How To Make a Musical Instrument

In the past, the ingenuity of many Appalachian Americans made their own musical instruments from readily available materials. Making musical instruments can range from complicated to simple. You can learn how to make musical instruments with clear and concise instructions.

Did you ever hear someone play the spoons or create a beat by the hand slap of a thigh? Those also are forms of homemade musical instruments. How to make musical instruments should be fun and entertaining if you choose simple projects, like this shaker using readily available items listed below.

  • 1 sheet of black construction paper,
  • 1/4 sheet each of red, yellow, orange, green and blue construction paper
  • 1 Glue stick
  • 1/4 cup of uncooked raw rice
  • Colorful glitter
  • 1 small plastic container to hold confetti and glitter
  • 1 round empty oatmeal box or similar container

To protect the work area, place a sheet of plastic on a smooth flat surface. Cut 1/4 sheet each of yellow, pale blue, orange and green construction paper into confetti size pieces, and place in a small plastic container for later use. Add 1/4 cup of colored glitter to confetti and mix. Place a tape measure around your container and cut 1 sheet of black construction paper to fit the measurement with 1/4 inch over-lap. Measure both the lid, bottom and rim of your container. Trim black construction paper to fit the measurement.

On the sheet of black construction paper used to circle your container, lay it on a flat surface and dab a glue stick over the entire paper. Sprinkle the colorful glitter and confetti mixture over the glue and press gently with a cloth. Allow it to dry before lifting. Lay both circles of construction paper flat. Dab entire circles with a glue stick until it's covered. Sprinkle confetti and glitter mixture over each of the circles and press gently with the cloth. Allow it to dry before lifting. Place a container in upright position with the lid facing up, and add 1/4 cup of raw, uncooked rice to container, and glue the lid in place before proceeding to the next step.

With the glue stick, cover the outside of each end of the container and gently affix circles to each end and gently press with a cloth. Allow it to dry before proceeding. Dab the glue stick over the entire outside surface of your round container. Carefully wrap the confetti and glitter sheet of black construction paper to round container and press gently with cloth to secure. Allow it to dry before using your shaker musical instrument.


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