|The Angelic song that filled the air was bound to be hummed by the shepherds for many years after. This craft concentrates of ways we may try and make the tune ourselves. This page explains how to make a range of simple instruments, you could set up different instruments on each table and have the children chose which one to make, or you could just chose one instrument type and make it as a group. Each instrument is rated , or with 3 being the loudest!
|Probably the simplest and arguably the loudest instrument is a reed pipe. You can make this with nothing more than a straw and a pair of scissors.
Squash the end of the straw flat, the easiest way to do this is by flattening it between your front teen and lower lip, but you could use a finger nail and finger tip – try not to mangle it. You then want to cut the end into a blunt point with a pair of scissors. This may take a little trail and error to get right.
This is basically it, place the reed end inside your mouth (so your lips are on the un-shaped straw)and blow hard. you’ll get a rasping sound a little like a bazooker. you can also suck air from the other end to produce the same sound.
If you want to play a tune you need to make finger holes. do this by lightly bending the straw and cutting a small section out, either with scissors or a hole punch.
|Another fast and yet surprisingly efficient straw instrument is the panpipes. The simple construction requires nothing but a selection of straws of different length attached together.
after cutting different length straws put a line of double sided tape along both craft sticks, you’ll be surprised how well these hold the straws. sandwich them together and wrap a small piece of tape round each end. If you want to make sure they don’t move use cardboard squares as spacers.
They have quite a quiet sound though it tend to be quite tinny. They are easier to operate than the reed pipe too.
|No musical ensemble would be complete without a stringed box, this one is made from a yoghurt pot, though other containers would work. I used craft wire though you could use any wire, stiff string, or elastic bands.
start my making small notches in the edge of the container to help the wires lay neatly apart. Wrap the wires round one craft stick and then across the top of the pot and round the next craft stick and back again. use 2 elastic bands to secure the craft sticks under the lip of the pot and then pull the wires tightly. It will make quite a pleasant sound, and it’s also relatively quiet.
I also successfully tried this on a egg box top, securing the sticks with sticky tape and wrapping each wire individually. The bigger box made a much less tinny sound.
|Lastly I just had to add these simple percussion castanets. To make these all you’ll need is two buttons (or tiddlywinks work well too if you don’t have a button stash) and a piece of sturdy card.
Take a strip of card about as long as your hand, and twice the width of your thumb. Fold the card in half, open it out again and sew or glue your buttons onto the inside ends. Fold back in half and have fun clicking.
These make a pleasant little click of a sound and could be used to keep tune to a song.