Musical instruments are fun for children of any age to play with. Making their own instruments is excellent in building self-esteem and encourages them to be creative.
So why not have fun with your children and help them make some instruments!
Homemade Musical Instrument Ideas
Here’s 3 easy projects to get you started.
1. Make Your Own Drum
Here’s an easy to make drum that the kids can put together very easily.
What you will need
- A round container (I used a plastic DVD holder but this could be anything, including cardboard).To ensure the drum’s longevity ensure that this is firm. As an example, the container that I used had a diameter of 5 inches (approximately 13 centimetres).
- Coloured cardboard or paper to decorate the drum (I used two colours but it’s your choice).
- Contact (the sticky plastic sheets that are commonly used to cover textbooks etc.) to protect and strengthen the drum. Please note that this is optional.
- Round piece of cardboard to fit over the bottom of the drum.
- Thick piece of plastic which is used as the playing surface of the drum (thick to ensure longevity). I obtained a small sheet from a local hardware store.
- Rubber band or similar to secure the plastic to the top of the drum.
- For the drum sticks you will need two wooden skewers and two Decofoam balls.
How to make
- Cut the colored cardboard or paper into equal size strips which are the container’s height (see the side view photograph). These will be used later for the drum’s decoration.
- Decorate your drum by glueing the strips around the outside of your container and leave it to dry.
- To strengthen and protect this surface, cover it with the sticky contact.
- To make the bottom of the drum, place the container on top of the cardboard and trace around it and cut it out (if you wish, place contact on top of this cardboard piece).
- Glue the bottom of the drum in place and leave to dry.
- To make the playing surface, cut the thick piece of plastic to size, ensuring that you allow extra room so that it can be fastened with the rubber band.
- The final step is to fasten this in place with the rubber band and you’re done!
- Now for something to play it with – the drum sticks!
Paint two Decofoam balls and leave to dry.
- Pierce each ball with a wooden skewer and then to make it secure, glue them in place.
Make Your Own Didgeridoo
Ancient Instrument Used by Australia’s Native Aborigines
Before we get into the instruments, for those of you who want to know more about this fascinating instrument, here are a few facts..
- Possibly the world’s oldest musical instrument.
- A wind instrument originally found in Arnhem Land, Northern Australia.
- Is made from limbs and tree trunks hollowed out by termites (insects).
- Is cut to an average length of 1.3 metres (51 inches) and cleaned out with a stick or hot coals.
- Was used as an accompaniment to chants and songs.
- Produces a low-pitch, resonant sound with complex rhythmic patterns.
- Whilst traditionally the Didgeridoo is made from wood, you can make one using plastic tubing or a poster tube.
Click here to find out more about the Didgeridoo and Australia’s aborigines.
You will need
Plastic tubing, or a poster tube small or large (these are tubes that you can put posters in to send or protect them) and some paint for decoration.
How to make it
- Choose the colors that you want to paint with (the paint must be non-toxic and safe for children to use). The aboriginals use natural colors, but you can use whatever you want.
- Paint the whole tube with the colors of your choice, then leave it to dry (be sure to apply an initial coat of the base color first). That’s all there is to it and you now have your very own home made Didgeridoo!
- Do not cover up the ends, as it will not make any sound.
- Blow into the tube and discover the different sounds that you can make. Playing the Didgeridoo well is not an easy task but it really is a beautiful instrument and it has a great sound when played well.
Make Your Own Trumpet
Simple to Make Requiring Few Items
What you will need
- 1 piece of hose – approximately 75cm (29.5 inches) in length.
- Cord with tassels or decorative ribbon.
1 plastic funnel.
- Scissors (do be careful with scissors around children and let them know the safety issues with them and always be there to supervise when they are being used).
- Coloured cellotape.
- 1 pencil (the pencil will be inserted so please use an old or unwanted one).
How to make
- Decorate the funnel with the coloured tape and push it into one end of the hose and fix it in place with the coloured tape.
- Add coloured tape to the other end of the hose to make the mouth piece.
- Loop the hose as shown in the photograph securing it with coloured tape where it overlaps – please note as can be seen from the photograph that the pencil is also secured in place.
- Decorate the trumpet with strips of coloured tape and with the cord or ribbon.
- Now your trumpet is ready. The trumpet produces only a few notes but you can vary the sounds by pressing your lips tighter together as you blow, or letting them relax a little.
I trust that you have enjoyed these homemade musical instrument ideas and I look forward to your comments/feedback.