Make a String Instrument

Have you ever wanted to play the violin or some other string instrument? In this activity, you can make your very own string instrument using ordinary household items!

What You Need

  1. Information about the instruments in the string family, found here.
  2. Wire clothes hanger
  3. Two pieces of string, each a few feet long

What You Do

  1. Click and read about the Instruments in the String Family.
  2. Read about string instruments, particularly how they are built and how they produce sound.
  3. Make a string instrument using a wire clothes hanger and two lengths of nylon string. Tie two ends of one string across the bottom part of the hanger (like in the picture). Tighten it until the bottom wire bends up out of the way and tie it off so that it stays tight with your hand and then "play" it by plucking it.
  4. Take a second length of string about three feet long and tie one of it to something solid. Pull the other end tight with your hand and then "play" it by plucking it.
  5. Use your clothes hanger "bow" that you made and pull it across the string. Help students note that the tighter the string is, the higher the note will be.