General Science and Teaching

Music with a Vegetable

Take a peek at this interesting video from Sydney Australia, April 2014 http://www.youtube.com/embed/BISrGwN-yH4 The zoftic gentleman makes a clarinet out of a carrot. I think that this activity could be adapted into a phun (a physics teacher term) science activity as well as an engineering project. Students could explore open and closed pipes, sound waves, actually measure the frequency of the sound with the location of the finger holes if a bit of technology is available, try out other vegetables - zucchine squash for instance. This could lead into the students creating a vegetable band - using seeds in bags, gourds, peppers as objects that toot with varying sounds etc. The possibilities are open for exploration and discussion. Be careful with awls and tools (I would not recommend using the techniques demonstrated in the video) but other techniques that are safe could be discovered. Jug bands, straw instruments, and strings often have been used, but this is the first time I thought of using a carrot! Enjoy. and Please share with us if you do something similar or if you make a carrot instrument with your students. Music and the science of music are wonderful companions for children of all ages. ~patty

Patricia Rourke
Patricia Rourke
45915 Activity Points

I love the engineering aspect of this project! However, I agree about not using the techniques shown in the video. I was cringing as he used the drill without any protective devices on his hands. However, to encourage students to be creative in designing musical instruments could be a fun and engaging project for any grade science student. This could also help create a great connection to the arts, or for those who follow the STEAM thread. Great video - thanks for sharing!

Susanne Hokkanen
Susanne Hokkanen
79060 Activity Points

Couldn't resist looking to see how much was out there on this topic. Talk about a new meaning for "playing with your food". I found this website, Carrot Musicians http://www.carrotmuseum.co.uk/musical.html. It features various musicians who make music out of carrots and other vegetables. The "Sound Matters" link talks about how the physics of music and the biology of plants can be combined to create musical instruments. Thank you for sharing this. I plan to see what my school's music teacher knows about this topic.

Margaret Stout
Margaret Stout
3400 Activity Points

I keep looking for evidence of gourds growing in my garden so I can take a picture and show. I planted some birdhouse gourds this summer. I originally thought that I would donate them to the art department for projects, but now I am thinking I may use some for making an instrument.

Susan German
Susan German
32075 Activity Points

Just came across this forum. Wow, he is talented. Makes me want to try this out. But using power tools is not my strong suit. What fun the kids would have making their own instruments. Thanks for sharing! BD

Beth Dather
Beth Dather
3950 Activity Points

Hi Margaret. Thanks for sharing. Your comments are so positive. I had trouble with the site when I clicked on it. I received a message that it is a dead page and to choose an item another way. I obtained a list of html files but none of them had music in them. If you could, would you please guide me a little bit more and help me find the music section associated with this site. Many thanks, patty

Patricia Rourke
Patricia Rourke
45915 Activity Points

Hmmm....the link works for me. I tried it in Internet Explorer and Chrome. Maybe if you start at www.carrotmuseum.com and then click Musical Instruments from popular pages it will work. If it doesn't send me a message and I will see how I can help you.

Margaret Stout
Margaret Stout
3400 Activity Points

It's not all about vegetables, but here is a collection of some resources from the Learning Center that may be a foundation for STEM/STEAM lessons with musical inquiry ~patty


Musical Instruments & STEM or STEAM Collection
(10 items)
Cheep, Chirp, Twitter, & Whistle
     -Journal Article
Pressure, Pressure Everywhere: Using raps and hands-on activities to teach about air pressure
     -Journal Article
Teaching Inquiry Skills Using Rainsticks
     -Journal Article

Patricia Rourke
Patricia Rourke
45915 Activity Points

Love these ideas!! Thanks for sharing!

Kathy Biernat
Kathy Biernat
3390 Activity Points

History Wild Carrot Today Nutrition Cultivation Recipes Trivia Links Home Contact DEAD PAGE Sorry this page appears to have a dead link. Please try the site map to view all live pages - Site Map Interactive Floor Plans are here. Ground Floor Otherwise select from one of the main pages I am using Mozilla and this is what I get. Chrome is just another browser.

Patricia Rourke
Patricia Rourke
45915 Activity Points

Try www.carrotmuseum.com then choose Musical Instruments

Margaret Stout
Margaret Stout
3400 Activity Points

Aha! A little Aha with many thanks, Margaret. I made it to musical instruments. Thanks. ~patty

Patricia Rourke
Patricia Rourke
45915 Activity Points

These are great, Margaret!! Once again thank you and I hope your pointing me int he right direction also opens a path for others to discover the power of carrots. ~patty

Patricia Rourke
Patricia Rourke
45915 Activity Points

Great fun topic. This would be a great challenge for students to create their own. I found another YouTube with this topic: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N5aUz9cDaCY Here is a how to in another language: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vsboQ7cp7a4 This is the same gentleman with broccoli: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_GabHGlGm14 He seems very intent on using lots of veggies. I still think this is a great idea to introduce the concept of sound and how sound waves are generated. Adah

Adah Stock
Adah Stock
101510 Activity Points

Hi Susan, Do you plant decorative gourds in your garden or only those that are eatable? I wonder how long it takes to grow the white ones that are used for Purple Martin houses. They would make interesting instruments. According to the foodie website, many veggies make sweet music. I regret that I am not in the classroom to have students try out these ideas for a fruity band.I hope some of the readers of this thread have the opportunity and share what happens in their classrooms with us. ~patty

Patricia Rourke
Patricia Rourke
45915 Activity Points

Hi Beth,BD:} Making musical instruments is a great STEM activity at all levels of learning, AND naturally, wise educators make it a safe activity, too. I hesitated putting the video up but know that his methods of creating carrot flutes would NOT be used in our classrooms. He reminds me of some of the older science guys on TV who went for the WOW factor rather than the safe factor; however, as you noted, it is making instruments and studying sound and waves that are the featured notes on this thread. What do you think of the other resources available, Beth? ~patty

Patricia Rourke
Patricia Rourke
45915 Activity Points

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