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Musical Instruments around the World

Explore the sounds, uses and the materials used in the manufacture of percussion instruments from around the world in this interactive hands-on session.

Play a talking drum from Ghana and learn how to change its pitch, feel the air vibrate inside a Turkish doumbek, and explore world instruments made of unusual and recycled materials.

Discover instruments that create the sounds of a rainforest and use them to create a soundscape with your classmates whilst following a conductor.

As part of the session, your class will have exclusive access to the Hands On Music Space which features a wide range of world instruments.

Learning Objectives:

  • Pupils will play tuned and untuned instruments musically both alone and as part of a group
  • Pupils will experiment with and create different sounds and music using a range of world instruments
  • Pupils will learn that musical instruments are played around the world in a range of different contexts.

The Horniman is an Arts Award Supporter and Artsmark Partner.

Our Musical Instruments Around the World sessions can be put towards part A and B of your group’s Discover or Explore awards.

Find out more about Arts Award and Artsmark.

Workshop information

How to book

Booking a taught session includes a welcome briefing on arrival, timed access to a lunch space, cloakroom facilities and access to toilets for the exclusive use of school groups.

Contact us to make a booking:
020 8291 8686

When you contact us please have ready:

– the name of the taught session you would like to book or topic you are studying,

– 1st/2nd/3rd choice of date and preferred session time,

– the number of pupils and adults attending.


Entrance to the Horniman Museum and Gardens is free of charge. Taught sessions and access to some exhibitions are charged for. We invoice after your visit.

The following charges apply:
– 45 minute object handling, Museum and Gardens sessions (up to 30 pupils): £72.50 ex VAT (£87.00 inc VAT) per session
– 30/45 minute object handling sessions for Special Education Needs classes (up to 12 pupils): £36.25 ex VAT (£43.50 inc VAT) per session
– 60 minute Gamelan and 90 minute sessions (up to 30 pupils): £122.50 ex VAT (£147.00 inc VAT) per session.

We offer a bursary.

Planning your visit

See Plan Your Day for other essential information including our Risk Assessment.

We are open from 10am–5.30pm. Entrance to the Museum and Gardens is free of charge.

Entrance to the Aquarium, Butterfly House and our temporary exhibition Permian Monsters (opens until 3 January 2021 is charged with reduced rates available for school, college, university and nursery groups.

Charges apply to all children aged 3 years and over, and all accompanying teachers and adults, unless they are specific 1:1 carers.