Make Homemade Music with These 6 DIY Instruments

Did you know that singing in schools helps children feel better about themselves and improves their community spirit? And that mastering a musical instrument improves the way the human brain processes parts of spoken language? For these reasons and more, it’s important to make music a part of your student’s educational journey.

So why not make music fun and inventive with some homemade instruments? Here are six DIY instruments that you can make at home with your kids that will help you teach them musical concepts.

Homemade Harmonica

Harmonicas are fascinating, with their petite size and distinct sound, but how do they work? If you take a look at the inside of a harmonica, you will see that thin strips of brass—all different lengths—vibrate when you breathe into the harp. You can mimic this setup by taping different sized straws together and blowing into the airways. Or, filling  glasses with different amounts of water and lightly dinging the rim of the glass with a spoon.

Can Drums

cans with drum skins on them

Drums create the rhythm to a tune, making this instrument a key element in a tempo lesson. Whether you dance to the beat or sing along with the percussion, drums are a great guide. You can create drums at home by using everyday items like soup cans, Pringles containers, or even a tabletop! All you need is some kind of a drum stick to tap along with.

Do-It-Yourself Tambourine

decorated paper plate with hole puncher

Another form of percussion is the tambourine, also recommended by Alex Vasquez, our web designer, recommended the tambourine (his son’s favorite). You’ll often see singers with a tambourine because they’re able to multi-task with one free hand to hold the mic. If you’re looking for a fun musical addition for your kids’ acoustic act, then the tambourine may be just what you need. And this DIY version is quieter than the traditional kind!

Water Xylophone

glasses with colored water

If you’re looking for an instrument with a multitude of sounds, you may want to offer this musical water xylophone. By filling the cups with different amounts of water and tapping the glasses with a spoon, your kids can hear all the different tones that are produced. This is a great activity to complete with a friend (or little brother or sister), too. Get them started on a beat to a certain tempo with one cup, and you can join in with another sound or a different cup. Soon you’ll be on your way to making your very own homemade musical masterpiece!

Homemade Rainstick

cardboard tube rainstick

The rainstick is another distinct noise often associated with indigenous cultures. Bring that ancient sound to your DIY band with a homemade rainstick, and hopefully you’ll inspire a calming effect in your home! You can make this one with a cardboard tube, some ribbons, paper, and pebbles or beans for the sound.

Paper Plate Banjo

paper plate guitar

And no need to leave out country music as you make these DIY instruments. offers instructions for making your own paper plate banjo. Bring the mic and soon you’ll have a whole band in your home.


Share your DIY musical instrument creations in the comments below or on social media by visiting Learning Liftoff on Facebook or tag @K12Learn on Twitter and Instagram.

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