October 21, 2019

Bearcats Strike for Climate -

Tuesday, October 15, 2019

A Personal Account On Vaping -

Tuesday, October 15, 2019

Girls Water Polo Resumes Winning Ways -

Tuesday, October 15, 2019

Running into the 2019 season -

Tuesday, October 15, 2019

How Media Affects The Mind -

Tuesday, October 15, 2019

Matilda Provides Hope -

Monday, October 14, 2019

Mock Trial: Murder Trials, New Captains, and Autonomous Vehicle Accidents -

Monday, October 14, 2019

SMHS Starts the Year Cellphone Free -

Monday, October 14, 2019

SMHS’ Boomwhacker Club -

Thursday, October 10, 2019

Questioning the Ethics of Unconventional Childbearing -

Thursday, October 10, 2019

Don’t Blame Video Games -

Thursday, October 10, 2019

Why Disney Won’t Stop Remaking Movies -

Thursday, October 10, 2019

The Versatility of Virtual Reality -

Thursday, October 10, 2019

Pondering Yondr -

Thursday, October 10, 2019

Mr. Shea: The Meme King -

Thursday, October 3, 2019

#AHistoryofBadBoycotts -

Thursday, October 3, 2019

Increased Regulation is Necessary for Homeschooling -

Thursday, August 29, 2019

An amazing year for the wrestling team -

Wednesday, March 7, 2018

My Experience at the Women’s March -

Wednesday, March 7, 2018

El Regreso Del Racismo -

Wednesday, March 7, 2018

SMHS’ Boomwhacker Club

Jessie Jiang and Grace Wang holding boomwhackers.

The xylophone can produce about 40 different pitches; the piano, a whopping 88. The boomwhacker? One. 

A boomwhacker is a hollow plastic tube that produces a sound when hit against a surface. The length of the tube determines the pitch, with longer tubes producing lower pitches. Crucially, this means that each boomwhacker can only make one sound. Combine this with the fact that you can only play one or two boomwhackers at a time, and you have a recipe for monotony. But with several people working together, entire octaves can be spanned –– and, with practice, music can be created.

In San Mateo’s newly formed Boomwhacker Club, a handful of plastic-tube enthusiasts hope to do just that. The club, sponsored by Mr. Thrasher, meets on Thursdays in C114.

Boomwhackers were introduced to SMHS “as a physics demonstration,” explains Mr. Thrasher. “When you bang a boomwhacker against something, air particles are vibrating back and forth … producing what’s known as harmonics.”

The club was created by seniors Grace Wang and Jessie Jiang, who learned about boomwhackers in their AP Physics class. “It kind of started out as a joke last year,” says Jessie, “and then over time, we thought, ‘why don’t we start an actual club?’”

Producing music with nothing but one-note boomwhackers is undeniably difficult. No two musicians follow the same score; each must learn the exact timings of a few notes repeated ad nauseum. But that challenge is precisely what appeals to the Boomwhacker Club. “I feel like a big part of boomwhackers is teamwork, cooperation, and synchronisation,” says Grace. Working with boomwhackers, she says, is an experience unlike anything done with conventional instruments. 

The club hopes to eventually perform at lunch or pep rallies. In the meantime, they can be found practicing in Mr. Thrasher’s room, turning sound into song.

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  • onebearcat

    Cool!!