With this fun and simple activity, you can play a familiar tune and create your own song!

What you’ll need

  • Three water glasses, all the same size
  • A metal or wooden spoon
  • Three colors of food coloring and three magic markers to match
  • A piece of paper

How to do it

  • Fill each glass with a different amount of water. Tap on each glass with a spoon and note the pitch that you hear. Add and remove water and tap again to discover how it sounds when there’s more or less water. The more water in the glass, the higher the pitch.
  • Using trial and error, find the water levels that produce notes to a simple three-note song like “Hot Cross Buns” or “Mary Had a Little Lamb.” Once you’ve found the notes, color the water with food coloring using three different colors, one for each glass.
  • Now it’s your turn to compose! Create your own songs by writing down a series of colored dashes on a piece of paper, using the colored markers that match the colors in the glasses. After some practice, gather the family and have a water glass concert!

Questions to ask

Why do you think the pitch goes up when the glass has more water in it?

What’s the hardest part of composing your own song?