Noisy Toys Composing at Home (Children) >

In this activity you will use the noisy toys around your house to create music inspired by the music of Joseph Haydn, Benedict Mason and the Modified Toy Orchestra.

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Noisy Toys

You might not have musical instruments at home, but I bet you have toys that make noises and sounds. They are probably the ones you like best but annoy the grown ups the most! 

Quite a few composers have used toys in their music. The Toy Symphony was composed in the mid-1700's either by Joseph Haydn or Leopold Mozart and uses children's toys alongside conventional musical instruments. Listen to the reSound Collective from Singapore playing it. What toy sounds can you hear?

In 2016, the British composer Benedict Mason composed Horns Strings and Harmony for BCMG. He used over 100 different musical instrumentssound makers and toys in his piece. Unfortunately we don't have a recording of the piece but here are photos of some of the toys he used: 


The Modified Toy Orchestra is an orchestra that only uses instruments that are, or have been, toys! Here they are performing A Grand Occasion:

For PRINTABLE version of this resource CLICK HERE

Your Turn

toys complilation

In this activity you are going to use the noisy toys in your home to compose music. Go round your home and try to find as many noisy toys as you can. Above are some of the ones we found in our house and here are their sounds:

Sorting and categorising:

Once you have collected them, it's a good idea to do some playing, listening, experimenting, sorting and categorising:

  • Which ones are long. which ones are short?
  • Which can you stop and start, which ones just carry on?
  • Which ones imitate instruments or sing songs, which are sounds?
  • Which are your favourites?

Organising your musical ideas:

Here are some different ways that you could organise the sounds you have found into a piece of music. NB you can use the individual sounds as many times as you like and you don't have to use all the sounds you have collected:

  • Story - use your sounds to tell a made up or existing story
  • Dice throws - number 6 sounds from 1 to 6 and throw a dice to decide what order to play them in
  • Make a score using this template. Involve your family and use the template to plan who is playing what sound when and for how long, Use words and images to communicate what you want
  • Play, improvise and use your ears until you find something that you like
  • Record your sounds and sequence and layer them using Audacity software. CLICK HERE for a guide on using and downloading Audacity.

Please send any music you create to