A gong is an East and South East Asian musical percussion instrument that takes the form of a flat metal disc which is hit with a mallet. Find out how to make one using simple, household materials.
By Daria Marmaluk-Hajioannou [Daria is an award-winning children’s performer with five CDs that have won national honors. www.dariamusic.com]
What You Need:
- A metal (disposable) roasting pan (the larger, the better)
- Pipecleaners (chenille stems) or yarn
- Cardboard Tube From Wrapping Paper
- Paint, stickers, glitter, glue or textured paint – for decorating the gong.
For the beater:
- 12″ – 18″ wooden dowel
- Electrical tape
What You Do:
- Start by getting an adult help you poke two holes in the top area of the metal roasting pan – about 2 – 3 inches apart.
- Slip a pipecleaner through each hole and then twist the ends together to form a circle.
- Now you can insert the wrapping paper tube (or a broomstick or large stick) into the pipecleaner circle and the gong will hang down.
- To give your gong a nice sturdy stand, you can use several more pipecleaners to fasten the wrapping paper tube to two chairs that are placed a few feet apart facing outward.
- Now that you see how your gong will hang on it’s stand, you may wish to take it down and decorate it. Add stickers, paint, or glitter and glue. Perhaps you can look up the year you were born in terms of Chinese astrology and put that symbol on your gong. Maybe you were born in the year of the rat or the pig or the ram or the fish. It’s great fun to find out.
- Lastly, you’ll need a beater to strike the gong. Take a 12″ or 18″ wooden dowel and wrap one side with electrical tape to form a head. That’s the side that will strike the gong to create its unique and wonderful sound. If you don’t have a wooden dowel, you can substitute a wooden spoon, a chopstick or an unsharpened pencil, just wrap the head the same way on the end that will strike the gong.
- Have fun!
Traditional Chinese Gong
About Daria Marmaluk-Hajioannou
Award-winning children’s performer, DARIA (Daria Marmaluk-Hajioannou) has five cd’s that have won national honors. She has the most awesome job of traveling the world to sing for kids and peace. Her website; located at dariamusic.com, was given a 2009 Parents Choice Award for its musical and cultural content.