Monday, December 25, 2006

Musical instruments for your children

Music is the essence of life and I think that no one is untouched with this beautiful gift given to mankind. Even children also love to play music and enjoy it when they get a chance to do so. For this, you require various expensive musical instruments but what if you make your own music instruments at your home with little efforts? It is a fun and inexpensive idea to make Gongs, xylophones, hummers and triangles for children to play.

1. To make a Gong you need an old pie tin or a lid of a large metal popcorn tin, a metal table knife or spoon for a mallet, a hammer and nail, a string. You have to pound two nail holes on the edge of the pie tin or on the side of the popcorn lid two or three inches apart. Thread the string through the holes and tie a knot. The string should be about 1 ½ to 2 feet long enough so that you can easily hold it without touching the pan or tin. Hit the pan with the spoon or knife and you have a loud sound. To soften the sound, you need to wrap the knife or spoon with a piece of cloth and then use a child socks to cover the knife or spoon.

2. To make a Xylophone you require glass pop bottles of same size and then shape work best for a homemade xylophone and for this purpose, water glasses shall also work. Fill the glasses with different amount of water whereby one bottle should be almost filled to the top and the other one with very little water. The other bottles should vary somewhere in between the two. You can use as many or less bottles as you like. A knife or spoon would wok well as a mallet. Hit the side of the bottle or glass gently as each one shall make a different sound. You can even experiment with different levels of water to decide which note pitch you would like most. If you have a piano or other musical instrument that shall make various pitches then you can tune your bottles or glasses to the instrument.

3. Making a hummer is also very easy where you need to have an empty cardboard toilet paper or paper towel tube, a rubber band and a wax paper. Cut a round piece of wax paper that is larger than the ends of the tube. Cover one end with the wax paper and hold in place with the rubber band and make sounds into the opposite end of the tube.

4. You can also make a triangle with the help of a horseshoe or 4 to 8 inches of metal pipe, string and a knife or spoon. Loop the string at the curve of the horse shoe or thread it through the pipe. Tie a knot at the top and hit the horse shoe or pipe with the knife as soon as it dangles from the sting. Make sure that the string is strong enough to hold the pipe.