Is it possible to create a whole band from recycled materials? Yes! And it’s also a great way to explore music at home or in the classroom while showing that reducing, reusing and recycling can be a blast!
So, rummage around in your recycling bin and craft cabinet and pull out some supplies. Here are some great musical projects that you can easily create in April for Earth Day or any time of year!
A CHINESE-STYLE GONG
Start your project or your band with a bang - bang a gong that is! In ancient China, some of the magnificent gongs they created could be heard from miles away! Thankfully, the ones you create won’t be nearly that loud!
Supplies for this project are a large roasting pan or cake pan, pipe cleaners, a cardboard tube from wrapping paper (or a large stick) and materials for decoration. You’ll also need a smaller stick, a ruler or a wooden spoon that can become the striker for your new gong. Step-by-step instructions for this project are at the link below.
Every culture in the world has some form of rattle! It’s one of the simplest instruments to play. Creating a variety of rattles with different materials and in different containers gives you a great percussion ensemble that can be played by anyone – kids of any age or ability. They can even be played by grown-ups who claim to have no musical abilities! Check out the instructions at the link below.
A DRUM THAT SOUNDS LIKE THE OCEAN
Are you looking for a quieter instrument? Do you have any extra shipping boxes around? If so, you can combine these two things and make an ocean drum that produces the soothing sounds of waves at the sea. By reusing materials from plastic containers or old report clear covers you can create a window in your shipping box. Then, you are able to hear the sounds of the surf and also be soothed as the drum/box is tilted from one side to another and the contents form a kaleidoscope of wonderful, changing patterns.
This is a great instrument to play with quieter music or to create a peaceful space in a busy day.
A BEAUTIFUL “STICKERED” SHEKERE
If you’ve ever seen shekeres (or sekeres) from Africa, you’ve probably been dazzled by the beautiful patterns of bead work that go into these wonderful instruments. Since finding just the right dried gourd and the intricate bead work can be a challenge for young hands, we’ve created a craft where kids can “bead” or create patterns with stickers. The shekere is also filled with rice, beans or small beads so that when it is shaken, it creates a nice percussion sound - just like the real thing!
If you take a moment to check out Daria’s website, you can also explore other instruments such as didgeridoos, guiros and a string thing that let’s you play with pitch and melody! You can also find complete instructions for the projects mentioned here at the Kinderart.com links below.
So feel free to explore music and art – the planet will surely smile at your wonderful creations!
A CHINESE-STYLE GONG:
AN OCEAN DRUM:
A STICKER SHEKERE: