Quite a few people learn to play a musical instrument (and that’s amazing!) but very few learn to make one! We’re about to make our very own straw flutes and it’ll only take a minute.
WARNING: - Make sure to have an adult help out with the scissors, watch out your pointy straw will be sharp and make sure not to play your flute too often and drive them nuts!
What do I need?
- A straw (any old one will do)
- A pair of scissors
How do I do it?
STEP1 – Flatten the end of the straw (last 2 cm) down as much as possible with your nails.
STEP2 – Cut the end of the straw into a point as shown to the right.
STEP3 – Make sure pointed end of the straw is open just a little bit (see far right image).
STEP4 – Blow gently through the pointed end of the straw. This can take a few minutes to get the hang of... Your straw will make a slightly rude sounding noise when you’ve cracked it! Good luck!
What’s going on?
Every single noise in the whole world works the exact same way. From children talking when they shouldn’t! To the best musicians in the world!
Whenever you hear a noise you know something must be vibrating (just another way of saying shaking). In this case it’s the straw itself that’s vibrating and making that beautiful noise.
More Fun Please! - Experiment like a real scientist!
- First of all get the hang of playing your brand new instrument!
- Next up, see what happens to the sound when you make the straw shorter (just cut it shorter!).
- What happens when you blow it harder?
- Keep your eye out for thicker and thinner straws (when you’re out and about) and see if you can hear a difference between them?
“The most exciting phrase to hear in science, the one that heralds the most discoveries, is not ‘Eureka!’ (I found it!) but ‘That's funny...’ - Isaac Asimov