Musical Straws Science Experiment

Turn an ordinary straw into a musical instrument with this simple three-step science project.

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Are you in the mood to make some music but don’t have an instrument lying around? You can create a makeshift instrument using only a straw and scissors. Like many instruments, such as woodwinds, this one uses vibrations to create sounds. By blowing on the flattened end of a straw, you release vibrations, which then travel along the straw’s air column, resulting in music (or noise, dependent on who’s listening). Try it out for yourself by following these simple steps.

1 straw, unwrapped


Flatten an inch of one end of the straw by pressing down with your fingers. The flatter it is, the better, but make sure that it doesn’t curl.

Using the scissors, cut the corners off of the flattened end of the straw. You’ve now created a “double reed,” similar to the mouthpiece of an oboe.

Place the flattened end of the straw between your lips and blow. Now you’re making music!