Summer Activity: DIY Pan Flute

At our summer Tiny Tots “Let’s Build” shows earlier this month, young listeners learned how to build music with the building blocks of the orchestra. Did you know you can also build your own instruments? In this video, we challenged two of our professional musicians to play the famous Also Sprach Zarathustra on their usual instruments, then use DIY versions of their instruments. We love how this shows that anyone can make music at home, even if you don’t have any instruments!

Feeling inspired? Try a DIY pan flute at home! You’ll need six-eight straws (paper or plastic) for each flute, scissors, and scotch or masking tape.

Step 1: Cut the straws to different lengths. Begin with the shortest straw at two-three inches long, and make each straw a little bit longer than the one before.

Step 2: Lay a strip of tape down, sticky side up.

Step 3: Lay the straws down on the tape from shortest to longest, making sure the tops of the straws line up.

Step 4: Wrap the tape around the straws. Add an additional strip of tape if necessary. Your pan flute is complete!

Step 5: Hold your pan flute up and down, perpendicular to the floor. Blow over the open holes and make some music! Notice that the shorter straws make a higher sound and the lower straws make a lower sound. 

Are you interested in learning more about the orchestra and music education for kids? Keep an eye out on our website for upcoming announcements about our 2023-24 Tiny Tots series!  Find us at

About Inside the OrchestraInside the Orchestra brings music to children, cultivating music appreciation and enhancing their education through engaging, interactive experiences with orchestral music. We are a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization. Learn more about our values and our work in the community.

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