 students in grades K-12, from 20 countries.

2. Summary of Our Project

Aika: We explored traditional musical instruments that are important to Uzbekistan. In this Website we will show and tell you about the Uzbek instruments. We hope you enjoy it!

Our idea started when we visited a school in Italy this past fall. There we met a teacher who gave us a great idea for our new Website! He said that he'd like to know about the musical instruments of Uzbekistan. We also met some other people who were interested in Uzbek national musical instruments. Then a funny thing happened. Someone in the U.S.A. saw “Treasures of Uzbekistan”, the Website kids at our school made two years ago. He e-mailed us and asked how an instrument in one of the photographs was made. We found the answer and thought it was very interesting. So, we thought that it would be a good idea to make a Website about Uzbek instruments because we were interested in them and we wanted to share Uzbek culture with people all over the world.

We started by choosing Uzbek instruments to research. As a group we wrote questions and listed ways we could find information. We interviewed musicians, searched Websites, visited a local Uzbek music school, attended an Uzbek concert, and used printed materials to answer our initial questions:

What musical category does the instrument belong to? What does it look like? What is the history of the instrument? How is it made? How is it played? How does it sound?

We thought of more questions after we started learning about instruments:

How is the name of the instrument pronounced? Is it usually played by men, women, or both? After we found our information, we learned HTML and made our Webpages. Now we are answering these project narrative questions together.

3. Our Computer and Internet Access

A. Percentage of students using the Internet at home:more than 50%

B. Number of workstations with Internet access in the classroom:1

C. Connection speed used in the classroom:dedicated connection

D. Number of years our classroom has been connected to the Internet:2-3

E. Additional comments concerning your computer and/or Internet access (Optional):

Electricity is unreliable in Uzbekistan, which creates difficulties creating Websites. Also, visitors are not able to access our site when there is no electricity for our school’s server.

4. Problems We Had To Overcome

Aika: We had a lot of problems to overcome through our project, but we didn't give up. Our first challenge was deciding what we would showcase on the Web. We had a lot of ideas. We chose our topic by telling our reasons and voting.

Another problem was how we would get the information because we couldn’t find much in books or on the Internet. We solved our problem by doing interviews.

Da Mee: As for me, I didn’t have photographs of instruments. So I tried to draw them so they look real. They were hard to color. First the color was too dark. But after that I added a little bit of white they looked better.

Seol Im: One big problem we had was adding the sound to our Website. We still haven't solved our problem yet. Some computers do not play the files. I think we can figure it out by looking at books and Internet sites, and e-mailing e-pals who use sound.

Gavhar: I had to draw a picture of a tanbur. Since we didn’t have any photo's of this instrument, Ms.Dietz told me to draw it myself. First we couldn't find a photo nor a drawing of this instrument. But then our music teacher told me that a tanbur is similar to dutar. She said that dutar has 4 fingerboards and two strings, and a tanbur has 2 fingerboards and 3 strings. So it was easy for me to draw it because I saw a dutar.

Avani: We had a problem understanding Russian and Uzbek when we visited the local music school. We solved our problem by asking a kid in our class to translate.

5. Our Project Sound Bite

Our CyberFair project has created friendships with kids at a local music school and we look forward to involving the kids in international Internet projects and video conferences.

6. How did your activities and research for this CyberFair Project support standards, required coursework and curriculum standards?

Our CyberFair project supported our school’s values, and it taught skills in many areas of our curriculum. It complimented our Language Arts, Music, Social Studies and Computer curriculum especially well. Our project also provided opportunities for enrichment.

Teamwork and respect are two of the values that our school encourages. Teamwork was seen throughout this project. We worked together with our classmates, students in other schools, families and community members. Respect is demonstrated as we share an appreciation for Uzbek culture.

In Language Arts, we used writing strategies (prewriting, drafting, revising, proofreading and publishing) and writing skills (grammar, mechanics and usage, and spelling and vocabulary). We also used study and research skills (choosing sources, comparing information across sources, formulating questions, interviewing, making and using a timeline, and using a variety of resource materials).

In Music we learned about different Uzbek instruments and their characteristics.

In Social Studies we used reference skills (using the community as a resource, selecting and using appropriate resources and using a computer to run reference software) and map skills. We also used thinking skills (summarizing information and synthesizing information) and interpersonal skills (accepting and giving constructive feedback and developing respect for others). It is also part of our social studies curriculum to learn about Uzbekistan.

In Computers we learned how to use digital cameras, critique Web sites, use HTML and design Web pages.

Our CyberFair project also provided opportunities for enrichment. We learned techniques for photography, communication skills for interviewing, how to convert colors to hexadecimals in math, and we were given the opportunity to collaborate with other classes.

Project Elements

1) What information tools & technologies did you used to complete your CyberFair project?

We used 5 computers connected to the Internet, a scanner, a color printer and digital cameras. Our school has two digital cameras, one a Kodak DC 280 and the other a Panasonic Palm Camera. The software used for our Website was Microsoft Explorer, Adobe Photoshop 6.0, Microsoft Word and WordPad. Other tools we used were oral interviews, books (How to Make a Web Page for Kids), dictionaries, a tape recorder, and AlphaSmarts. We'll be using a projector and laptop to share our Web site at a school assembly. Finally, we used journals throughout the project for our information and thoughts.

Aika: Interviews were the most important, because we couldn’t find the information in other places. The visit to the local music school helped us the most. The students and teachers showed us their instruments, played them for us, and answered our questions.

A book, tape recorder, AlphaSmarts and our journals were the next most important. The book “How to Make a Web Page for Kids” was very important because we used it to learn HTML. AlphaSmarts helped us because we only have one computer in our classroom. The tape recorders also helped us a lot. We recorded the interviews so that we wouldn't forget what people said and what the instruments sounded like. Finally, our journals helped us. We wrote about our project as we were working on it so it helped us be organized. Our journals also help us answer these questions!

2) In what ways did you act as "ambassadors" and spokespersons for your CyberFair project both on-line and in person.

Seol Im: There are very, very few resources with information on Uzbek instruments. So we want to make a good resource. That is the reason we act as ambassadors. We are introducing Uzbek instruments to many people.

We introduced our project to our school community by writing about it in a newsletter and showing it at an assembly. We are making posters telling about it and classes will see the site in computer class.

We introduced ourselves, school, and project to people outside of our school community through interviews, field trips, and e-mail messages. For example, we went to the Uzbek Special School of Arts and Music. The kids there did not know about us until we came. We behaved nicely, giving a good impression of our school.

We are telling our friends, families and e-pals around the world about our project. We have a lot of e-pals that we write to. We asked our friends in Israel and Arizona to give us suggestions for our project. Our music teacher is visiting our sister school in Arizona this spring so she can use our Website to prepare the kids for her visit.

Finally, our site is linked to our school Website and we will add our Website to search sites.

3) What has been the impact of your project on your community?

Avani: The biggest impact is our friendship with the local music school. After visiting them, we invited them to visit our school. They played their instruments at an assembly at our school. They also visited our classroom. We showed them the Website and they were very proud to see their pictures on the Web. They are going to visit us again. They are going to bring instruments to teach us how to play, and they want to write e-mails to other kids around the world and have video conferences. We are going to help them. They also want to show their art on the Web. We talked about helping them with a Uzbek Art Web site.

This project also strengthened our school community by working together, and it builds pride in Uzbek culture. People think the instruments are special and have beautiful sounds.

This project is uniting our global community by helping us share Uzbek instruments with our families and friends who are living in other parts of the world. We hope that this Website will show others how Uzbekistan has special culture, because some people have misconceptions about Uzbekistan.

4) How did your project involve other members of your community as helpers and volunteers?

Aika: My parents helped me by suggesting ideas for the title.

Our music teacher helped us by giving us information about our instruments. She also arranged our trip to the music school.

The young music players at the local school helped us by playing the instruments for us so we know how they sound.

Ms. Dietz helped us a lot with ideas for organizing the Website.

My group members helped by gathering the information and getting more ideas.

Sean, the person who e-mailed us asking us about an Uzbek instrument, gave us the idea of making a Website about music!

5) Discoveries, Lessons and Surprises (Optional)

Seol Im: Uzbek people don't write notes down. Also, they have unique notes, but the notes don't have a specific name like do, re, and mi.

I found a surprise when I learned about hexadecimals. I wonder why red, green and blue are used. I thought it would be red, yellow and blue. Hmmmm….. more research to do.

Gavhar: I learned a lot of things about Uzbek instruments. I was not interested in Uzbek instruments, even though I’m Uzbek myself. But now I got so interested in them that I want to discover more and more about Uzbek instruments! They are fascinating!

And, I have something surprising. On the way to my house this is what happened! We were driving and we heard a song of Michael Jackson, and we noticed that he had Uzbek instruments in the background. I wonder if he knows that they are Uzbek instruments. I normally wouldn’t recognize the sound, but since we are learning about Uzbek instruments it was heard not to pay attention to it.

Aika: Now I know a lot about Uzbek instruments. I discovered that it is not as easy as I thought getting information. And I was surprised how good the kids at the Uzbek school played the instruments.

Avani: I learned that the students in the music school learn for many years and they play like professionals. I’m excited they are going to visit and I wish they will teach me how to play.

DaMee: I learn a lot of things doing this project. I didn't know that the sound of Uzbek instruments are really beautiful and nice. I really like the sound of the chang and I like knowing the names of instruments. Also, it was really interesting to know that the people made instruments with horse tendons.


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