Bang a Gong!

blue nipple gongBang a gong and every pays attention!

Tap a gong and you got a quiet, calming, resounding tone.

Gongs are wonderful instruments made from a circular metal object that hangs on a stand and is tapped or struck by a stick or beater.  Some are simple and plain.  Others are decorated beautifully with designs etched into the surface and hung on elaborately carved wooden stands.  All of them create beautiful notes when played.

What Can You Do With A Gong?

Gongs are great for marking time.  They are perfect for starting a day or an activity.  They can call kids in from recess or playtime or announce that a meal is ready.  They are a perfect addition to any home play, homeschool or classroom environment as well as a great way to learn about the culture of China, Tibet, Korea, Laos, Vietnam, Thailand and other countries where these play an important role in the cultural and religious life of the people.

Make Your Own Gong!

a smaller pie-tin gongDo you need a big budget to acquire a gong?  No way!  If you have a metal item such as a pie tin or recycled turkey roasting pan, you can craft your own unique gong.  Here are the supplies you’ll need:


Metal pan

Broomstick, long stick or cardboard tube from inside wrapping paper

Yarn, string or pipecleaners

Materials for decorating the gong

Two chairs (to use as the stand for the gong)

horse gongInstructions

You can find step-by-step instructions in the pdf below, but basically, you decorate the pan, poke two small holes about 2 – 3 inches apart, slip string, yarn or pipecleaners through each hole and hang your gong from a broomstick or cardboard tube.  A makeshift stand is easily made from two chairs positioned back to back.

Last, to create a beater for your gong, cover a stick or wooden spoon with a bit of red felt or silk and tie it around the top.  Then experiment with the sound when touching it lightly, tapping harder or by striking several times in a row.  Below is a video of a serious gong being played to give you some  inspiration.

Decorate Your Gong

January 31st, 2014 marks the Chinese New Year and we welcome in the year of the horse.  It can be fun to create a gong with the theme of the New Year or to look up your birth year and make a gong with a pig, a rat, a sheep or a dragon.  Find a chart of birth years and Chinese Zodiac signs in the pdf below, along with more suggestions for making and playing this fun world music craft!


Step-By-Step Instructions/Make Your Own Gong And Chinese Zodiac Symbols PDF

What Does The Gong Say?


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