How to Make a Harp for Children

By Will Milner
The principle behind a harp is quite simple.
The principle behind a harp is quite simple.

A harp is one of the simpler instruments to make a model version of. All you need is a way of stretching strings of different lengths across an opening. Not only is this a quick, easy way to make an instrument for children, it also is a good way to teach the fundamentals of musical theory. Get kids to measure the lengths of the strings and compare the changing lengths to the change in pitch.

Paint the shoe box gold using acrylic, water-based paint. Use a paint brush and allow the box to dry completely.

Take the lid off the shoe box. Cut one-third of it off at one end at a sharp diagonal. Place the cut-off end back on the box and staple in place.

Snip 12 to 15 rubber bands so that they are no longer loops. Tie one end of each rubber band around a drawing pin. Insert the pins at equal intervals along the diagonal edge of the stapled lid.

Pull the bands out to cross the gap where the rest of the lid would have been. Pull until they are fairly taut. Tie the loose ends around drawing pins and inset the pins into the side of the shoe box.

Pluck each of the strings in turn. They should descend in pitch fairly evenly from one string to the next. If not, adjust the tension slightly until the harp is tuned.

Things You Will Need

  • Rubber bands
  • Shoe box
  • Stapler
  • Drawing pins
  • Gold water-based acrylic paint
  • Paint brush

About the Author

Will Milner started writing in 2005 for the University of Sheffield newspaper "Steel Press" and continues to write for the Sheffield-based magazine "Now Then." He gained a Bachelor of Arts in philosophy from the University of Sheffield.