How to make a Greek lyre – Ancient Greece project

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Piepan and strings and a coat hanger make a Greek lyre

Greek lyre, made by 6th graders at Laurelhurst School, Portland

People in ancient Greece loved music, which they thought was a way of creating order out of chaos – you could make random rocks into beautiful buildings, you could make random movement into athletics, and you could make random noise into music.

Greek vase of Apollo playing a lyre

Apollo playing the lyre

You can make a lyre like this one with a coat hanger, rubber bands (or yarn) and a metal bowl. Really the strings should run over the top of the bowl, so that the bowl will work as a resonator to make the music sound louder when you pluck the strings. This student painted the inside of the bowl to look like a turtle shell, as in the story of Hermes making the first lyre out of a turtle shell. Find out more about Greek music.


* Olympic games
* Play reading
* Vase-painting

Bibliography and further reading for Ancient Greek projects:

Hands-On Ancient People, Volume 2 : Art Activities about Minoans, Mycenaeans, Trojans, Ancient Greeks, Etruscans, and Romans (2004) For kids ages 9-12.

Ancient Greece!: 40 Hands-On Activities to Experience This Wondrous Age (Kaleidoscope Kids), by Avery Hart, Paul Mantell, and Michael P. Kline (1999). Gives ideas to get kids thinking, rather than step-by-step instructions.

More about Ancient Greece
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By | 2017-06-11T00:06:07+00:00 June 11th, 2017|Crafts, Greeks|0 Comments
Cite this page: Carr, K.E. How to make a Greek lyre – Ancient Greece project. Study Guides, June 11, 2017. Web. February 20, 2018.

About the Author:

Karen Carr
Karen Carr is Associate Professor Emerita, Department of History, Portland State University. She holds a doctorate in Classical Art and Archaeology from the University of Michigan. Follow her on Instagram, Pinterest, or Twitter, or buy her book, Vandals to Visigoths.

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