Making Musical Instruments From Items you Have at Home––Easy, Fun, and Free

For some non-musical parents, the idea of introducing their children to music can seem intimidating. Most know that there are many lifelong benefits of introducing their kids to music, but many don’t know where or how to start. Luckily, fostering musical interest in your kids doesn’t have to require you to have special musical knowledge or expensive instruments. Fun, simple, and formative musical engagement can start right from your own home with items that are already in your house. 

How homemade instruments can musically engage your kids

Like all adults, parents tend to overthink things from time to time. Many believe that music is a specialized skill that can only be shared by trained experts. But the truth is that everyone is capable of being musical, and the stuff you already own and store in your house has the potential to help you and your kids express musical creativity in a fun, easy way.

Whether you use homemade instruments to play along to your favorite songs or to create new ones, families can explore the magic of music in a fun and free way without having to leave the house. This is an excellent opportunity to spur an enthusiastic musical interest in your kids, or to nurture the one they already have. When kids are off from school for a planned break or even during an unexpected illness or school cancellation, kids can develop their music skills this way from home. 

Homemade instrument ideas

Using household items to create musical instruments is probably a lot easier than you might think. The literal definition of music is “vocal or instrumental sounds (or both) combined in such a way as to produce beauty of form, harmony, and expression of emotion.” This means that everything from pots and pans to your own child’s voice can be turned into a musical household instrument. 

Lidded mason jars filled with rice or dried beans – You can transform dried goods into a fun handheld percussion instrument with a simple jar and lid. Dried beans or rice will do the trick, and the sound you’ll end up with resembles professional shaker instruments like the ones used in salsa bands. 

Pots, pans, and cardboard tubes – Every young child has a natural fascination with banging on things, and this is a way to funnel that behaviour into music. Using unsharpened pencils as drumsticks, kids can mimic the act of drumming on pots and pans as well as empty paper towel rolls and cardboard oatmeal cylinders. 

Wine glasses – This homemade instrument requires strict adult supervision. Fill up multiple wine glasses with different levels of water. By dipping the tip of your finger and lightly tracing the rim of each glass, you’ll create a unique, gorgeous tone that will shift in pitch from glass to glass. This takes a little practice to pull off, but it shows your kids that, unlike banging on pots and pans, brute force can’t create delicate musical sounds. 

Stomps, snaps, claps, and vocalizations – Some of the best homemade instruments are ones we can produce on our own. By stomping, clapping, snapping, and singing, your kids can create their own simple musical ideas or perform to their favorite music. 

Record your musical creations and play them back and edit them – Using your smartphone or home computer, record your kids’ musical explorations and have them listen back to them. If you have an Apple computer, a free, included software program called GarageBand will give your kids the power to edit audio and add special sound effects. Other software programs give kids the ability to perform live and professionally record music. 

These are just a few of the many ways parents can transform household items into fun musical instruments for their kids. It takes time and planning to pull off, but it’s a fun, easy activity that will entertain and musically enrich your kids.

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