During my camps and workshops I try to have some kind of craft students can make that goes along with our theme. Taking a craft break is a fun hands on activity students enjoy plus they get to take their finished product home! I thought I would share some music craft ideas I have done with my students. Hopefully it will help give you some ideas you can do with your students.
Homemade Instruments are always a great craft activity to do in a camp, workshop or group setting. After all instruments always relate to music. When we are making a homemade instrument I usually try to find instruments that are relevant to what we are doing or learning. For example, when I did my Roots of Rhythm workshop, we made a lot of different drums and rhythm instruments.
When we went to “Hawaii” my students made Pu’uli Sticks. After we were done, I looked up some Hawaiin dancers using Pu’uli Sticks on YouTube and then had students try doing the dance with their new Pu’uli Sticks. Pu’uli Sticks are super easy to make.
Materials: Empty Paper Towel tube, scissors, things to make it pretty- markers, stickers, decorative tape, etc…
How to make Pu’uli Sticks: Just cut slits about 1/3 up the empty paper towel tube all the way around. Now decorate!
Oriental Trading has some fun craft kits you can purchase for a reasonable price. All the materials are right there in a pack for students to create. Some of the things we have made from those kits have been…
Decorations and Gifts
On occasion I will use a craft that will become either a studio decoration or a gift students will go home with. An example of a decoration would be these shields that I had my students color, which in turn decorated my studio lab room for our Quest theme.
An example of a gift idea that I did for Christmas camp one year is I had students decorate these little bags (Oriental Trading). We used color sharpie markers (but you can also use fabric markers) to decorate with as well as stick on gems.
Then I filled the bags up with candy and attached a cute bear to go along with our pirate theme that year along with a mini candy cane. A craft that ended up being a part of their Christmas gift!
Why not have students make something that they can take home that will help them with their music education? A favorite craft and super easy for students to make is a Homemade Note Finder.
Materials needed: Small foam sheets (you can get a big pack of these at the Dollar Store- size is up to you. I like the 5×7.), Grand Staff printed on paper (should be printed smaller than the size of the foam sheet), thread, 2 buttons, decoupage
How to make a Homemade Note Finder: Decoupage the staff onto the foam sheet. (I like to keep a foam sheet border). Add two buttons onto the thread. Tie thread around the sheet knotting it in the back. I also like to put a little indention with the thread on both the top and bottom to help keep it in place. Note: I like to use 2 buttons because you can also review intervals. If you want to also review chords, add 3 buttons.
At last years summer camp we focused quite a bit on our technique skills. So when I was thinking of what craft we can apply to technique I just had to do Andrea Dow’s “Fingercise Cup“. I made sure we had applesauce for our snack first. 😉
Lynda Lybeck Robinson shared a fun craft idea that she did with one of her students. She shared, “Remember in grade school painting half a piece of paper with random colors, folding the paper and the excitement of peeling it open to find your masterpiece? You can do the same with a bass staff (don’t paint the clef) paint 5 lines, then add a stemless middle c, bass c and low c. Fold the paper in half, press and rub the paper, then peel it open. Like magic (if you’re 8) the middle c treble c and high c appear. Add your treble and bass clef and you have your masterpiece- and, hopefully, a lesson that sticks too.”
An easy wearable craft are Decoupage Washer Necklaces. Boys can always give one to their Mom or sister. Other easy craft wearables would be bead bracelets or necklaces. Put them in the pattern of piano keys using white and black beads.
I have a love/hate relationship with Origami. The end result is awesome WHEN it works! Hint: For a successful origami experience go to YouTube and have students watch the video as they do it. Pause as needed. So much easier! Here is the best piano origami template that I found from the Piano Teachers Guild.
As you know Pinterest is filled with fun ideas! I started a couple new Pinterest boards if you want to follow them for more music craft ideas! I will continue to add to them as I find some fun and new ideas! Links below…
Do you have a great craft idea that you have used successfully with your students? I would love to hear about it as I’m sure other teachers would as well. Feel free to share in the comments.
Thinking about doing a camp this summer? You totally should! Need help getting started? I can guide you through all the ins and outs of running a successful summer camp or workshop.