August 26, 2011

play with sounds - homemade musical instruments

Some ideas for simple instruments to make at home …
  • Make a paper plate shaker.  Fold a paper plate in half and staple around the outside.  Leave a hole at the top to add some pasta, then staple closed.  You could make a few of these with different fillings (rice, beans etc) and try to distinguish between them by sound alone.
  • Make a water xylophone.  Line up a row of glasses with a different amount of water in each glass.  Tap them with a spoon.
  • Play the wine glass.  Fill a wine glass water.  Wet your finger and rub it slowly and gently around the rim.  You might need to experiment with pressure and speed of movement.  Experiment with the amount of water in the glass.
  • Make a rainstick. Put scrunched up alfoil in a paper towel roll.  Seal one end (with tape or by covering with a balloon and taping in place) and add some rice.  Seal the other end.  Tip up and down to make a rain-like noise.
  • Experiment with the vibrating ruler.  Place a wooden ruler on a tabletop so that is protrudes over the edge of the table.  Hole one end of the ruler on the table and pluck the other end with your thumb to start the ruler vibrating.  Experiment with how much of the ruler sits on the desk.  How does this affect the sound?
  • Make a straw flute.  Cut the end of a drinking straw into a V-shape.  Put the pointy end of the straw in your mouth and blow really hard.  Cut the straw shorter (on the non-pointed end to change the sound).
  • Make bongo drums.
Did you try my sound making challenge?  Have a look here for more sound making fun.


Debi said...

When my 3-year-old first starting walking, we would collect small rocks when we hiked. Then we'd put the rocks inside a mini plastic water bottle. The boys loved dancing around to the rhythms created by our rock shaker.

A Vecchioni said...

Wow! There's some really neat ideas here. I could see starting a mini-orchestra! We used to stretch rubber bands over pots and pans when our son was a tot. He loved sitting on the kitchen floor and plucking away.