Home Programs World Fest Daily World Fest Activities

Daily World Fest Activities

Get creative with daily activities inspired by Arts Midwest’s World Fest Artists. These quick 1-5 minute at-home daily activity prompts are perfect for elementary and middle schoolers, but are fun for all ages!

Try it out: Speak Portuguese

Oi! Did you know people in Brazil speak Portuguese? Follow along as Brazilian musician Paulo Padilha teaches some words in Portuguese and see how many words you can learn yourself!

Oi = Hi
Tudo bem = Is everything alright?
Tchau = Bye
Obrigado = Thank you

Click & Watch from 6:00-7:40


Try it out: play along with Hikaru

Watch as Hikaru member Hibiki teaches a simple rhythm on the shime-daiko, a smaller version of the large Japanese taiko drum. Then, play along on your knees as Hikaru performs “Don Pan Bushi.”


Click & Watch from 24:22-28:05



Discuss: what do you hear in Hadar’s music?

Hadar Maoz finds inspiration for her music everywhere, from ancient Persia and traditional Bukharian songs in Central Asia, to modern blues and rock and roll. Listen to Hadar and her band play “Labhoi Turo Blues.” Then, respond to the question: does Hadar’s music sound like music you’ve heard before? What is the same, and what is different?

Click & Watch from 11:57-16:08

Try it out: Make a shaker

Paulo Padilha e Bando’s music uses many different rhythms in different styles, including marchinha de carnaval, ijexá, and Brazilian contemporary funk. For this activity, you’ll need a plastic bottle with a cap, filled with a handful beans or rice. Create your own ganzá, or shaker, and play along!


Click & Watch from 15:42-17:36


Try it out: Write a Haiku

Haiku is a form of short poetry that was created in Japan, Hikaru’s home country, hundreds of years ago. Traditional haiku poems are usually about nature and seasons, and the poems have just 17 syllables.

Check out our full haiku guide and try writing your own!


Write a Haiku




Try it out: Speak Portuguese

Oi! Did you know people in Brazil speak Portuguese? Follow along as Brazilian musician Paulo Padilha teaches some words in Portuguese and see how many words you can learn yourself!

Oi = Hi
Tudo bem = Is everything alright?
Tchau = Bye
Obrigado = Thank you

Click & Watch from 6:00-7:40



Read: Dig into Brazilian Culture

Now that you know a little about Brazilian Samba music, let’s learn a little more about Brazil by comparing it to where you live! Use the internet and our World Fest study guide

• How far away is São Paulo (Paulo and his bandmates’ hometown) from where you live?
• How many people live in São Paulo, Brazil’s largest city, compared to the largest city in the United States?
• How does the size of Brazil compare to the United States?



Discuss: Hometown Tours

In this Off the Stage video, each of the members of Hikaru take us to places that are important to them. Watch as Yamanaka takes us to Asakusa, a popular tourist destination in Japan. Then, answer the question: where would you take Hikaru to show them something about your hometown?


Click & Watch from 10:51-14:08


Try it out: Play with Itamar

Israeli percussionist Itamar mixes traditional Persian and Bukharian rhythms with more modern sounds. He plays a variety of different drums from around the world. Watch as he introduces his instruments, and then clap along as he demonstrates the rhythms!


Click & Watch from 12:21-15:10


Try it out: Brigaderos

Brigaderos are a popular Brazilian sweet made from butter, sweetened condensed milk, and cocoa powder! Watch as Paulo and his son Kim prepare brigaderos and then play a little tune. Follow the recipe onscreen to try it for yourself!

Click & Watch from 17:10-20:20



Try it out: Make a paper crane

Origami (oru meaning “folding”, and gami meaning “paper”) is the traditional Japanese art of paper folding. The most well known form is the paper crane. Learn more about origami on the second page of the Japan Study Guide and find instructions on how to create your own paper crane here .





Try it out: Body Percussion

Did you know you can make music without an instrument? Watch Dani from Paulo Padilha e Bando demonstrate different types of body percussion and see what sounds you can create!


Click & Watch from 23:38-25:23



Read: Dig into Israeli culture

Using the internet or our World Fest Study Guide , try to find out a few things about Israel!

• Where is Israel on a map?
• What languages do people in Israel speak?
• What is Israel’s capital and how many people live there?




Try it out: Dance with Takemi

Hikaru member Takemi teaches a traditional style of dance to go along with Japanese folk music called min’yō. Watch her class and listen to her dance tips (like keeping your fingers extended), then see if you can join in! Optional supplies: scarf, tie, or small towel

Click & Watch from 6:27-10:34



Discuss: Holidays and Traditions

Watch as Paulo and Andre visit their friend Benito, an artist and puppet-maker for Carnival, a popular Brazilian holiday. During non-COVID times, Carnival, which goes on for two weeks, includes parades, music and dancing, and it draws millions of visitors from around the world. Think about holidays that you celebrate: what traditions do you have, how do you decorate, and what objects are important as you celebrate?

Click & Watch from 5:37-7:20


Try it out: Bukharian Dance

In this clip, Hadar Maoz shares the doira drum and a traditional Perisan rhythm. The style of dance Hadar demonstrates here began in Bukhara and Persia in Central Asia hundreds of years ago, and it is tied to Hadar’s cultural heritage. Watch as Hadar breaks down the steps of the dance into neck, shoulder, and hand movements and dance along to the beats.

Click & Watch from 5:45-9:56


Try it out: Count to four

Do you hear remember hearing Hadar’s count to start and end the song? She’s speaking Persian, also known as Farsi, a language with origins in western Iran in the Middle East, where Hadar’s family comes from. Listen as Hadar counts to four – yek, do, se, chāhār – and count along with her.

Click & Watch from 8:18-9:56


Read: Japanese culture and geography

You’ve heard Hikaru’s music. Now, take a moment to learn more about Japan, where the band lives! Use the internet or the World Fest study guide to answer these questions.

• What does Japan’s flag look like?
• What is the time difference between Japan and where you live?
• What is the weather and climate like in Japan?



Read: The Legend of the Starfish

Folktales are used in many different cultures as a way to share stories between generations. In Brazil, there is a folktale called “A lenda da estrela–do-mar,” or “The legend of the starfish.” Read an English translation of the story in this activity guide.





Discuss: Music and the seasons

As Yamanaka explains, during Hikaru’s concert video, each ensemble member performs a piece of music representing a different season. Watch an example as Yamanaka uses the shamisen to play music representing the spring cherry blossoms in Japan. Close your eyes as you listen and see if you can picture spring blooms! What’s your favorite season? What instruments would you use to describe that season?

Click & Watch from 7:20-11:18