If you live near natural growing bamboo, grab a few stalks to make your own pan pipes. If not, you can always get a bamboo fishing pole relativley cheap at your local Academy. Kids love these and the music they make!
To get started, gather your materials. Besides the piece of bamboo, you will need some string or twine, glue, a wooden stick or dowel, a small saw, and a penknife. In just a few steps you will have your own musical instrument, pan pipes, made from the gifts of nature!
The first step in making your own pan pipes is to saw off a piece of bamboo about 8 inches long. Be sure that one end is left open and the other is closed by a joint.
Use your penknife to make a sharp notch one inch from the open end of the bamboo. The notch must be cut through to the empty part of the bamboo and must go about 1/3 of the way through the bamboo.
You will need to make a long wooden plug measuring about 1 1/2 inches long to go into the open end of your length of bamboo. Make sure that it fits well but doesn’t overextend the shape of your bamboo. Also be sure that the plug has a flat area at the top.
Apply some glue to the plug and insert it into the bamboo until it almost reaches the edge of the notch. The flat area needs to be on top of the plug.
Now, try it out. Blow into it and move the plug in and out to experiment with the sounds. To get different sounds for your pan pipes, you will need to make different lengths of whistles and adjust the plugs to get a distinct sound.
To complete your pan pipe project, you will be attaching the bamboo to the whistles. Break a piece of bamboo into four pieces and tie the pieces to the whistles one at a time with your string or twine.
Dance a jig and bust a move! You now have your very own homemade pan pipes!