Published On: Sat, May 14th, 2022

Elementary School Music Teacher Captures Hearts of Millions With Rainbow Boomwhacker Videos

Ms. Jenkins a.k.a. The Chromatic Music Teacher online next to her famous boomwhackers. Image: Ms. Jenkins and Alyssa Shotwell.

If you had a good experience with your elementary school music teacher, then Ms. Jenkins, a.k.a. The Chromatic Music Teacher, is the nostalgia trip you need on your social media feed. She is a kindergarten through fifth-grade public school music teacher that makes short videos online and is most famous for doing popular covers with her classroom Boomwhacker, an idiophone percussion instrument first produced by Craig Ramsell (founder of Whacky Music) back in the 1990s.

Music was a big part of most of my life, so I want to break down what that means before coming back to Jenkins. Idiophones are instruments that make sound via vibration without air (horns and woodwinds), strings (including pianos), membranes (drums), or electricity. Idiophones can be bells, xylophones, symbols, and more. Ramsell engineered plastic tubes that, when gently tapped, would create a pitch. The ’90s also marked a time when upcycling “junk” instruments was in vogue. Think of the rise of the Blue Man Group (1987) and Phil Collins’ Trashin the Camp song from Tarzan (1999). The affordability made them a popular, durable music teaching tool worldwide. Enter Jenkins—three decades later and on TikTok.

The Mary Sue

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