Instrument making works best in groups of 15 children or less, and can take place in a classroom or any quiet space such as a shop, library or office. It is best to designate one room for the workshops and bring the students to that room. We will be noisy at times, and may make sawdust, etc. We need several large tables, chairs and perhaps a few AC outlets. Purly brings all tools and materials, unless other arrangements are made. Sessions can run from 30-90 minutes, depending on age-level and the specific project(s) undertaken.
Demonstrations of instrument making and staff-training workshops are also available. Click here for more info on staff training workshops!
Download the Banjo Making Flyer
Materials used to make the instruments are bought, scavenged, recycled or natural. We might use cardboard tubes, bamboo, garden hose, wood, hide, fishing line, deli-containers, spring steel, etc. Both the projects and materials are determined by age-level, time and budget. Grades preK-6
Some projects may require multiple sessions to complete. Many of the possible projects are tune-able, and can be played ensemble. All are cool and fun. Some possible projects include drums (bongos, bucket or shell -or frame-type), kalimbas (aka “m’bira”), pan pipes, one-string jug banjos*, washtub or bucket bass, rainsticks, marimbas, cuicas, stamping tubes and ear harps. Another option is to create a permanent – or moveable – musical installation, as a residency project.
“Another wonderful four days with you. You do amazing things with children – thank you SO MUCH for
– Lynda Tallarico, Head Teacher, N. Walpole (NH) Elem
“Great job Purly, thanks lots! We all had a lot of fun, we learned a lot and I have a bunch of new
projects that I can do with my kids.”
-Andrew Raeside, Art/Music Teacher/ Residency Coordinator, Spaulding Youth Center, Tilton, NH
”Her easy, open manner and knowledge of her art just naturally draw kids in to participate.”
– teacher, Main Dunstable Elem. School , Nashua, NH
“Thank you again for such a fun time at our school. The kids are still buzzing about their instruments that
they made, and Mr. Flagg (the principal) really enjoyed his instruments too.”
-Karen Meredith, Boscawen Elementary, NH
“Great reviews from the boys! The kiddoes really enjoyed the workshop and have been playing their
instruments at every opportunity. Thanks so very much for the workshop – Let us know when
you are back in the area and perhaps we can have that drum workshop….”
– Janice Kennemer, Hill Country CMHMR Center, Kerrville, TX/ Texas Heritage Music Foundation Summer Arts Program
“…..The kids showed a strong interest in making the instruments and playing them. Since they
were so simple, the kids weren’t overwhelmed yet they didn’t get bored. All the instruments were
very creative and I was interested to learn about some of (them) like the cuica and the pan
pipes. Thank you for your time and patience.”
– Jason Rigollet, CIT, Kearsarge HS Summer Camp project.