Potato Chip Drum Song

drum song

One of my favorite things to do over the summer is organize a group of kids for a  “Learning Through Song” class.  Some of these kiddos I’ve had in therapy over the years and some are contacts from an early childhood music class I used to teach for Miss Roberta over at Adventures in Music.  This is our third summer getting together and it is so much fun watching the kids interact and seeing how much they’ve grown.

This year, we had fun with our potato chip drums and our potato chip drum song!  While walking around WalMart with my kids one day, I saw that Lays potato chips in a blue plastic container were only $1.  A long time ago—see my FB cover here—I had discovered that the side of the plastic package could be scraped like a guiro (Latin American percussion instrument) and the top makes a great sound when tapped like a drum.


At a dollar a piece, I decided to get one for each child in my music class.  The perfect song popped into my head and a new rhythm instrument activity was born.  The kids had a blast!

I’m braving the video camera to share this intervention with you.  Now, I’m pretty sure that I “borrowed” this melody from somewhere, but I wasn’t able to track it down.  The lyrics are mine, but if you recognize the melody and know the source, please let me know!

If the video is not showing below, you can view it here.

Let me know if you decide to use this instrument idea with your clients or students.  I’d love to hear your adaptations.

4 thoughts on “Potato Chip Drum Song”

  1. Clever drum idea. Let me know when they go on sale again.

    I can’t place your song either. Sounds like a Rafi tune. Tom P. maybe.

  2. Shari Swiecichowski-Fettig

    Kathy! This is fabulous! I love how you took an object that is easily accessible and affordable and turned it into an instrument! It replicates how the guiro originated — I believe it was pre-Columbian people who used gourds and created notches in the side to create guiros. I’ll use this song in April, around Earth Day, when we talk about reusing and recycling! The melody is very catchy… I can’t place it yet, either. Nice job singing it with dynamic contrast. Thank you for recommending improvisation as part of the lesson, too. That is a component that can be, but shouldn’t be, overlooked.

    1. Kathy Schumacher, MT-BC

      Shari, thank you for your warm words. Coming from an experienced and respected music educator like yourself, this means a lot. I’m so glad that you’ll be able to put it to use!

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