Mini Musicians

Age: 7-10yrs

Ease *****


In this activity students will build their own musical instruments from waste materials and transmit their knowledge and understanding through sharing video tutorials and their own blog on the Internet.


In this activity learners are encouraged to work both artistically and technologically by firstly creating musical instruments using waste material and then investigating sound using a audio recording software.

Learners should be divided into groups of 2-4 individuals before devising and building an unturned instrument (by unturned, we mean an instrument that makes a noise but is not ‘tuned’ e.g. shakers drums. Building a harp may be a little too ambitious!)

Throughout the process, ask learners to think about the sound their instrument makes and if it is possible to create different sounds through shaking, hitting, scratching etc the instrument.

When they’ve finished making their instrument, ask them to record themselves playing their instrument using similar free software). When each group has recorded themselves playing their instrument, play each recording anonymously, asking the class to study the audio trace (blue spiky pattern) and guess which instrument created that trace. Discuss their ideas and ask them to think of a rule e.g. the louder the noise, the stronger the audio trace.

What do I need?

  • Handicraft and waste materials necessary to build the instrument

Added value

This enables learners to understand how sound is recorded and represented and how they can interpret an audio trace..

Hints and tips

This unit of work could take a while because it contains different ‘components’ or ‘stages’ to it. Having said that, it isn’t difficult and can help introduce/consolidate skills such as using audio recording software.


There are no internet safety worries connected to this activity, but the usual care should be taken whilst using scissors etc in the craft activity.

Other opportunities to use the same software


This post is also available in: Dutch, German, Italian, Spanish, Portuguese (Portugal), Romanian, Welsh

Tags: , , ,

7 Responses to “Mini Musicians”

  1. Noelia García October 31, 2012 at 12:45 #

    This activity I find it very interesting and innovative, because it encourages students to work both artistically and technically. While creating instruments tombstone also implement technology to upload your video when playing the instrument. Students will be motivated because the activity is fun and can create various sounds with the same instrument, depending on how you play.

  2. Silvia Guerrero Baidez October 31, 2012 at 12:58 #

    This activity seems to me to be innovative and entertaining because they are the pupils those who create his own instruments beside putting in practice in the web the classes of the instrument; what turns them into teachers of his own instrument. Nevertheless, it would put into practice the activity with more children.

  3. Trini León Guerrero October 31, 2012 at 12:59 #

    This proposal seems to me one of the best I’ve seen on this page because children develop their artistic side and also the technique and of course, the technology must record when playing the instrument and upload it to the page indicated.
    An original idea and especially economically good, due to the crisis, does not require large financial amounts for this activity.
    Children also raise awareness of the environment to build with scrap and recycled materials.
    Finally, to congratulate this idea as innovative and environmentally friendly.
    A greeting.

  4. Nerea Campins Fernández October 31, 2012 at 13:00 #

    This is a highly productive creative addition, because the fact of having to build an instrument cluster and videotape sound a session after the task, it is very striking, and you are learning skills related to the subject, the music, yet is entertaining and dynamic.
    I think it is very good idea, because in practice often gives more fruit than just classroom theory session. With this type of activities and initiatives is achieved engage students more in their daily work.

  5. Jesús David Cánovas Espejo October 31, 2012 at 13:05 #

    Qué proyecto más interesante. Me resulta muy innovador porque trabaja varios campos del aprendizaje como son: la imaginación, la creatividad,etc… Encima son ellos mismos los que trabajan, recogiendo experiencias que le serán muy útiles para su desarrollo, aprendiendo como funcionan elementos de grabación… y poder trabajar con ellos.

  6. Raquel Abellán Valera November 4, 2012 at 13:42 #

    Me gusta mucho esta actividad y la veo muy apropiada para trabajarla en el primer y segundo ciclo de primaria, ya que en estas edades por lo general a los niños les gusta trabajar manualmente y gracias a esta actividad se fomenta algunos aspectos como la destreza manual, la creatividad, la imaginación y el trabajo en grupo.
    Los alumnos se divierten creando sus propios instrumentos e investigando sobre el sonido de los mismos.
    Gracias a esta actividad los alumnos trabajan tanto artisticamente como tecnológicamente.

  7. Dorien Van Den Steen November 16, 2013 at 15:54 #

    I have already worked with “Audacity”. The children made an instrument with waste materials and they had to build up a rhythm in group. This program is very easy to use, also for children (because there’s an icon on your desktop).
    Afterwards, they can reflect and tell what was good and what they have to improve. When they have a rhythm, they can search for a fitting melodic line or voice. The pupils were very excited to do this!

Leave a Reply

This blog is kept spam free by WP-SpamFree.