Why make instruments at home?
We have a lot of instruments in our house – I am a musician myself, and a music teacher, so there is no shortage of musical instruments for the children to play. These range from my own instruments – at the time of writing I play flute, piano and am learning to play the ukulele; but we also have a violin, guitar and saxophone at home. We also have a load of percussion instruments at home – some the children were given as presents by relatives, some I have found for a good price in local shops, and occasionally I have spotted some nice instruments in local charity shops (although I always steer clear of any pre-used wind instruments from the charity shop). I do love making instruments with the children, though. Why on earth would we make them when we have other instruments at hand?
There are a couple of reasons:
- My children love making things – my son, who is 5, loves art and drawing and is at an age where he wants to know how everything works; and my daughter, who is 2, loves getting her hands into things like play dough, clay, paint, anything she can make a mess with
- Tapping into their interests with this helps get them interested in music – so talking about how we can make the instrument, what we are doing and why, and giving them free reign as to how the instrument is decorated keeps them playing with it and participating in it longer.
- I like to get them to think about the sounds that are made by their new instruments, and so by extension, the sounds their more standard instruments make.
Above all, it is a fun activity that we really enjoy doing together. I have, so far, made shakers and kazoos with the children, which I will blog about; and I plan to make several more!
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