Homemade Bagpipes


By Ann Wright

Most parents at one time or another has pitched in with that special school project. My granddaughter had an assignment to make a homemade instrument. This is a family of drummers so our thoughts were “this will be easy.”  After all, almost anything can become a percussion instrument. Who hasn’t watched a child play with pans and wooden spoons, or lids as cymbals? However, my granddaughter, as her mother likes to say, not only marches to a different drummer, but she marches to a different instrument as well. Her musical instrument of choice was homemade bagpipes.
Homemade bagpipesThe collective groans of her parents could be heard for miles. It would be a long evening. We decided to search the internet for some suggestions and found some interesting results on YouTube. There were many versions of a rubber glove with various flutes, recorders, etc. attached with various pipes and hosing. One version that looked enterprising was one with duct tape, PVC pipe, and McDonald’s straws.

My favorite and a tad easier to assemble were homemade bagpipes made from garbage bags as shown in the next video.

The school assignment was a bust when it came to making music from the creation. My daughter in law comments that the biggest thing my granddaughter learned were a few new words to her vocabulary from her father’s failed attempts to produce a bagpipe sound or pretty much any sound from their assorted contraptions.

Thankfully, my granddaughter did receive an “A” for her detailed demonstration and her story about how it was assembled. Some days it is best that parents are not in the classroom. Her teacher has a great sense of humor.

We have all heard “a day late …,” and her father was no exception. The next day at work he and his engineering buddies figured out the perfect solution to produce the desired sound, but that’s another story. I am sure the teacher would be thrilled to learn that several grown men had taken her homework assignment so seriously.

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