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Sound Workshops

Build instruments and explore musical playing rules

  • Duration: from 1 hour to 1 week
  • Participants: For children 4 years and up as well as youth, families and educators
  • Number of participants: Up to 25
  • Equipment: is provided
  • Space requirements: inside or outside, as agreed upon in advance


The sound workshops may focus on any of the following:

  • Building instruments
  • Learning musical "playing rules"
  • Making music in smaller groups
  • Learning the basics of music
  • Sound workshops can also include any of our stage programs or projects

The topics can also be useful in continuing education seminars for preschool-, kindergarten-, general school- and museum-based educators.

Continuing education topics:
Musical playing rules, instrument building, music and mathematics
Sound-pictures and picture-sounds, acoustical landscapes, drum building.

Basic Concept

A large portion of the MMM’s collection is suitable for construction during the instrument-building workshops that take place during projects and continuing educational seminars. From the instaruments that can be constructed in a quick and inexpensive manner and used by many children (i.e. Electric Pipe Flute, Roof Batten Xylophone, Carpetroll Drum, and One-String Guitar), to the amazing sounding Pipebells or even real drums made of drainage pipes – the opportunities to play and experiment and even begin to understand cultural contexts won’t be lacking. We guarantee there will be a grand performance to top it all at the end!

In the "Sounds Workshop" and "Orchestral games" musical projects, children are introduced to the basic physics behind musical instruments. We explore air, membranes, string and various materials that serve to transmit resonance by constructing our own instruments out of things that surround us every day. We could, for example, build an overtone flute from electric pipes, a xylophone from roof battens, a drum from a carpetroll, and a one-string guitar from wooden slats.

With the help of a miniature music museum the children get to know and try out 5-10 typical instruments from various cultures around the world that are representative of each instrument type, e.g.:

  • Aerophones: various flutes, trumpets, bugle, ocarina, whirring hose
  • Membranophones: Congas, bongos, tablas, surdos, tambourines, quica
  • Idiophones: Gong, basin, woodblock, xylophone, pipebells, various rattles
  • Chordophones: Guitars, plucking drum, contrabass, mini-violin

The instruments that children bring with them and those that they build themselves are thoroughly explored, explained and played with. At the end of the workshop, the instruments built by the children are put together into an orchestra organized according to the basic functions of solo instrument, rhyhthmic and "harmonic" accompaniment.

A full spectrum of musical "game-playing rules" is worked out during the warmup games and rehearsals for the final concert, encompassing experimental music and free improvisation all the way to small compositions for soloists and the orchestra.

Musical games from various cultures around the world provide a practical, hands-on way for children to get to know the instruments they have made as well as the exhibition pieces from the collection. Children are able to create music themselves in small groups and perform it for each other at the end of the day. The seminar, of course, draws to its conclusion with a big final concert.

How-To for Instrument Building and Playing

A How-To for building and playing your own instruments!

Coming soon ...