tambourineThere are so many musical instruments in the world, it would be impossible to try them all — not to mention the fact that it would be hard to fit them all in your house! But there IS a way to get an idea of what it would be like to play some of them.

Make your own! I’m not talking about building a piano, or putting together a real violin, but I found some cool books at the library last week that show how to make musical instruments out of things you have around the house.

Just click on “read more” to find out about them, and to learn about an amazing group in South America who have made an orchestra of instruments made of things from the trash dump!

514S4pQgMcL._SX258_BO1,204,203,200_Title: Make Your Own Musical Instruments

Author: Anna-Marie D’Cruz

Series: Do It Yourself Projects!

Publisher: New York: PowerKids Press/Rosen Group, 2009.

Audience Age: 8 years old and up

Themes/Topics: Musical instruments around the world, kids’ crafts, making musical instruments from household items

What You’ll Find Inside: This book has just 24 pages, but they’re filled with cool crafts and interesting information. Each two-page spread tells you something about the instrument, something about the people who use it, and then shows you step-by-step with words and photos how to make a home-made version of the real thing.

It goes all around the world, with Spanish castanets from paper and buttons, bongo drums from cylindrical containers, hand drums, even a hand harp like the ones that were played in ancient Egypt! You’ll learn, have fun, and end up with an international band of instruments.

Make Your Own Musical Instruments is out of print, but I found it in our public library — I hope you will, too!

512gtDNVVgL._SX258_BO1,204,203,200_Title: Nifty Thrifty Music Crafts

Author: Felicia Lowenstein Niven

Series: Nifty Thrifty Crafts for Kids

Publisher: Berkeley Heights, NJ, Enslow Elementary, 2008.

Audience Age: 6 years old and up

Themes/Topics: Musical instruments around the world, kids’ crafts, making musical instruments from household items

What You’ll Find Inside: This is another book that’s chock-full of easy ways to craft musical instruments. You can make a tambourine, or a pan-flute, finger cymbals, a rain-stick or maracas, all from things that you can find around the house, or get very easily.

Nifty Thrifty Music Crafts is still available to buy, or you can find it at your library like I did.

With both books, be sure to ask for an adult’s help if you need it. Safety is important!

Enjoy playing your new musical instruments, get your friends together and make a band – have a concert or a parade. The possibilities are as limitless as your imagination.

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Not everyone can afford to buy musical instruments. Some very poor people in South America have found a way to create musical instruments from things other people have thrown away. They’re the Landfill Harmonic in Paraguay (Philharmonic is a word used to describe or name orchestras, so Landfill Harmonic is a kind of play on words, as well as describing exactly what they are.) Check out this video!

Here’s their website: Landfill Harmonic.

Music is for everyone!

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