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Create your own unique drum to make music!

Using different materials for your drum lets you experiment with different sounds— high, low, short, and long—and make different beats and rhythms. Join musician Maria Finkelmeier in using materials found in your kit to make a drum!

See and hear Finkelmeier play with the drum she made in the following video:

Materials:

  • 1 box
  • 1 egg carton
  • 1 ½ gallon milk jug
  • Tape
  • Drum sticks
  • Scissors (optional) 

How to make a drum:

1. Place a box on your table surface so the open side is towards the floor.

2. Cut or tear off the lid of the empty egg carton. Leave only the bottom half that holds the individual eggs.

3. Tape the bottom half of the egg carton to the side of the box furthest away from you, parallel to the ground. The bottom of the egg carton should be pointed away from you.

4. Tape the milk jug to the top of the box, aligned with the left edge.

5. Decorate your drum with markers and more!

How to be a drummer:

Grab your drumsticks and explore all of the sounds you can make with your drum. Strike the sides of the box, the top of the box, and the milk carton, and then slide your stick along the egg carton.

Explore making beats! A beat is a repeated pattern and supports the melody of a song.

Listen to your favorite music and jam along. Can you use all of the different sounds of your drum? Is the plastic sound higher than the cardboard? Does the egg carton sound like a Guiro (hollow gourd instrument in South America)? 
 

This activity was developed by Maria Finkelmeier. Named a “one-woman dynamo” by The Boston Globe, Finkelmeier is a percussionist, composer, public artist, educator, and arts entrepreneur. Maria has created large-scale multimedia events in public spaces from Cincinnati to Northern Sweden, with several locations in Boston, including Fenway Park and Harvard’s Arnold Arboretum. 

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