Watch as percussionist Peter Cooper tells you about the percussion instruments in the orchestra.
Babies Through Preschool
Pom Pom Drum Painting
This is a fun activity to involve your littlest ones in both music and art-making at the same time! This tutorial makes drum sticks out of pom-poms and wooden dowels, but you can make them with whatever you have around the house, like:
- Small tree branches with tape wrapped around the end
- Popsicle sticks
Get out some paint, paper, and turn on your favorite music and let your little one drum away.
Percussion Water Play
This activity is great for outdoor music play when the weather is warm! If it’s chilly where you are, you can also bring it inside into the bathtub.
- Gather some kitchen tools or other water-safe items that can be used as drums, drumsticks, or shakers.
- Fill up a pool, bucket, bathtub, or water table with water.
- Let your kid(s) have fun pouring, shaking, and banging away with their water percussion instruments
Compare the different sounds that can be made:
- How does the sound change if the bowl has more or less water in it?
- Does a whisk hitting the bowl sound the same as the metal spoon hitting the bowl?
Elementary and Up
Make Your Own Shekere
A shekere is a traditional African instrument, usually made out of a dried gourd. Watch this video to learn more about the shekere.
Have your child(ren) follow this great tutorial to make your own shekere at home using some easy-to-find materials: an empty drink bottle or jug, strings, and beads. It’s a great multi-disciplinary art project that will have your kid(s) working on fine motor skills, arts and crafts techniques, and multicultural understanding.
Duct Tape Percussion Practice
Do you have a budding percussionist at home? Many percussion students have to keep their instruments at school but fortunately, they’re some of the easiest to replicate at home! This fun duct tape marimba, for example, makes for a great practice instrument while your child is away from the band room. You can also tape out a small rectangle onto a practice drum pad or other hard surface around your house to help your child practice their snare drum technique.
Check out our percussion family playlist to hear some our favorite music that features many different percussion instruments.