Homemade Instruments: Great Summer Activity!

The summer is a great time to be inspired.  There’s nothing better than working towards a fun project and seeing it’s success.  I’ve been inspired this summer to be as “green” as possible, which has sprung up some cool projects that incorporate this! Homemade instruments can be way cooler than just a simple egg shaker.  The possibilities can be endless- especially with some innovative thinking.  Homemade instruments are nothing new, however, in my class: “Instrumental Methods and Repertoire” this past semester, under the instruction of Chris Gold, a guest speaker, Tim Austin shared some of his way-neat homemade collections including a tub-wash bass, spoons and a personal favorite of mine: The “Can-jo.”

The Can-jo:

  • Get a coffee can! Smaller one’s work best, especially if it will be used by small hands such as a client.
  • Anchor a piece of long wood (like a half-size guitar neck) to the bottom/side of the can with glue or anything else.  It should stick out of the can like a guitar neck.
  • Get a single string (guitar string or fishing line) and attach it to the bottom and top of the neck with screws, washers, nuts etc.
  • You can also get a tuning peg fairly cheap to attach to the top of the neck.  Wrap the string around it like you were stringing a guitar.  This way the can-jo is tunable.

I attended a session at National Conference in San Diego that discussed how to make a homemade Rim Drum.  This is a great community/group building activity and it’s easy!

  • Find something circle! A Rim head works best or even a knitting/quilting rim.  Just make sure it’s fairly solid.
  • Packing tape! You can get it in clear or any other color.  Have one person hold the rim while the other uses the tape.  It’s important to go around the rim first with the tape.  Next, start putting TIGHTLY pulled strips of tape from side to side of the rim.  Then repeat going the opposite way forming a tight seal.
  • Make mallets by wrapping tape around the top of sticks.
  • Add any colorful decorations!

Jingle Bracelets:

  • Get some elastic ponytail holders in different colors.
  • Get some jingle bells!
  • Either cut the elastic bands and thread though the bells, making a knot after each one, or glue or sew bells onto band. Either way works!

Thanks everyone! I hope your inspired to go out and try these on your own or with your clients! Happy Summer!



1 Comment

Filed under Activities, Music Therapy, Musical Resources, Student Life

One response to “Homemade Instruments: Great Summer Activity!

  1. everyone would love to have some summer activity because it is always fun and lively .

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