Physics of Music.

Workshop 1. Waves and their movement. Mechanical waves. Sound. Role of the ear and its structure. String and its vibration. String instruments. Resonance.

Practical part. Instrument made of bamboo stick, sewing thread, and plastic cup. Connecting the thread of certain length to a stick and a bottom of a cup.


  1. Plastic/Paper cup (as large as possible)
  2. Sewing thread
  3. Bamboo skewers ~30см in length
  4. Small scissors with sharp ends (to make a hole in a bottom of the cup)
  5. Small nail or paperclip to hold the thread inside of the cup

Workshop 2. Waves parameters and characteristics. Length, frequency, amplitude. High and low sound (pitch), notes, loudness/volume.

The role of string parameters on the sound. Longitudinal and transverse waves. Tuning fork. Gong and membrane. Percussion instruments.

Practical part. Making sounds from different objects: fry pans, pots, glasses using longitudinal and transverse waves.    


  1. Tall glasses with smooth surface (pint glass usually works well). Wine glass works well too, but less sturdy in kids’ hands. We’ll make them sing (need to wash hands with a soap first and then keep fingers moist).
  2. Cup of water
  3. Largest fry pan and pot (could be a few of different sizes)
  4. Bamboo skewers (with sharp end)
  5. Small bouncing rubber ball. Great if you would have 2 or 3 of different sizes. We will need to pierce it with a skewer to make drumstick/mallet. The cheapest sold in Poundland. Lots of them on Ebay/Amazon. Sample —
  6. Bottle cork (not a plastic one) – not necessary, but preferably. It is for an additional mallet with different properties.

Workshop 3.  Wind instruments. Principle of work. Air vibrations, standing wave. Air movement in a tube. Some math!

Whistle, recorder, flute. Saxophone, clarinet, bagpipes. Horn, trombone, tuba.

Practical part. Harmonica/buzzer from ice cream popsicles, rubber bands, plastic straws. Saxophone from plastic straw. Bagpipes from latex glove, plastic straws, scotch tape.


  1. Popsicle stcks 3-4. In Poundland or Онлайн — 
  2. Rubber bands —
  3.  Plastic Straws (can be replaced with paper ones, but work not as good))
  4. Latex gloves 2 (to blow as a balloon)
  5. Scotch (and/or duct) tape

Workshop 4. Flute. The role of the tube dimensions. Types of flutes. Differences between panflute, whistle, and recorder.  

Practical part. Making a whistle/recorder from a carrot.


  1. Long carrot (preferably as cylindrical as possible) >15cm in length and >2см in diameter (2-3 pieces as it probably won’t work from the first time)
  2. Drilling bit 10mm in diameter and the longer the better. NOT A MASONRY bit, but for wood or metal. If you don’t have one, here the sample:
  3. Knife and cutting board to cut carrot
  4. Small scissors (or smaller drill bit ~5mm) — to make holes in carrot

Workshop 5. Flute. Principle of work. Calculations for holes. Program Flutomat (online)

Practical part. Cutting a piece of plastic pipe of certain length. Using a bottle cork and scotch tape to make a plug for the tube (can be done before the workshop, it should fit tightly). Tape the paper ruler (printed in advance) to the cut tube (“0” at the end without plug). Finding the correct calculations for the size and position of holes with Flutomat, marking them with a pen. Making holes with a drilling bits of different diameters by hand (or with a drill if the level of skill is acceptable) – it is easy and safe to do by hands as plastic is quite soft.


  1. Plastic tube (PVC) ~1m, diameter 25mm, wall thickness 1.25mm. The cheapest I found sold in pairs, so it could be bought jointly for 2 participants. If you will have a tube with different dimensions (diameter, walls), we will have to make a separate calculations and it’ll take time and we may not be able to make everything in time.                        
  2. Drilling bits for wood/metal (NOT MASONRY) with a diameter 4, 6, 8, 10mm. If you don’t have such a set, it may be easier (and cheaper) to buy a single one with steps: