Everyday Items Used as Musical Instruments

The discovery of ancient musical instruments including other artifacts some 35,000 years back proved that culture and arts is evolving. In fact, scientists and researchers suggest that its development is one of the reasons why ancestors of the modern humans survived while its contemporary, Neanderthals, became extinct.

This discovery also proved that ancient humans used everyday items as musical instruments. The ancient flutes were made of bird bones or mammoth ivories, the drums were made from animal skin, and the rattlers and shakers from pebbles, stones and sticks. Perhaps anything that could make and produce sound was used. Thus, it is not surprising that modern men nowadays also use everyday items to make musical instrument.

Everyday items used as musical instruments spark creativity

Even at a young age, men are taught on how to make arts and crafts. Teachers will show bright-eyed toddlers on how to make xylophone from empty glass bottles. The bottles are filled with water at different levels thereby creating varying notes. Or the teacher will show how to make maracas from empty plastic drink bottles filled with dried beans or pebbles.

Tambourines can also be assembled from some cut out tin cans that are hold together with a wire, while the lid of tin cans can be used as cymbals. A child further discovers other materials that can produce sound like the crushing of dried leaves, striking of stones and so on. It will spark his creativity and it will motivate him to further dream and create. But aside from this, studies also show that arts and crafts yield other benefits such as:

  • boosts a child’s problem solving skills
  • enhances and further stimulates brain activity
  • improves self-esteem
  • develop and improve concentration span
  • teaches patience and determination

While a child’s mental function and motor skills are also improved through:

  • development of fine motor skills
  • improves hand and eye coordination
  • helps distinguish movement patterns
  • distinction of shape and color
  • improves spatial perception
  • increases motivation
  • stimulates senses
  • serves as an outlet for emotion like anger or frustration

  • Arts and crafts spark a child’s creativity and he carries this until adulthood. Thus, it will not be surprising to know that there are several modern artists who turn low-budgeted or recycled everyday items into a work of art.

    Artists use everyday items as musical instruments

    One of the many artists who make use of low-budgeted and recycled materials to construct musical instruments is Ernie Althoff. For over 30 years, he constructs kinetic musical instruments or sound sculptures from salvaged items like old and broken electric fans and old turntables. He also uses materials originally used for industrial purposes, household objects, and repurposed devices.

    Just like the ancient men who use natural materials for his creation, Althoff uses the same

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