Waterbeat Presentations for Schools Theaters and Festivals:


School Programs - The Water Beat

Here is a list of some of the movement and music segments we have created in the past 20 years of our water programs. We can combine any these segments to create a unique custom-made show. We are also open to creating new segments as well.
We love collaborating and creating!

- Water conservation - storm drain runoff - toilet and shower efficiency - watershed birds -
- tides and waves - stream and river ecology - waves - water cycle - properties of water -
- plastic pollution - beach stream and neighborhood cleanups - recycling - water recycling -
- water usage - water names throughout world - transportation of water - sprinklers -
- draught tolerant plant - tide-pools - wildflower and native plant gardens - water sources -
- aquifers - reservoirs - leaky faucets - waste water treatment - coral reefs - wetlands -
- FOG (fats oils and grease) in sinks - sea turtles - whales - salmon and dolphins -

Length: 45-90 minutes
Venue: Schools, Festivals, Theaters, and Libraries

Water Music of the Americas:


A selection of water songs from North, South and Central America

Latin infused music of original and folkloric songs. Can be acoustic background music or full band dance oriented music. This is happy, festive music using instruments from many cultures throughout the Americas. Brazilian and Cuban percussion, Andean panpipes, Mexican and Colombian rhythms, strings and vocal harmonies make these songs a true celebration of our connection to water.

Length: 30-90 minutes
Venue: Conferences, Festivals

The Siren’s Guitar :

Musical Inspirations of Water

This is a one-person show about experiences in the Andean mountains, finding cultural and musical significance in water sources. Through music and captivating storytelling, and using the 10-string Andean charango as the focus, connections between music, culture and environment are explored.  Performed by Stephen Snyder, this is a musical travel story that highlights music of the Andean mountains and folkloric believes in the musical properties of water.

Length-1 hour.

Venue-Small theaters, Conferences and Festivals

Here are outlines of two ZunZun shows

The Musical Watershed and The Water Beat:

The Musical Watershed

The purpose of this show is to familiarize young audiences with the concept of watershed and the importance of watershed in our lives. The show will cover such topics as conservation, water pollution, habitat and storm drains. The show relies on audience participation and music throughout the show.

1) Introduction - We introduce the term “Watershed” with an exercise. We have everyone in the room shake their bodies like a dog would when shedding water from its coat. We explain that water is always moving in many directions just like the droplets from the dog’s coat, and in fact, is in a constant cycle (we talk about the water cycle here). A watershed is all of the waterways (droplets from the dog’s coat) connected together.

2) Musical Rainstorm / Water Falls to the Earth– This segment creates a musical rainstorm utilizing instruments from the Andean Mountains of South America (bombo, charango, chakjas, kena, zampona). The sounds culminate in a song from Peru, which celebrates the coming of the rains for the planting season “Carnavalito”. We review the water cycle, evaporation, condensation and precipitation, as this helps tie our watershed show into the Science Standards for the State of California.

3) Water Dance / Watersheds are Defined- We explain that as water falls, it transforms into a variety of ecosystems. We demonstrate this with a giant piece of blue cloth, which we bring out into the audience. We demonstrate a lake by laying the cloth on a section of the audience. A river is the cloth passed over a section of the audience as we run. An aquifer is us pulling the cloth around the feet of the audience in the front row to demonstrate underground waterways. An estuary is us going back and forth with the cloth, between high and low tides. An ocean is us passing the cloth like waves over the audience while singing “Surfing USA”.

4) Storm Drain/Our Connection to Watershed, No Matter Where We Are- We demonstrate that no matter where you are, you are connected to your watershed through storm drains. To define a storm drain, we ask if any of the audience has seen “those square holes on the playground with metal slates on top”. We demonstrate how pollutants such as car oil, paint, detergent, and pesticides flow into our watersheds untreated by way of storm drains, which in turn greatly effects the wildlife populations (demonstrated by some unhappy fish puppets). This segment demonstrates the effects of storm drain pollution throughout the watershed from stream to ocean by a fisherman who takes three audience members fishing in a local stream, only to catch some trash (pollution) and a fish covered with oil and paint. We then review washing a car, spraying pesticides and the concept that “Storm Drain – It’s Only For Rain!”

5) Basura Batucada / Demonstrate How You Can Make A Difference - This segment introduces the ideas of conservation and pollution prevention in watersheds by utilizing trash found by us within the watershed (the beach and river near our home in Santa Cruz) to create musical instruments. Objects such as plastic bottles and bags and cans, when thrown into the watershed, are a hazard to wildlife populations and unsightly as well. We should all try and recycle materials rather than throw them away, and also make attempts to clean up our surroundings. We demonstrate the Brazilian rhythm of Samba and have audience members come up and play these rhythms on the found trash items.

6) Low Flow Limbo / More Make A Difference - We talk about water conservation and how our consumption of water can adversely affect our watershed. We ask the audience questions about water use such as: Is it good to leave water running when brushing your teeth? Do you have a dripping faucet in your house? Should you water your lawn in the middle of the day when the sun is out? Should you take a ½ hour shower? Then we discuss how more water consumption for us often means less water for all the other creatures that share our watershed. We demonstrate this through a limbo song played with steel drums and marimbula bass, while 8 participants pass under the limbo pole. The first time they pass the pole is high, but with each turn, the pole gets lower due to poor water conservation efforts. We ask the limbo dancers to imagine they are fish trying to go upstream and how difficult it gets as waters get lower.

7) Conclusion - We thank the audience, go over the Watershed Watch materials and have the audience dance to a salsa rhythm as they float out the door with their class while paddling (dancing) to the salsa beat!

The Water Beat

1) Water Around the World: ZunZun plays water instruments from Africa (mbira) South America (rain stick) United States (spring drum) and Asia (wave maker). Two students are then invited on stage to play water instruments.

2) Water Dances: Assembly hall is divided in to three groups, one side of room group “a”, other side group “b” and teachers are group “c”. We introduce three different dances, then one of three groups stands up to do them. The dances are: the Sprinkler, the Swimmer, and the Washing Machine. After each dance everyone sits down, and we say how to save water, with “a sprinkler”, by not “swimming” in an over-filled tub, or not filling up “a washing machine”. Congas and flute are used for music.

3) Save Some Water Dance: Everyone joins in a call and response song with movements: “Save some water, when you wash your hair” (5 min,. shower) “When you brush your teeth” (turn off water while brushing) “When you clean your socks” (fill washer before running!). “Stop the drip” (turn drippy faucets all the way off) “Fix the leak” (Get broken faucets fixed with a wrench and washers) “Sprinklers off, If it rains that week” (Or during the whole rainy season). Kids sing the song back in call and response as they do dances, and the song gets faster and faster in a covert effort to repeat the information lots of times! Ukulele is used for music.

4) Toilet Game Show: We introduce the idea that flushing the toilet is the single greatest use of water in a home, but one out of five toilets leak. We choose contestants from the audience and they select toilet 1, 2 or 3. Under each toilet lid is either a good idea for saving water with a toilet (I never flush trash down the toilet) or a bad one (I have a leaky toilet). We then explain packets every student will take home to test if their toilet is leaking. Accordion is used for music and the game show “theme song” called “Flush”.

5) Drought Limbo-using instruments from the Caribbean, we discuss the realities of drought in Marin County with a limbo dance. Water levels fall in the Russian river and Marin county reservoirs as rainfall decreases (limbo pole lowers). Less water in our watershed means more conservation efforts necessary. Students dance the limbo and help to create varying degrees of rainfall with rain sticks.

6) How much water do we use? Using percussion instruments from Brazil we demonstrate the amount of water used per person in an average household (60 gallons?) in Marin County. Students hold up 60 gallons of water (paper cut-outs attached with a string), which gives a visual of what this looks like-visual covers a large part of auditorium.

7) Saving water game show - In this segment, we have teachers participate in a game show where they read a prepared card, and the students decide if the information on the card is good for the watershed or not. We will include facts about Mt. Tam and it’s resources and benefits to Marin County. Two students are invited on stage to make sound effects. Teachers win prizes (giveaways from Marin Municipal Water District)

8) Last Activity: For older grades we do the bottled water numbers game and show how many plastic bottles are not recycled every hour in the US. Kids come up and hold a number. First we see 250, but we keep adding another kid holding a zero, until we reach the true number (2,500,000). We also show it takes 5 bottles of water to make one bottle of water (make the bottle, make the label transport, etc.). Then we say how tap water is clean and fresh to drink and show reuseable bottles for drinking tap water. Brazilian instruments used for music. Younger grades who do not do place value up to the millions get to see a drought limbo. Steel pan and marimbula are used for music