Music is fun to listen to and learn about, but even more fun to create! Although you may not have an instrument at home, there are so many fun ways you can bring music into your life. Read on to learn about three musical instruments you can make using minimal materials from home!  

Balloon Drum

 

 

This drum will make a super cool sound and you only need two things to make it! Follow the video above or the directions below to make your own drum. 

Materials: 
  • Plastic cup or bucket 
  • Balloon 
  • Scissors 
Steps: 
  1. Cut the thin part of the balloon off using the scissors (see video for demonstration).
  2. Stretch the big piece of the balloon you have left over the top of the plastic cup. This can be tricky so you may want to get help from a parent or family member. One person can hold the plastic container steady while the other person stretches the balloon over the top of the cup.
  3. Make sure the balloon is stretched flat for the best effect!
  4. Have fun playing your drum! What different sounds can you make?

 

Shaker

There are many things you can use from home to make a homemade shaker! 

Materials: 
  • Empty container that closes or has a lid (e.g. empty plastic water-bottle, plastic container with lid, empty can with lid) 
  • Small objects to put in container (e.g. small rocks, dried rice, small sticks broken into pieces) 
Steps: 
  1. Fill your container with your small objects. Your container should be 3/4 full or less so that the objects can move when you shake it.  
  2. Close the lid and make sure it is secure (tape if needed!) 
  3. Shake your container and explore different sounds you can make! What happens if you shake it super fast? What if you shake it super slow? Can you sing a song with your shaker? 

 

Homemade Kazoo!

 

cardboard kazoo with 2 small holes on front

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

You can use this kazoo to make new sounds using your voice! 

 

Materials: 
  • Cardboard tube (e.g. empty toilet paper roll or paper towel roll) 
  • Wax paper (I used parchment paper because I didn’t have wax paper but if you have wax paper it may work better!) 
  • Scissors 
  • Elastic bands 
  • Stickers, paint, or markers to decorate your instrument (optional) 
Steps: 
  1. Cut a square from your wax paper (I used about 8cm x 8cm but it just needs to fit over the top of the toilet paper roll with some extra so that you can secure it)
  2. Place the wax paper over one end of your toilet paper roll and use an elastic band to secure it. 
  3. Try making a sound with your kazoo! Sing into the open end or make a funny sound. 
  4. Decorate your kazoo if you would like. You could use stickers, markers, or even paint. 
  5. You can also try experimenting with different sounds by poking small holes in your kazoo with scissors or a sharp pencil (you can ask an adult for support). Try covering or uncovering the small holes with your fingers while you make a sound. Does it make the sounds change?
  6. Have fun experimenting with your kazoo! Try making sounds of different pitches. Does the paper vibrate differently when you make a high sound compared to a low sound? What about a loud sound compared to a quiet sound?

Have fun making music at home! You could use your instruments to sing familiar songs, or even write your own!

Julia Hess

Julia is currently studying in the Concurrent Education program at Queen’s University with a major in Psychology. She loves working with kids and people with disabilities and spends time volunteering and working in many community settings. She loves getting to know everyone she works with while supporting them in working towards their goals, and she hopes to work as an Elementary Special Education teacher in the future.
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