Vegetables can make remarkable musical instruments. Students are challenged to make instruments and explore the science of sound. It gives students a chance to tackle a creative acoustic engineering problem of how to work with imperfect materials. It can also be the starting point for exploring how sound is made, resonance and analysis of sound waves.
There are some instructions on the following pages in a roughly ascending order of difficulty. But there are many other instruments that could be made. On the final page you’ll find more about the Growing Sounds project and some teaching resources.
- Japanese radish scraper
- Pepper shaker
- Carrot kazoo
- Onion whistle
- Water melon instruments
- Butter nut squash udu
- Cauliflower conch
- Japanese radish clarinet
- Carrot recorder
Links to national curriculum
Key stage 2, Year 4:
- Identify how sounds are made, associating some of them with something vibrating
- Find patterns between the pitch of a sound and features of the object that produced it
- Find patterns between the volume of a sound and the strength of the vibrations that produced it
- Recognise that sounds get fainter as the distance from the sound source increases.
In addition, the activities give great scope for explore scientific methodology and engineering.