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Junk Trumpet


Today's Snack: If you can get them, there are some fun little crackers shaped like horns, called "Bugles." They would be great to have today as we make a type of bugle out of discarded materials. Trumpet players have to keep well-lubricated, so drink not one but two glasses of water for today's snack.






Borrow or check out a trumpet for students to try

(wipe in between tries with a bacterial-cleansing wipe)


and/or arrange a guest artist visit from a trumpet player


Length of flexible surgical tubing

(scrounge at a hospital or from a doctor's office),

or plastic pipe (scrounge from a construction

company, hardware store or plumber)


Plastic liter bottle


Modeling clay



Let's make a trumpet. All it takes is a few basic parts, and we can use two simple items for the two basic parts of a trumpet.


First, make a mouthpiece.


Cut off the top of a plastic bottle, such as a 1-liter soda pop bottle. It should be slightly larger than the end of the pipe that you are going to use.


Cut it so that it is about one inch below the bottom of the screw thread where the lid normally screws on. It should flare out a little.


Next, make the body.


Stick the narrow end of the mouthpiece into the opening of the tubing.


Fuse them together.


Form modeling clay along the rough edges so that your cheek won't get hurt. Fill in the gaps between the mouthpiece and the tube.


Now try different ways of blowing air into the mouthpiece:


Buzz like a bee.


Put your lips together tightly and blow out, like an elephant.


Purse your lips together like you are going to kiss, and blow air through, into the pipe.


Where does the sound come from?


The trumpet makes a sound because when you push air rapidly into the mouthpiece, the air begins to vibrate. Then the sound waves that the vibration produces bounce off the sides of the tube, and come out the other end.


You can change the pitch by tightening or loosening your lips.



By Susan Darst Williams Music 2010


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