Making simple musical instruments at home!

If you’re interested in the Zoom music sessions I’m running – or even if you just want a quick, fun crafting activity to do at home – why not make your own instruments from everyday objects? Here we’ll focus mainly on percussion instruments that help teach rhythm, just as we would do in a face-to-face session.

Shakers (think of them as makeshift maracas) can be made from absolutely any container you have lying around. Coffee jars or tins, plastic detergent and chocolate boxes, pop bottles, anything – the options are as endless as your imagination!

First, collect old containers and bottles and fill these with any or all the following (to give different sounds): Dry macaroni pasta, rice, lentils, any tiny shells or stones (see the image below, making sure they’re not too big). You will only need to fill the container one quarter full. It’s nice to use transparent bottles and containers if possible, so that you can see the inside of them and make them look pretty! Visit a craft store to see what lovely colourful objects you can use to decorate your instruments with. I like to add brightly coloured beads and sequins to the rice/pasta, to ‘jazz up’ the inside of the bottles first. Feathers and glittery pipe cleaners also look awesome when added to the mix!

Once you’ve filled the containers with brightly-coloured feathers, sequins, beads of your choice, you’re ready to jazz up the containers themselves. You can use stencils, paints, glitter pens and stickers of your choice to decorate the instruments. You can even use coloured wool or fabric to wrap around the object, as shown by a twig decorated by one service user in the images above and below.

Ribbons and fabric off-cuts can be tied on to the bottle tops or containers. If you like, you can thread them through beads or even bells to give them an extra sound and make them look even fancier!

Here are some of my bottles decorated with sashes, sequins, feathers, pipe cleaners and beads. Very simple, very fun, very effective!

Sensory music sessions are now available on Zoom. To register your interest and tell me about yourself or the person you support, please contact me by email or phone in the first instance for an informal chat:



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