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Musicians ‘Bash the Trash’ For Irvington Students

“Bash the Trash” musicians performed with instruments made from reused and repurposed materials on May 11 in front of Dows Lane Elementary School third-graders and Main Street School fourth- and fifth-graders.
“Bash the Trash” musicians performed with instruments made from reused and repurposed materials on May 11 in front of Dows Lane Elementary School third-graders and Main Street School fourth- and fifth-graders. Photo Credit: Contributed

IRVINGTON, N.Y. -- Dows Lane Elementary School third-graders and Main Street School fourth- and fifth-graders were treated to a performance Wednesday, May 11, by “Bash the Trash” musicians, who taught them important life lessons about being creative and caring for the environment.

Founded by the husband-and-wife team of John Bertles and Carina Piaggio in 1988, Bash the Trash combines science, music and environmental awareness through musical performances and programs.

The duo brings their creative messages to schools, concert halls and other performing venues.

“You can’t build a musical instrument without the science and you can’t have music without the art,” Bertles said. “Obviously, we’re talking about sustainability, the environment and the idea of reusing as our main message.”

During the performance, four Bash the Trash musicians showed the students how they built instruments from reused and repurposed materials, such as plastic bottles, coffee cans, cardboard tubes, pipes, broomsticks, hoses, refrigerator drawers and Styrofoam.

They also demonstrated the sounds different objects make and got students to clap along to the beat.

“Everybody can play music,” said Piaggio, who added that she hoped the program inspired students and taught them something new. “Everybody should play music because it’s good for you; it completes you as a human being, and it’s a social thing.”

Fourth-grader Taro Yamamoto said he didn’t know it was possible to make drums out of water bottles and was impressed that the instrument made the same noise as real drums.

Sofia Rosenblatt, a fourth-grader who plays the violin, said she enjoyed the performance with the “Styrolin,” which was made out of Styrofoam and rubber bands.

“I thought it wouldn’t make a sound at all since it’s made out of trash,” she said. “It’s a cool experiment to try. I wonder if it would work out if I made it at home.”

The event was made possible by the support of the Irvington PTSA.

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