Friday, October 4, 2013

How to Make Homemade Musical Instruments

Children enjoy making musical instruments from collecting the materials to performing in a homemade band. Go 'green' with recycled materials for your projects.

The homemade instruments below fall into the category of idiophones and with a few recycled materials, children can make creative rhythm instruments to experiment with sounds and contribute to a classroom rhythm band. The best part of these homemade instruments is that when playtime is over or the child tires of the project, most materials can go back into the recycle bin for a greener Earth.
Coconut Clappers
Those who live in the tropics can pick up a coconut, if not this fruit can be found in markets.
·      An adult needs to cut the coconut in half, drain the milk and take out the meat.
·      Help the children sand the outside of the coconut shell until all surfaces becomes somewhat smooth.
·      Children can paint the coconut shell with poster paint and decorate the outside as they wish.
To play this primal instrument, children need to hold a half in each hand. Tap the cut edges together to create unique, hollow-wood sounds. Challenge the kids to guess which animal makes a sound like a coconut clapper. The correct answer is horse and have the children use these clappers to make sounds like a horse is walking and a faster pace like galloping.

Simple bongo drums can be made from empty gallon or half-gallon plastic containers, such as bleach containers.
·      To prepare the containers, cut the tops off and make sure both bottles have been cut to the same size.
·      Tape the cut edges with a heavy duct or vinyl tape to protect the fingers.
·      Have an adult staple two containers together side by side for each child.
·      The kids can decorate the plastic bongos with adhesive stickers and/or permanent colored markers.
To play these drums, turn the containers upside down and children can tap the bottoms with their hands. To be authentic, sit on the floor and place the bongos between the knees.
And more ideas to come...
The ideas above have come from "Shake, Tap and Play a Merry Tune" by Tania K. Cowling (available on and from the author on
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See you next week,