One-Man Drinking Glass Band

based on 3 ratings
Author: Nancy Rogers Bosse
3rd – 5th grades 
Difficulty of Project
Less than $5.00 
Safety Issues
Material Availability
Readily available 
Approximate Time Required to Complete the Project

Time will vary but may take several sessions to compose a song; an additional day to prepare science fair display 


To experiment with sound vibrations to create a simple song 

Materials and Equipment

  • 8 drinking glasses
  • Pitcher of water
  • Wooden spoon

Background Information

Sound is waves of vibrations. Sound vibrations travel at different speeds. The number of times something vibrates in a second is called its frequency. Fast vibrations create high notes. Slow vibrations create low notes.  

In this investigation, waves of vibrations are experimented with using water in glasses.  

Terms, Concepts, and Questions to Start Background Research


pitch: sound quality 

vibration: a quivering movement 

frequency: the number of sound waves in a second   


Sound is create by waves of vibrations. The pitch can be changed by changing the frequency of vibrations. 

Research Questions
  • What is sound?
  • How can you make a sound with water in a glass?
  • How can you change the pitch that a glass of water makes? 

Experimental Procedure

  1. Gather the necessary materials.
  2. Pour water into one of the glasses. Gently tap on the side of the glass. Listen to the sound.
  3. Add a little more water to the glass. Gently tap on the side of the glass. Listen to the sound. Was the sound higher or lower? Record the results.
  4. Experiment using more and less water in the glass. Record the results.
  5. Set the 8 glasses in a row. Pour about 1 inch of water in the first glass, 2 inches of water in the second glass, and so on until you pour 8 inches of water in the eight glass.
  6. Experiment with the different sounds. Record the results.
  7. Use the different sounds from the glasses to play a familiar song such as “Row, Row, Row Your Boat” or “Happy Birthday.”
  8. Practice until you can play the song smoothly. Record the results.



Science of Music at 

The Soundry at

Creating Music at


Add your own comment