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How to Construct a Roman Lyre Out of Paper

Updated February 21, 2017

If you are teaching a group of children about the ancient instruments from a certain area, you can make the lesson more interesting and entertaining by showing the kids how to make their own instruments using craft materials. For example, make a Roman lyre using basic materials that can be purchased from an arts and crafts supply store or found around the house. This enables the kids to practice playing an old-fashioned instrument instead of just hearing about it.

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  1. Take the lid off of a paper shoebox, and discard it. You will be using the bottom portion of the shoebox as the base for the Roman lyre.

  2. Paint the outside of the shoebox using colourful acrylic paint. Be creative and decorate the box with painted patterns and pictures. Allow the paint to dry for 20 minutes.

  3. Insert six brass brads into one of the short sides of the shoebox. Space the brads 1 inch apart along the side of the paper shoebox. Repeat to insert six brass brads along the short side opposite from the first set of brads.

  4. Cut six rubber bands with scissors to create six rubber band strings.

  5. Stretch one of the rubber band strings between two of the brass brads on opposite sides of the shoebox, and tie the ends of the rubber band string onto the brads. Make sure the rubber band is taut before tying it down. Repeat to attach all of the rubber band strings between all of the brass brads. You can now strum the paper Roman lyre to make music.

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Things You'll Need

  • Shoebox
  • Acrylic paint, coloured
  • Paintbrush
  • Brass brads
  • 6 rubber bands

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