Discover Found Sounds with Recycled Instruments!

Celebrate our planet all April long! 

We celebrate Earth Day on a single day in April, but that doesn’t mean we can’t continue to celebrate and take care of the Earth all year long!

If you’re looking for new ways to introduce found sounds and busking, why not incorporate some science into your music room? Quaver’s middle school projects such as Latin Percussion, Busking, and Giant Jam provide a perfect opportunity to get your students discovering found sounds using recycled instruments!

Let’s dig in to these creative activities:

These activities are suitable for grades 6-8, but can be enjoyed by anyone with access to the 6-8 curriculum! 

6th Grade

In the 6th Grade Busking project, students create a two-minute busking routine using Boomwhackers, body percussion, found sounds, and/or vocals. This is a wonderful opportunity to introduce students to found sounds using recycled materials.

The “Found Sounds Busking Parts” video helps students understand busking and how they can create their own instruments with used materials.

Invite students to clap the two-measure ostinato pattern on the screen. Have them observe and discuss what materials are being used to make each found sound. Did they know that a recycled newspaper can be an instrument?

You may want to press PLAY so students can have an idea of how the complete routine is put together! Discuss how they can create their own instruments and what recycled materials they might use—a musical way to take care of our planet!

Find this video in Resource Manager by searching “ Found Sounds Busking Parts “ or by navigating to Lesson 7 of the 6th Grade curriculum

7th Grade 

Check out the Latin Percussion project in the 7th grade curriculum, where students craft drums from recycled materials. These drums can then be used to play traditional Latin American music! Using items such as coffee cans, twine, and buckets, is an easy way to recycle old materials that might normally be thrown away. Boom-Chicka-Boom!

Find these activities in Resource Manager by searching “Drum“ or by navigating to Lesson 2 of the 7th Grade curriculum

Click the links below to download instructions for these drums!

Coffee Can Bongo Drum

Twine Tub Drum

Five Gallon Bucket Drum

8th Grade

The Giant Jam project in Quaver’s 8th grade curriculum resources expands jamming skills using body percussion and found sounds. It also is a great way to reinforce the importance of listening!

The “Jamming with Found Sounds” video focuses on using found sounds to jam. Discuss the performance and analyze the musical elements used, such as tempo, dynamics, and more. You can also discuss the importance of teamwork, listening, and following the leader—all important elements of a jam!

Can your students name all of the found sounds and recycled materials that Austin Otto and the Ref use?

Find this video in Resource Manager by searching “Jamming with Found Sounds“ or by navigating to Lesson 34 of the 8th Grade curriculum

We hope you had a wonderful Earth Day and enjoy giving these resources a try in your classroom!


How will you be celebrating our planet in your classroom?