VIDEO: This Kamloops music teacher wants to show her students how to make music out of anything - InfoNews

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VIDEO: This Kamloops music teacher wants to show her students how to make music out of anything

Elementary fine arts teacher Loren Hebden Philips will be showing her students in the fall how to make instruments out of various materials. She is pictured here testing out a saxophone mouthpiece she created out of a PVC pipe and tape.
July 13, 2018 - 6:30 PM

KAMLOOPS -  If you’ve ever been curious as to how to make your own instruments out of PVC pipes and recyclable materials— one Kamloops music teacher can show you how.

Fine arts teacher Loren Hebden Philips is currently on summer vacation, but that isn’t stopping her from planning and experimenting with old garden hoses, funnels, and other types of materials to show her students in the fall how to make their own instruments from things they might find in their yard.

Hebden Philips says the idea to teach her Grade 4s and 5s from Bert Edwards Science and Technology School came from the inspiration to do a Dr. Seuss style number in the school’s Christmas concert.

“I wanted to have this one number that had crazy Dr.Seuss style instruments,” she says. “I wanted them to look really weird, tall and be brightly painted.”

And the best way to do that, Hebden Phillips says, is to have students create the instruments themselves.

“Instead of 12 days of Christmas it’ll be 12 different types of instruments,” she says.

The fine arts teacher who has been teaching music for several years says students will also learn how instruments were made traditionally.

“We’ll be looking at how does a mouthpiece make a difference, how does the shape and size of an instrument make difference,” she says, adding that students will also benefit from learning how to make music out of inexpensive items.

So far, she’s made a French horn out of an old garden hose with a funnel attached and still has some tuning to figure out with a saxophone mouthpiece she's working on.

“It makes a really weird noise at the moment,” she says. “So right now the kids would get a big kick out of that.”

Hebden Philips says she plans to gather more materials throughout the summer and experiment to make other types of brass instruments.

“I am just going to gather the materials and the students are going to create in the fall,” she says.

Anyone who might have extra PVC pipes, fittings, funnels as well as metal pipes to donate, can contact Hebden Phillips via email at

A French horn made of an old garden hose.
A French horn made of an old garden hose.

To contact a reporter for this story, email Karen Edwards or call (250) 819-3723 or email the editor. You can also submit photos, videos or news tips to the newsroom and be entered to win a monthly prize draw.

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