Did you play an instrument when you were in school? Do you play one now?
Instruments were introduced in upper elementary school where I come from. I believe it was 4th grade if I recall correctly.
I really wanted to learn how to play the drums and/or the guitar. My mom had other plans. She made me play a string instrument, specifically the viola. I was never happy playing it and quit shortly after I started learning to play in school. It wasn’t the instrument I wanted to play. It wasn’t “cool” or “fun” (in my eyes) like the drums and/or the guitar.
When my kids were in school my daughter wanted to play the clarinet. She loved it initially. So much so we went out and bought one for her (instruments are NOT cheap). No sooner did we buy it for her she decided she no longer wanted to play. Ugh! We ended up donating it to the school for a child who cannot afford to rent or purchase an instrument.
Our son wanted to play the drums. We let him, however, they learn on a drum pad which isn’t as fun as an actual drum, so he ended up quitting too, but not until AFTER we purchased him a drum set for home. We ended up giving it to a neighborhood boy. Sigh…
If your child has interest in learning how to play an instrument, but you are not sure of their commitment (are they serious about it or is it just a passing fad?), you might want to look into an Otamatone (pictured above).
What in the world is an Otamatone? That is what I asked myself too when I first heard about them.
The Longwood Public Library gives the best description of an Otamatone;
The Otamatone is a cute, quirky, and fun to play electronic musical toy characterized by its eighth note-shaped body, adorable moving mouth, and silly, buzzing, amusingly off-key “voice.” Developed by design firm Maywa Denki, it was first released in Japan in 2009 and has been the country’s best-selling musical toy ever since.
The Otamatone is an adorable, silly fun-to-play musical instrument. It’s shaped like a musical note too (an eighth note).
Even if you are not familiar with reading music, I’m sure you have seen the note pictured above. That is what is called an eighth note.
Check out this brief video to see what an Otamatone looks like and how you use it. It’s something you must see and hear to believe.
How cute is the Otamatone. I love that it has a face. That makes it so inviting and begs to be played with.
I was sent an Otamatone to review. I could not wait to get it out of the package, pop the batteries in and start playing.
The Otamatone has an area on the “neck” that you can slide your fingers up and down, tap on them or hold them in place. The movement changes the sound of the music. Think of it as an electric guitar (in a way). That is how I look at it (but you hold it upright, not at an angle). When I slide my finger up and down I think I’m Eddie Van Halen (ha ha).
The “head” of the Otamatone (where the “eyes” are) is made of a soft, flexible material (silicon I believe). When you gently squeeze the sides, the mouth opens. You can make it open a little or a a lot.
When you open the mouth and slide your fingers up and down the neck, it changes the tonality of the music.
There are also settings on the back of the Otamatone to change the pitch of the music from low, medium and high.
You MUST watch this video that shows you the Otamatone in action.
How cool is this instrument.
I don’t think this is a child’s toy. I think children, teens and adults can enjoy this unique musical instrument. I’m having fun with the one I was sent to review.
The Otamatone does take a lot of practice. I wish I had more time to dedicate to learning it than I have thus far. I have the Christmas break coming up, plus winter break and two spring breaks (I work in the school district). That will give me the the time I want to dedicate to learning more about how to “master” playing the Otamatone.
The instrument comes with a song sheet so you can learn to play a song straight out of the package. I appreciate that. I wish there was a song book available so I can learn to play more.
This is a cute and fun instrument, but I don’t necessarily consider it a toy. It is an actual instrument. But, unlike other musical instruments, the Otamatone is affordable. Hamee is the official supplier of Otamatones in the United States. They have regular Otamatones for $39.99 up to $89.99 for a deluxe Kirby version (other deluxe models are $79.99).
Hands down this would make a FANTASTIC gift this holiday season, as well as for birthdays and other special occasions. This is a gift that no one would expect. It’s fun. It’s unique. It’s quirky. It’s a gift the lucky recipient won’t forget.
If you are interested in learning more about this delightful musical instrument, visit Hamee.com. You can also find the brand on social media. All of their links are found on the bottom of their website.
What do you think about the Otamatone? Feel free to comment and share your thoughts. I’d love to hear what you think about this fun instrument.
*I received a free product sample in order to do this review. There was no compensation. The opinions expressed are my own and not influenced in any way.