Walden and Pines Bridge Students Learn How to ‘Bash the Trash’ – and Make Music

May 08, 2019

Walden and Pines Bridge School students may never look at old Styrofoam, rubber bands or empty soda bottles the same way again – thanks to a trio of musicians who demonstrated how to turn trash into a bevy of instruments.

At assemblies held for both schools on Wednesday, "Bash the Trash” entertained students with a performance that weaved together music, environmental awareness and science. The three performers played a variety of strange-looking musical instruments that included everything from a hubcap-turned-drum to a xylophone made from a bureau drawer to a cello created from Styrofoam and old cords. They played plastic bottles filled with water and blew into giant horns created from old tubes and road cones.
Students laughed, clapped and swayed to the music. Along the way, they even learned about different families of musical instruments and the importance of recycling and reusing trash.

“The minute the music started, our students were engaged in the performance,” said Shelley Einbinder-Fleischmann, Director of Special Education for Putnam | Northern Westchester BOCES. “The looks on their faces were amazing – they really responded to the music.”   

Walden Principal Michael Sowul thanked parent Myra Helfand for working with PNW BOCES staff to help bring the group to the school. Bash the Trash includes the husband-and-wife team of John Bertles and Carina Piaggio, and Ben Bryden.

Bertles said it was important for students to understand that many common objects can get a second life by being repurposed into something else, including musical instruments. “Music is part of us. It’s important for all students to feel the joy of music and live performance.”