At-home activities for music creativity

What better way to spend time at home than make music? CNMN is collecting resources for at-home music creativity games and activities to do with family members, roommates, and alone.

Vegetable Sounds 
Contributed by Juliet Palmer

Materials: your voices and your imagination
Description: A guessing game in which players imagine, make and guess vegetable sounds
Age range: all ages

Empty Repeating Canvas
Contributed by Doug Friesen

Materials: A piece of paper.  Use voices, body percussion, instruments, or go searching for the best sounds in your home!
Description: Music emerges from a repeated pattern that you decide on.  Open ears!
Age ranges: 5-100

Imagine Four Arts
Contributed by Nic Doyon

Materials: a digital device to play music on-line, a clear space to dance
Description: Listen, dance, act, draw your own world while listening to music
Age range: 6-7 years old

Play it again, Sam
Contributed by Louise Campbell

Materials: two digital devices to play music and video
Description: What happens when you pair the Baby Shark video with the theme song to Jaws? Match and mismatch your favourite songs and videos for surprising results and good laughs.
Age range: teen to adult

Quarantine Memory Ritual
Contributed by Sandeep Bhagwati

Materials: two music devices e.g. mp3 players, smartphones, CD-Players etc.
Description: Quarantine Memory Ritual is a piece for one person alone with two music devices. No special skills are needed, except the will to focus while doing the ritual – which really is one. Do not be ashamed to sing. No one will hear you!
Age range: 13 to adult

“Wow” for any number of steel bowls
Contributed by: Jesse Stewart, PhD

Materials required: stainless steel mixing bowls, one per performer
Description of activity: Each player explores the sound of one stainless steel mixing bowl with a small amount of water inside of it. Begin by tapping the side of the bowl with your fingers. Gradually, each player brings their mouth close to the side of the bowl while tapping, mouthing the word “wow.” Explore the resulting timbral variations.  After some time has passed, players begin to tilt their bowls, allowing the water to alter the sound.
Age range: all ages

“Body Percussion” for two or more people
Contributed by Geremia Lorenzo Lodi

Materials required: your body!
Description of activity: Body Percussion is the art that takes music back to its place of origin: the body! It is a way of learning music through movement. You will discover that we are walking musical instruments, always ready to sound out.
Age range: 8 years old and up

Do you have activities to share?

Submit them to Louise Campbell at mlouisecampbell@gmail.com and we’ll post them on the CNMN website and social media accounts. Let’s get everyone making music!

Criteria: Fun! 
Activities should be possible for people with little to no experience making music.

  • For 1-5 people (i.e. the number of people typically in one home)
  • Required materials/instruments should be readily available in the home (e.g. use of voice, body percussion, found objects, cell phones, free apps, childrens’ instruments, pots and pans, electric keyboard, guitar etc.)

What we need from you:

  • A link to the activity (e.g. to a page on your website)
  • Your name
  • A 1-2 sentence description
  • A picture of materials/instruments needed
  • 3-5 word description of materials 
  • Age range of activity (e.g. ages 2-5, teenager, older adult)