The Double-Sided Xylophone

by Benita T.

Fifth grade students of Longfellow School were supposed to create a musical instrument. The name of my musical instrument is The Double Sided Xylophone. I got the idea of making it when Mrs. Rexford shoed us musical instruments that other people made last year. I thought, "I can't copy that idea, so I will put the glass jars on the cardboard." When I finished it, it looked like a xylophone except you can play both sides of it. That's when I got the idea of naming it. The Double Sided Xylophone is part of the percussion family.

The materials I used for my musical instrument were cardboard for the base, water to increase or decrease the pitch, jars to make the sound, Chinese chopsticks for the mallets, and plastic eggs so the mallets would stay and also for making sound. I found the cardboard on the top of my mom's Avon box (the cover). I got water from the sink. I found the chopsticks in our pantry. Finally, I found the plastic eggs in my room.

I made my instrument when I saw my mom's Avon box. I cut the top off and painted it all kinds of colors. Then I went to the pantry to find popsicle sticks. Instead I found chopsticks. I painted them and let them dry. Finally I asked my mom if she had any glass jars. She said, "Yes, I can give some to you". Then I painted a piece of paper and glued it on to the jars. I played it for my mom and she said it sounded better without the paper on. So I painted it with a special kind of paint for glass.

My mom helped me by giving me the glass jars and letting me use her glass paints. I did the other things, mainly. One problem I had making this project was deciding whether to put the jars straight or upside down. I figured I would put them upside down because it would be easier to glue them to the cardboard.

The way you play The Double Sided Xylophone is you take a mallet and swing it across the jars. It makes a great sound. You can change the pitch by putting water in the jars. You can change the volume by tapping a little bit harder to make it loud. You can make it soft by tapping softly.

I really had fun making this project. It was kind of challenging but it was lots of fun. My favorite thing was painting the cardboard and painting the jars with the special paint. Also, for the jars I got to use sponges to paint and they made really cool shapes. When I was making this project I learned that you can use water to change the pitch.