Making Musical Instruments from Junk

This book offers a wealth of ideas for making satisfying musical instruments from everyday and junk materials. It is aimed at children aged eight and upwards who can work on their own with occasional adult help, but many of the instruments are also suitable for much younger children.

There are14 practical projects, with step by step instructions and photographs. There are also sections on choosing appropriate materials, and design and decoration techniques. The book encourages children to develop their own ideas, as well as offering tried and tested design and technology techniques which are guaranteed to work.

You can get the book for £8.49 including postage, paying through Paypal:

Or you can buy it from:

AC Black

“Since 1987 I’ve visited thousands of primary schools with my World of Strings shows and workshops. I’m often shown instruments children have made previously during music and D&T projects. They are usually variations on rice bottle shakers and elastic band harps (which children repeatedly make from playschool right through to year 6), or they are beautifully-decorated pieces of sculpture that don’t make a satisfying sound. The children are often disappointed. My book aims to change this, to introduce simple, original ideas that are fun to make, work well, and SOUND GOOD…..”  Nick Penny


 Review from unusual musical instrument website windworld : “Nick has recently come out with a new children’s instrument-making book called Making Musical Instruments from Junk. Thirty-two pages, full colour on every page, lots of photos of children with appealing instruments and appealing smiles. A great challenge with books like this is coming up with ideas that truly are simple to make, without requiring tools unsuited for little ones, using materials that really are widely accessible without significant cost. So I’m happy to say that this book really does keep it simple: lots of plastic jugs, balloons and adhesive tape, and very simple instructions. There are 14 instruments, including a few simple rattles and the like, but also including some clever and inventive pop bottle wind instruments and strings.”

Youtube video: how to make a poptar