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At summer camp, there is often a talent show. Some campers will sing. Others will tell jokes. Maybe someone will dance. But what if you suffer from serious stage fright? Or what if you just don't want to be on stage? It’s okay! There are lots of ways—in the spotlight or behind the scenes—you can help make music happen.

And now, Campers, it's Showtime! Why do orchestras need so many people? What is a choreographer? How many people does it take to make an album? Step right up and explore these Wonders to learn about different careers in music!

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Spin, Drum, Spin!

Hold on tight - tight as a drum - and give this project a spin! This project will show you how to make a whirling percussion instrument.


  • 6 inch dowel or popsicle stick
  • 4" square cardboard
  • string
  • 6 beads
  • hole punch
  • markers or stickers for decorating


Use the scissors to cut a circle out of the cardboard.
Decorate the circle by coloring or adding stickers
Push the dowel or popsicle stick between the layers of the corrugated cardboard circle. It should now look like a lollipop.


Punch a hole about half way on each side of the circle about a half inch from the edge. The holes should be on the left and right sides of your cardboard, with the stick at the bottom.
Cut the string into two pieces, each about 3 inches long.
Tie the beads at varying spaces on each string, 3 beads on each side.
Add any finishing decorations to the drum.
Now twirl and twist the spin drum in your hands.



How could you change the pitch of the drum?
What happens if you make the string longer or shorter?

Why does that happen?

When you twist the stick, the velocity (speed) causes the strings to rise. The weight of the beads acts causes the centrifugal force to bring the beads up and out, while the string acts as a pendulum to bring them back. The beads strike the cardboard, making a percussive sound. Different sized beads or using cardboard of different thickness could affect the pitch of the drum.

Still Wondering?

What could you substitute instead of beads? Could you add more strings or longer string? How could you make the drum easier to spin?