May 132009

This unit is one of my all-time favorites. In fact, it’s the only unit I’ve taught all 19 years of my career.


Lesson 1

  • strings (chordophones)
  • solid material (idiophones)
  • stretched skin (membranophones)
  • air (aerophones)

Lesson 2

I explain the Invented Instrument assignment and show pictures.

II & piece assignment


Lessons 3,4

Students browse books for ideas, fill out the plan form, and bring in materials to build if they want to (most would rather work at home).

Instrument Plan Worksheet

Lessons 5-6

Explain sound piece, work in class


II & Piece rubric

Links for Making Your Own Instruments

There are so many more links and even YouTube videos.

Books for Making Your Own Instruments     

Printable pdfs below


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  3 Responses to “Invented (Homemade) Instruments”

  1. This is amazing! I do units all year with my 6th graders and have been looking for a new idea. I can’t wait to do this.

  2. What books did you have them look through?

    • Jessica,

      Great question! Thanks for asking! I added some books to the post. I also made copies of some online instruction sheets and put them in page protectors in 3-ring binders. I also encouraged my students to google more ideas – there are tons on the web!


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