Allen Elementary Shcool

K-2 Creating Music Around the House

K-2 Creating Music
Posted on 03/29/2020

Unit Range

This unit is intended to last for several weeks fine tuning and adding to the collection of instruments, song repertoire or developing a unique composition, as described below. A suggested week-to-week guide follows:
Week 1 - Find/Build the first instrument(s). Arrange them in order by pitch. Eliminate instruments that make noise.
Week 2 - Fine tune the instrument, begin playing simple 2-3 pitch songs. Create songs within a 3 pitch scale.
Week 3 - Expand song repertoire to 4-5 pitch songs. Create songs within a 5 pitch scale.
Week 4 - Refine composed song to be able to play it back precisely. Develop a method to write it down for memorization (colors are a good method here, or use Chrome Music Lab - Song Maker and bookmark it!)
Week 5 - Publish musical work with writing and performance.

Clear Learning Target

Create music by collecting a variety of objects or building and tuning an instrument.


A variety of found-sound objects with a definite pitch
Simple songs
Specific materials for instrument projects (optional)

Here are some solid design suggestions for building an appropriate instrument for this task at home. Designs can be modified to exclude non-essential, decorative elements. Some of these can be searched for online for specific designs:
Wrench/Bolt Glockenspiel (YouTube Demonstration)
Glass bottle xylophone
Shoebox guitar (YouTube DIY guide)
Straw panpipes (WikiHow Link)

Here are some examples of instruments that are noise makers and would be inappropriate for intent on this unit:

Enrichment Videos/Resources

Disney Medley on Pressurized Plastic Bottle
Harry Potter Theme on Glass Harp - Website for interactive tuning using solfege



Music Scale


Songs are made up of two basic things: Pitch and Rhythm. Pitch is how high or low a sound is; rhythm is how long or short a sound lasts, or how long or short a silence lasts (rest). Put pitches in order with a certain rhythm and that creates the melody, which is what is so recognizable in the song.
All of the different pitches that are used to make the melody of a song is called a scale. You can find different pitches in different things around your house - glass, metal, plastic, wood, etc. To make the melody of a song, you will need to collect many things that can make different pitches. Some things make more than one pitch, resulting in a noise. You want to avoid things that make noise and only choose things that make a single pitch.


Collect at least five household things that can make different pitches. (You can't use instruments for this task!) You may have to tap, scrape, blow or pluck these things to hear their pitch. (Some things do NOT make a single pitch, but rather make noise. You can tell if you can sing to match the pitch; you won't be able to sing and match a noise). Place these things somewhere that you can arrange them from Left to Right, Low to High.

Some objects can be tuned. Tuning an instrument means that you can change the pitch to a desirable high or low sound. For instance, a string can be stretched tighter to make a higher sound and water can be added to a glass that you hit to make a lower sound. Try blowing across a bottle filled with water and compare what happens to the pitch when the bottle is empty!


With your objects in order from lowest to highest, try to play back a familiar song you might have learned in music class. Here are some good suggestions with the number of different pitches you will need (the scale) to play the song:
3 pitch setup---- mi, so, la
Here We Come, Where From
(Lemonade, 2 pitches)
Coocoo, Where Are You (2 pitches)
We Are Dancing In the Forest (3 pitches)
Doggie, Doggie (3)
Rain, Rain, Go Away (3)
3-pitch setup----- do, re, mi
Frog in the Meadow (3)
Hot Cross Buns (3)
5-pitch setup----- do, re, mi, so, la
King's Land (4)
Let Us Chase the Squirrel (4)
Who's That Tapping at the Window (4)
Teddy Bear, Teddy Bear (5)
Firefly, Firefly, In the Night (5)
Button You Must Wander
Bow, Wow, Wow (5)
Rocky Top (5, verse only)
5-pitch, lower setup-----(low so, low la, do, re, mi)
Old McDonald
Old Dan Tucker (5)
7-pitch setup---- (low so, do, re, mi, fa, so, la)
Eency, Weency Spider (6)
Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star 
London Bridge (6)
The Farmer in the Dell (6)
Brother John (6)


After you have played through some familiar songs, I want you to change the melody of one of the songs by changing the pitches of the song. Continue to use the same rhythm.


If you would like to share your instrument and your playing with Mr. McClary, send your videos to Mr. McClary's email.


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