How to Design Musical Instruments for Kids in the Fourth Grade

Bottle caps can help create an interesting clinking instrument.

A fun music lesson for fourth graders is learning how to make instruments out of everyday objects. It is an interactive craft project that can be used again and again by students. Once your fourth graders have made their instruments, let them play a song or two together as a class. Not only will this project teach students how instruments are made, but it will teach them to look at old objects in new ways.

  • 1-foot-long piece of wood
  • Hammer
  • 4 2-inch-long nails
  • 16 glass soda bottle caps
  • Cardboard cylinder
  • Pen or pencil
  • Wax paper
  • Tape

1 Bottle Cap Clinker

2 Gather 16 glass soda bottle caps

Gather 16 glass soda bottle caps.

3 Hammer a nail

Hammer a nail into the center of each bottle cap to create a hole.

4 Is at least 2 inches

Place stacks of four bottle caps on the top half of a 1-foot piece of wood that is at least 2 inches thick. Keep a 1/2 inch space between each stack of bottle caps.

5 Place a 2-inch long nail

Place a 2-inch long nail through each stack of bottle caps, and then hammer it into the wood. Don't hammer it all the way in. There should be room for the bottle caps to move when the wood is shaken.

6 To hear the clinking sound

Shake the wood to hear the clinking sound your new instrument makes.

7 Horn

8 Take the cardboard cylinder

Take the cardboard cylinder out of the center of a roll of paper towels.

9 Place a small square

Place a small square of wax paper over one of the cardboard cylinder's openings. Secure the wax paper with tape.

10 Punch three holes

Punch three holes in a vertical line on one side of the cardboard cylinder. Use the tip of a pen or pencil to make the holes.

11 Blow

Blow into the uncovered opening of the cardboard cylinder to hear the noise that comes out.

Megan Richardson began her career as a freelance writer and editor in 2009. She has experience in public relations and event planning, and she worked as a writer's assistant to a published author for more than a year. Her work has also appeared in "The Daily Sentinel." Richardson holds a Bachelor of Arts in communication and journalism from Stephen F. Austin State University