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Kitchen Concerto

You may not realize it, but your kitchen is an orchestra waiting to happen. Pots, pans, eggbeaters, graters, forks and mugs are just a few of the items bursting with symphonic potential. Tap everything. See what rings, pings, and sings!

Follow these suggestions for crafting your own homemade kitchen instruments, from Making Music by Ann Sayre Wiseman and John Langstaff, reprinted courtesy of Storey Publishing.

Glasses of all shapes and sizes filled with water instantaneously become bells, chimes and triangles. Fill a series of four stemmed wineglasses with varying levels of water. Rub a wet finger around the rims to hear them sing. Standard water glasses filled with diminishing levels and tapped with a spoon also give different tones.

Pot Cover CymbalsTo compliment your glass chimes, make pot cover cymbals by tapping the outside edge with a pencil. Small lids will make high tones, while large lids will make low tones. To create a set of cymbals, unscrew knobs from the covers and thread string through the holes. Use knots or buttons to keep lids from slipping. Explore new sounds by tapping the cymbals with different objects, such as your fingernails, or fingers covered in thimbles.

Gather friends and family to have them play different kitchen instruments. Choose someone to be the conductor, to decide which instrument should play when.

Before beginning, the conductor has to listen to each instrument to know its sound. Each sound is like a color. There must be absolute silence at the start, just like a blank canvas. Then the conductor points to the first sound. What will it be? Point to others, bring more in, combine different sounds, thin them out. Make moments of magical silence. Conduct the orchestra to an ending.

Take turns as conductor. Record a performance to play back later.

From Making Music ©2004, reprinted courtesy of Storey Publishing

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