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4 Easy Homemade Musical Instruments for National Music Week

Make these homemade musical instruments with four materials or less!
A child playing instruments for National Music Week
By: Rebecca Desfosse

National Music Week is the first full week in May. It's a great opportunity to introduce your kids to the art of making music. To start, here are four homemade musical instruments you can make with your child. If you have four kids, you can make one of each and start your own garage band!

1. Paper Towel Kazoo

Homemade instrument: paper towel roll kazoo

Photo source: Flickr

For this fun instrument, you'll need an empty paper towel roll, wax paper and rubber bands. Attach a piece of wax paper onto the end of the paper towel roll and secure it with a rubber band. Poke several holes into the paper towel roll. Hum into the open end of the roll and place your fingers over the holes to change the pitch. Repeat the entire process using a toilet paper roll for a completely different sounding kazoo.

2. Water Xylophone

Homemade instrument: water xylophone

Photo source: Flickr

For this DIY, all you need are glasses, food coloring and some water. Fill the glasses with different amounts of water and place a few drops of food coloring in various colors in each glass. Line up the glasses from the one with the largest amount of water to the smallest amount. Hit each glass (lightly!) with a metal or wooden spoon to make music.

3. Plastic Egg Maracas

Homemade instrument: Easter egg maracas

Photo source: Flickr

Don't know what to do with last month's empty Easter eggs? Gather them up from under the couch, in the toy box and behind the TV and fill them with different noise-making substances. You can use sand, rice, beans, beads or anything else that makes noise. Then, let you kids experiment with the different materials to make different sounds. Hint: You may want to place some tape or even glue around the middle of the egg to keep the two ends from opening and spilling their contents all over your living room rug!

4. Shoebox Guitar

Homemade instrument: shoebox guitar

Photo source: Flickr

Take a shoebox and cut a round circle into the middle of the lid. Carefully cut the circle into a square. Fold the square in half and use a hot glue gun to attach it to the shoebox lid to create a raised bridge on one side of the circle (just like a guitar). Then, wrap several rubber bands around the box. Attach paper fasteners to each rubber band on the side of the shoebox. You can turn the paper fastener to adjust the tension of the rubber band to change the pitch.

These simple homemade musical instruments are quick and easy to put together. They're great for National Music Week or just a rainy day, and will help your child learn more about how music is made.

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