Skip to Content

How do I design my instrument? Part 2

Some people design instruments by playing with materials and getting ideas.

Others have an idea for an instrument and then find the materials they need.

Still, other people do a combination of the two. How will you design an instrument?

Think About

  • How do I design my instrument?
  • Do I expect it to be perfect the first time?
  • What decisions do I need to make about my instrument?

Get Started

Try designing your instrument with one of the following approaches:

Approach 1: Planning First

  1. Make a drawing of an idea that you have for an instrument.
  2. Include notes in your drawing about how your instrument might work
  3. Then make a list of materials that you would need to build the instrument.


Approach 2: Playing First

  1. Play with the materials you have available. Experiment with how they make sounds.
  2. Make a prototype of an instrument
  • A prototype is a first draft that you use to get ideas, but can change later or scrap to make something better.
  • It is okay if your instrument does not work the way you thought it would. Use this to learn from and improve upon in the next tutorial.

Share What you Learned

  • Share a drawing or a photo/video of your prototype.
  • Describe how it works and what you like/don’t like about it.

Go Further!

(optional) Get some ideas for designing an instrument or interface


Move On

Return to the XP How can I create instruments and interfaces with Recycled Materials? (continue to the next XP in the mini-playlist)