To make a water organ
- Fill the coffee jar half full with water.
- Dip the bottom end of the cardboard tube slightly into the
- Blow across the top.
When the tube is moved lower into the water, what happens to
Try making different notes and try playing a tune, for instance,
Hot Cross Buns. Have a go at playing ‘Guess the tune?’
To make shakers
- Shakers can be made by filling plastic containers with a
small amount of material.
- The important thing to remember is not to fill the container
too much and to seal the lid well!
- Similar containers with different amounts of gravel
- Similar containers with different contents (e.g., rice, marbles)
- Different containers with similar amounts of salt.
- Different containers with different contents.
- Try to find words to describe the quality of the sound that
the different instruments make.
- Would you choose the same shaker to keep the beat to two
different songs (e.g., ‘BeidhAonach Amárach’
and ‘Óró mo Bháidín’)?
To make wind chimes
- Hang nails, pipes, pieces of glass, ceramics or shells from
a rod (chair leg or broom handle), a triangular frame or circular frame in
such a way that the pieces strike each other when they move.
- Alternatively, strike them using a metal or wooden beater.
- Invent a tune on the nails
- Keeping the same rhythm pattern, play the tune on the pipes.
- Which instrument do you prefer?
Children can be observed working alone, in pairs or in groups.
Their level of co-operation, interest, concentration and persistence can be
noted during the process, their commitment to the end product, and creativity
they bring to the making of the instruments and to their subsequent playing
- Find out the names of other folk or orchestral instruments
which produce sounds in a similar way to the instruments that have been made.
- How do the homemade instruments differ from the ‘professional’
- In what ways are they similar?