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Maton Guitars - Post-visit


Maton Guitars
Designing and making your own instrument can be a lot of fun. You need to take into account what it will look like and what it will sound like! Some instruments are beautifully designed, whereas others are more functional, they sound great, but might not look amazing.
Maton Guitars

Neustadt Kunsthofpassage in Dresden, Germany. A multi-story musical instrument designed by Cristoph Roßner, Annette Paul, and Andre Tempel.

There are lots of different types of instruments you can make, some are listed below and the questions underneath will greatly affect the sound the instrument makes –

Draw your instrument first, labelling the parts. Try drawing it from different angles so you can see how to make it. Have a guess at what it will sound like before you make it. You may like to design a brand for your instrument, or perhaps a brand across a few people’s different instruments. Draw a logo that you feel sums up your instrument brand. Is it colourful, bold, smooth, jagged, challenging?

Maton Guitars

Homemade harp.

Maton Guitars

Homemade French Horn made from pipe and a funnel

Advanced –


There are most likely many musicians in your local community with fantastic stories about their instruments and why they are special.

Maton Guitars

Sophie Koh at Port Fairy Folk Festival 2018. Photo by David Harris.

Start by sourcing the musician you will talk to. Perhaps you will go out in groups from your class, or bring in a musician to talk to the whole group. Do some research about the style of music they play, whether it’s country, rock, pop, classical or jazz. Ask them politely if they could bring their instrument (or instruments!) on the day and have them ready to show you and to demonstrate.

Maton Guitars

Prepare some questions for the musician, specifically about their instrument. Think of open questions or statements that begin with What, How or Tell me about… If an answer to a question makes you think of another question, ask it! This is called a follow-up question. Write up to 10 questions, some ones to get you started are -

It would be really interesting to ask the musician to play their instrument after you’ve asked them the questions, or perhaps even during the interview. Try asking them to play it in different ways, for example individual notes, long, short, high or low notes, chords (if possible) or whole pieces. Perhaps they have a few similar instruments (ie. different guitar brands or a flute and a piccolo) and you could contrast the sounds.

It would be great to record the interview and instrument performance. You could use a mobile phone, a video camera, a computer microphone or any other type of microphone. Then after the interview you could edit the sound you’ve recorded in a free program such as Garageband or Audacity and make a radio program or podcast. The recording doesn’t have to be very high quality, for example here’s an example of Melbourne musician Phia demonstrating the kalimba for a radio program.

Take some photos of the musician and their instrument, don’t forget to always ask permission! Put the background research, recording and images together into an AV presentation for your class or other relevant audience.

Maton Guitars

Singer/songwriter Emily Wurramara. Photo by Lachie Millard.


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