Hey Ocarina!

Hey Ocarina!


What a silly title.  That song will be stuck in my head all afternoon now (hopefully yours too). In fact, it really doesn’t do justice to the latest musical instrument to enter our household.

Over the past year we have been subjected to the endless sounds (did I say ‘endless’?) of the cello, violin and recorder as our daughters began their journey into music appreciation and learning to play an instrument. Fortunately for us they have both excelled in their respective choices of strings, so the ‘screeching’ hasn’t lasted too long.  What I didn’t realize is how quickly they would get an ‘ear’ for music and the proper notes, as well as the ability to read sheet music.

Our oldest brought home a recorder this year and to our amazement started playing all of her assigned songs nearly perfectly on the first day.  Given, it isn’t a difficult instrument to learn, but because she had a year of cello behind her, it came to her almost as second nature.

The good folks at St. Louis Ocarina recently provided us with a beautiful 12-hole “Elf” tenor ocarina to try out (and perfect timing with the release of The Hobbit 2 this weekend). Honestly, I was expecting a plastic toy, much like the recorder brought home from school.  I couldn’t have been any wronger (is that a word?).

STL Ocarina Product

The first thing we noticed was how heavy it was for its size.  Made with some type of ceramic process, I can only imagine the detail required to make sure each note is perfect – not an easy task when you’re dealing with a material that shrinks when it is fired.

You hold it very similarly to a recorder, but because of the finger and mouth placement, it is actually more comfortable even though it is heavier.  Our model is designed for adult hands, so if you’re considering it for a child I would recommend they be at least 60lbs or larger.

STL Ocarina Playing

I suppose you’re wondering what they sound like?  I could show you a video of some songs we tried with the included Guide, but I think this video better shows what can be done with this instrument by someone who really knows what they’re doing.

They produce an astounding sound, something I’d almost call “fantasy-like”.  I can see why they’ve chosen to model many of them after fictional characters like dwarves, elves and hobbits.  I also noticed they offer bass versions as well.  I may have to pick up another one for myself!

If you’re in the market for a gift for yourself or a discriminating music aficionado, then you really should give these a look-see.  They offer quick shipping via their online site, and you can learn more about them and the ocarina on their Facebook page or by following them on Twitter. If you want to see more great videos of their products being demonstrated, head on over to visit them on YouTube.

One drawback (if you can call it that).  They’re almost too pretty to play!  This ‘Elf’ model is a work of art on its own with an opalescent coating.  I can truly see wanting to collect these and display them.  Like I need another collection!


About Scott

A former manufacturing executive, Scott now balances his family life with ownership and backend administration of websites such as SahmReviews.com, GiftCardCollector.com and a number of other online properties. He also is an occasional writer and full-time board game fanatic.

16 comments on «Hey Ocarina!»

  1. Jenn says:

    I’ve never heard of an ocarina before, that looks like a pretty cool instrument! Your daughter sounds so talented!

  2. How neat, I have never heard of this nor seen one!! Looks like a fun thing to play on!! It has such a pretty sound to it!

  3. How neat. I would love to get one for my daughter. Right now, the only instrument we have in the house is a guitar. Her day plays. Me on the other hand, have no musical ability whatsoever.

  4. Yes, that song WILL be stuck in my head now, thank you very much! LOL What a cool looking instrument!!

  5. Tammilee says:

    I’ve never heard of an ocarina before, that looks like a pretty cool instrument!

  6. Brett says:

    Love the sound an ocarina makes!!

  7. Melissa says:

    OH my goodness! I have never heard of those before, but the sound is so beautiful!

  8. I’ve never heard of an ocarina before, but it sounds beautiful!

  9. Nancy L. StyleDecor says:

    I have never heard of this before and my kids are actively involved in band. Sounds very pretty!

  10. I’ve never seen this before… I know my girls would all love one. I can’t believe how pretty the sounds makes.

  11. Dawn says:

    I have never heard of one of these before. How neat to learn how to play this!

  12. diane says:

    My son has one of these! I am all for encouraging music in any way shape or form!

  13. Carlee C says:

    I have never seen anything like this before. WOW, that is really a cool instrument.

  14. Patty says:

    I have never heard of this wind instrument. Very otherworldly sounding – I can understand why they cnose it for a Hobbit movie.

  15. Ahh. The ocarina. It brings back wonderful memories of Zelda. =D

  16. I know of the Ocarina from the ZELDA games. This is really cool – I actually had no idea it was a real instrument. lol. HOW FUN! This would be a great gift for my musical hubby. Thanks!

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