DIY instrument making in schools and in the community
education, training & workshops

As part of the Interfaces network, a series of workshops were implemented to schools in Greece, Cyprus and the UK. This action was led by John Richards from the De Montfort University Leicester. 

The idea was to work with children and artists on the creation and use of new musical instruments demonstrating different ways into DIY culture or hacking. The premise was that children, who are actively involved in the creation of music, are more connected to and engaged with music and are more motivated to learn about the craft.

The project involved artists who designed new instruments, using new technologies combined with traditional instrument building. The children built their own instruments, and with the help of the experts, they learned more about digital fabrication and programming. After having made their instruments, they rehearsed and composed new music in groups. 

In addition to the workshops, two toolkits were created in order to further disseminate the good practices and techniques learned during the workshops to more people interested in DIY making and hacking. 

"Music for DIY Electronics"
created by John Richards (Dirty Electronics)
2018, supported by the De Montfort University
"The collection attempts to break down the barrier between workshop and stage, rehearsal room and lab, and considers music for DIY electronics as an holistic practice. (..)Music for DIY Electronics consists of a circular process of ideas, listening, making, and playing."
Click here to view and download the toolkit "Music for DIY Electronics" (in English)

"DIY-Making our own musical instruments"
created by Aris Droukopoulos, Thalia Ioannidou, Yannis Kotsonis and Gelina Palla
translated in English by Danae Stefanou
2020, supported by the Onassis Stegi
"The teaching & learning material contained in the kit aims at initiating children in the fascinating world of sounds and experimental music through art and technology, without requiring any previous knowledge of music and musical instruments."
Click here to view and download the toolkit "Making our own musical instruments" (in English)
Click here to view and download the toolkit "Making our own musical instruments" (in Greek)


Workshops in the United Kingdom:

26 July 2017
Phoenix Square Art Centre, Leicester
For children and families

A free event aimed at children and families, Electro-Cricket allowed participants to make complex beats, rhythms, pops, clicks and chirps with a DIY musical instrument. Working together, an orchestra of ‘relay-based oscillators’ is been created, using everyday objects to amplify and change the sound of the instrument.

Visit the event page here

Media: Motor Music Creat-a-con 2017
October 2017
Queen’s Building, De Montfort University
All ages welcome

In October 2017, members of Dirty Electronics (John Richards and Jim Frize) provided a drop-in workshop on Motor Music: hand-cranked synthesisers and noisemakers, powered by kinetic energy!

1 July 2018
Birmingham Contemporary Music Group (BCMG), Birmingham, UK

In this workshop led by John Richards and Duncan Chapman the participants explored ways of working with home-made electronic instruments and acoustic sounds. They also created new pieces for an ensemble of Sudophones – a simple electronic oscillator, ‘junk’ tin can and bolt.

Read more here.

Workshop in Cyprus:

DIY electronics
24 April 2018
Bank of Cyprus Cultural Foundation, Nicosia, Cyprus
For highschool students (7th-12th grade)

This workshop led by John Richards, presented a sequence of units examining improvised music and introducing students to ways of assembling, making and playing musical instruments.

Workshops in Greece:

DIY: Building our own musical instruments
October-December 2018
Onassis Stegi, Athens, Greece
For primary school students

In this series of workshops led by Yannis Kotsonis and Aris Droukopoulos, Stratos Bichakis, Thalia Ioannidou and Gelina Palla the students made music out of up-to-date technology. They explored the way every sound is produced, created their own magical soundscapes and composed original cords.

Read more here.

Music for DIY Electronics
17-18 October 2018
Onassis Stegi, Athens, Greece
For teachers in primary and secondary education (especially teachers who work with students aged 9–14)

In this workshop, educators learned how to make creative use of concepts from DIY, making, electronics and sound-based music making, but also how to integrate activities centred on listening, music performance and construction into their classes. The workshop was led by John Richards.

Read more here.

DIY: Build your own musical instruments
December 2019- March 2020
Onassis Stegi, Athens, Greece
6th grade of Primary School and 1st and 2nd Junior Highschool Students

A series of workshops at schools led by Yannis Kotsonis and Aris Droukopoulos, Thalia Ioannidou and Gelina Palla introduced the students to the DIY culture by showing them how they can build their own instruments and compose original cords.

Read more here.

organised by:
De Montfort University

Onassis Stegi