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Educational News

Homemade Musical Instruments

Jun-21, 2016

Homemade Musical Instruments

Recycling doesn’t always mean putting our plastic and paper trash in a separate bin. Sometimes we can reuse objects and give them new life. A great way to do this is by creating homemade musical instruments. They’re fun to construct and they really work!

Things you need

  • A piece of cloth
  • Rubber band
  • Paper
  • Tape or glue
  • Can with lid (we recommend a large coffee can or oatmeal container, but use your imagination!)
  • Any decorative paper
  • Crayons
  • Marker

How to Make Your Drum

Cut a piece of paper and fit it around the can, either taping or gluing down. Once the glue dries, you can decorate the paper using crayons & markers. Alternatively, you can decorate your paper first and then fit it around the drum. Drape the cloth piece over the plastic lid and secure with a rubber band. Now you can experiment with a variety of drumming styles!

Bongo Drum

To construct a bongo drum, you will need two containers. Decorate them as you would a regular drum, then tie them together using two long pieces of string or yarn. You need to tie one piece of string around the upper section of the container and the other around the lower section; then place a dab of glue under the string in multiple spots to hold it in place. You play the bongos by tapping on the tops with your fingertips.

Base Drum

Base drums are made from large containers, like an upturned pot. Make sure you ask permission before you start gluing paper to the pots in the kitchen! Check with what your parents are willing to part with first before you start crafting.

Belt Drum

Belt drums can be made from boxes, such as for holding snack chips or oatmeal packets, or any item that is easy to cut. Carefully make two small slits, about 2 inches apart just near the top of the box; and thread the box onto a child's belt or a shortened adult belt. Secure the belt on your body and you’re ready to march!

Once you are ready with your drums, it’s time for you to make drum sticks. Let’s look at simple ideas on how to make drum sticks

Drum Stick Ideas

The best thing is to use your hands to tap on the drums. You can also use a wooden spoon, a metal spoon, rubber spatula, whisk, or a basting brush

To make your own drumsticks, take two unsharpened pencils with erasers and make drumsticks; or attach an empty thread spool on one end of the pencils and wrap a thick rubber band around one end of each pencil. Now it’s your turn to experiment with the variety of sounds and tones you can make

Other Percussion Ideas

Cymbals/Finger Cymbals

Gather your friends while doing this activity and make all your friends tap together two wooden dowels. You can also put metal thimbles on each finger and tap them together. Or you can also use two metal or wooden spoons, two walnut shells, or two metal pot lids to tap

Scraping Sounds

A pancake flipper, metal grater, metal sifter or two pieces of sandpaper can make cool scraping sounds

Ringing Sounds

Use keys, a set of metal measuring spoons, or small set of wind chimes to create ringing sounds.

Shaking sounds

Take a container of toothpicks, a container of nails or tacks, or an envelope of flower seeds and use them to shake.