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Explore and Play: Musical Glasses

What sounds can you make with glasses and water?


  • 8 drinking glasses of the same size and shape
  • a pitcher of water
  • two metal spoons

Key Science Concepts

  • Different objects make different sounds.
  • Sounds vary in volume (loud or soft), pitch (high or low), and rhythm (fast or slow).
  • A sound becomes louder when the force of the action that is creating the sound is increased (for example, when you hit a drum harder). A sound becomes softer, or quieter, when the force is decreased.


Place the glasses in a row. Fill each glass with a different amount of water. With the spoon, have a volunteer tap on the glasses. Ask, Do you hear different sounds? Ask the group to describe the sounds they hear. Ask for additional volunteers to tap on the glasses. Have them tap on different parts of the glasses, and ask, What do you hear? Can you describe the sounds? What do you notice about the different sounds the glasses make? If there’s more water in the glass, how does that change the sound?