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Make These Super Easy Pen Pan Flutes for a great lesson about musical instruments

Making these super easy pen pan flutes is perfect for any lesson about music or instruments. Best of all, they’re part of our 10-minute ESL/EFL craft for kids, which means that they’re super cheap, super easy, and super fun to make. Teaching students about music is far more exciting when they can make their own, real instruments.

When you make these pen pan flutes with your students, you’re not just making an instrument. You’re teaching students about the relationship between the length of the tubes and the pitch (sound) they make. The faces on your students will light up as soon as they hear the magical notes from an instrument made from markers!

The other great thing about these instruments is that they are made from a set of color markers. That means you can find a good use for all those markers after the ink runs out, or you can buy them new. We found a pack at the local 100 yen shop (the dollar store) with 30 different colors. This is especially useful for EFL/ESL English lessons because it allows students practice colors as they learn about musical concepts in English.

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Easy Pen Pan Flutes – Supplies List

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  • A set of colored pens (thin markers)

  • Pliers to remove the ends and ink

  • Scissors

  • Double-sided tape or duct tape

  • Card stock or heavy paper (optional for decorating)

  • Markers or crayons (optional for decorating)

How to Make Easy Pen Pan Flutes

These craft pen pan flutes might just be the world’s coolest and easiest musical instruments.

Step 1: Prepare the tubes from the pens (markers)

The pens (markers) should be a tube with an end cap, the tip, and the ink inside. Use pliers to remove the ends and ink. (It’s easiest if you prepare them before the lesson to avoid making a mess.)

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Step 2: Mark and cut the tubes

Mark the tubes at different lengths and cut them. Shorter tubes have a higher pitch and are easier to play for most kids. After you cut the tubes, put the cap on the end that was cut. It’s possible that the edge of the cut plastic could be sharp and injure a child’s lips. For that reason, put the cap on the cut end for a safer instrument.

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Step 3: Arrange the tubes and caps on tape or paper with double-sided tape

You can either put double-sided tape on a heavy card stock and arrange the tubes on it, or you can simply use duct tape. We prefer to use the paper method because it gives children a chance to write their names or decorate the pen pan flutes. Don’t forget to color and decorate your new instruments.

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Now that you made a Pen Pan Flute instrument,
it’s time to blow!!

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After your students make these super easy Pen Pan Flutes, you can just sit back and listen to the magical sounds and songs they come up with. We also recommend a good set of earplugs!

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