LISTEN Audio Instructions
Need ideas for easy and fun at-home music learning? Here's our daily Classical Kids Music Lesson.
Target age range: Grades K-5 (with modifications)
Find and create instruments using everyday objects.
1. First, find as much junk as you can. Raid the recycling bin or clean out a closet. Make sure your collection of junk represents a wide variety of materials. Here are a few ideas of things that will work well for the following activities:
• Empty yogurt tubs with lids (make sure you clean them out first)
• Metal coffee cans or any kind of corrugated tin
• Rubber bands
• Cereal boxes
• Spiral notebooks
• Wooden spoons
• Cardboard tubes from a used roll of toilet paper or paper towels
2. Explore all the different kinds of sounds you can make with your collection. For example, an easy way to make a sound on the yogurt container like a drum. Can you find other ways to make a sound with the same object? Try filling it with various objects and shaking it. Compare the difference in sound between shaking a container full of pennies and a container full of rubber bands and a container full of cotton balls. Cotton balls are really quiet -- listen carefully and you will hear them.) Using a pencil, tap in different spots on the container to discover different sounds on the same object.
3. Sort all of your objects according to sound. Decide on categories, such as "metal," "wood," "plastic," and "paper." Label a box or plastic tub with each category name and store your found-object percussion instruments. Be prepared to make some decisions: should cardboard be included in the "paper" category or should it have its own category?
Create an inventory or list of your sorted instruments. A completed example might look like this:
Save your found object collection in a safe place for use in future music lessons.
4. Sing a favorite song and use one of your new found-object instruments for accompaniment.
5. The percussion group Stomp! uses found objects in all their performances. Here they play a piece with the Harlem Globetrotters, using only basketballs.
In this video, they use brooms and trash cans to make music.
Does watching this make you want to add some instruments to your collection?
Have a question or suggestion? Contact Katie Condon, music education specialist.