• DIY Musical Instruments

    Lockdown learning at home

    Looking for some home schooling inspo? How about a lesson that combines Music, Art and Design Technology.
    Here are some fun instrument making activities to keep young music makers entertained during lockdown and inspire them to keep playing!
    We’d love to know how you get on and see your instruments – Tag us on Instagram and Twitter with your pictures!

     

    *We advise that an adult is present to supervise all of these craft activities.

    Cereal box guitar

    Guitar made with cereal box and elastic bands

    Items needed

    • 1 cereal box or shoe box.
    • 1 recycled paper towel tube.
    • Scissors.
    • Craft knife (optional).
    • 8 rubber bands.
    • 2 crayons.

    Instructions 

    Follow the assembling  instructions here. 

    Tip: If you use a smaller cereal box or extra big rubber bands, you may be able to avoid cutting and threading the rubber bands through the box. 

    For smaller fingers why not try making mini lid banjos.

    Straw Pan Pipes

    *Good for flute players*

    Items needed

    • 9 plastic drinking straws
      • Up-cycle and collect these from drinks whilst you’re out!
    • Scissors
    • Lighter*
    • Tap (masking tape or tape with more texture)

    Instructions

    Follow the instructions in the YouTube tutorial above.

    * Adult supervision needed. The lighter is used to melt the end of the straw to seal it. This step could be left out but would result in a weaker tone.

    Recorder Carrot 

     

    Items needed

    • 1 carrot
    • a small knife
    • 1 medium size drill bit (to hollow out the carrot)
    • 1 small size drill bit (for the note holes)

    Instructions 

    Follow the instructions in the YouTube tutorial above.

    Once you’ve mastered one, try making more from different size carrots to see how the sounds differ!

    Lollipop Harmonica 

    lolipop harmonica

    Items needed

    • 2 lollipop sticks – wider ones if possible 
    • 2 rubber bands or string
    • Paper
    • 2 toothpicks 
    • Scissors 
    • Markers to decorate

    Instructions 

    Follow the assembling instructions here. 

    Tin Can Drums

    Tin can shakers and drums

    Items needed

    • 1 tin can per drum
    • 1 balloon per drum
    • Elastic band
    • Scissors 
    • Chop stick (or something to be the drum stick)
    • Rice or chickpeas or paperclips etc. to make the shaker sound

    Instructions

    Follow the assembling instructions here.

    Driftwood and broken shells rattle

    On your next beach walk, look out for some Y shaped branches and broken shells!

    Beach Wood Rattles - jazz up these broken shell & beach wood rattles with some colourful yarn

    Items needed

    • 1 small Y shaped branch
    • A collection of shells with holes (which can be threaded onto an elastic band)
    • 1 elastic band
    • Colourful yarn 

    Instructions

    Follow the assembling instructions here.

    Hair Grip Thumb Piano 

    Bobby Pin Thumb Piano - finished piano

     Items needed

    • 1 small piece of scrap wood
    • 5 hair grips
    • Staple gun
    • Hammer
    • Sand paper
    • Colour permanent markers 

    Instructions 

    Follow the assembling instructions here.

    Diddley Bow 

     How to make a Diddley Bow

    Items needed

    • 1 Long piece of scrap wood
    • 3 nails or screws
    • 1 tin can
    • Steel wire – longer than the wood (real guitar string works best!)
    • Hammer or screwdriver

    What’s a diddley bow? It’s a single-stringed American instrument which influenced the development of the blues sound!

    They’re typically homemade.

    Instructions

    Follow the assembling instructions here.

    Frisbee Harp 

    Harp made with frisbee

    Items needed

    • 1 Frisbee 
    • Screw hooks
    • String/chord 
    • Pliers
    • Scissors
    • Glue 

    Instructions 

    More information and assembly instructions here.

    We’d love to know how you get on and see your instruments – Tag us on Instagram  or tweet us @takeitawaymusic with your pictures!