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COLA 2020
Make Some Noise! Artmaking Activity

COLA 2020 visual artist Elana Mann created instruments that encourage political resistance and allow multiple voices to be heard. Learn how to make your own musical instruments in our step-by-step guide below!


Step 1: Gather materials!

You will need: cardboard tube (could be from tp or paper towel roll), wax paper, rubber band, paint (or markers, stickers, etc), pen, paper

Step 2: Decorate your tube.

*Tips: If you don’t have paint, use markers on a piece of paper and tape it in place. For painting, paint the tube white first so colors appear brighter.



Step 3: Assemble kazoo.

Take your sheet of wax paper and cut it into a circular shape. Wrap it around the tube and secure with a rubber band. 



Step 4: Write your song.

Think of a cause that you care about deeply and write a song about it. Then create a melody for your song and play it on your new kazoo!



Step 1: Gather Materials!

You will need: a toilet paper or paper towel roll, wax paper, scissors, paint, yarn, washi tape, dry rice.


Step 2:  Decorate your tube.


Step 3: Cut 2 circles out of the wax paper, with approximately 3 inch diameter.

*Tip: use a bowl or mug to trace your circle.


Step 4: Poke holes in your circle.

The holes should be in a concentric circle about 1 cm apart and about 1cm in from the edge of your piece of wax paper.


Step 5: Wrap the first circle around either edge of your tube.

Use tape to fasten in place and make sure that you can still access the holes. Fill with a ¼ cup of rice. Then fasten the 2nd wax paper circle in place.


Step 6: Cut off an arm’s length of yarn.

Tie a knot at the end and use this to thread through the wax paper. Weave the yarn back and forth from top to bottom of the roll until you get to the end.  Tie a knot at the end and cut off any excess yarn.


Step 7: Give it a shake! 


Step 1: Gather materials!

You will need: 4-15 straws, scissors, tape, popsicle sticks (optional), yarn (optional), pen.


Step 2: Take one straw and put it aside.

Take another straw and cut about an inch off of the end. Take another straw and cut about 2 inches off the end.  Cut each straw an inch shorter until you have cut them all.


Step 3: Line up your straws from longest to shortest.

Make sure they are in a straight line at the top.  Use a piece of tape to keep the straws together. If you have 4-6 straws one piece of tape about an inch from the top should be enough. If you have more straws you a second piece of tape another couple of inches down. 


Step 4: Carefully flip over the flute and add another piece of tape to the other side.


Step 5: (Optional) Make a lanyard for your flute!

Add a popsicle stick on either side of the flute to make it sturdier. Then cut a piece of yarn and hold the ends on either side of the flute as you wrap a piece of tape around everything to keep in place.


Step 6: Blow across the top of the straws to get a sound.

The longest straws should be the deepest and the shortest will be the highest.