How to Make Bottle Pipes

This lesson developed by Reach Out!

Recommended Age: Preschool and Early Elementary


How do you make bottle pipes?

What makes a pitch sound high or low?

What You Need

What You Do

  1. Line up the pop bottles in a line.
  2. Fill your milk jug or pitcher with water.
  3. Pour a little water into the first bottle. Pour a little more water into the second bottle. Keep going, pouring a little more water into each bottle until the last bottle is nearly full.
  4. Lean down close to the bottles. Take a deep breath and blow air across the very top of each bottle. You should make a sound from each bottle. Be sure you donąt blow down into bottles, it wonąt make any sound!
  5. See if you can play a scale like do, re, mi, fa, so, la, ti, do. You may have to adjust your water levels in the bottles to make it sound just right.
  6. Instead of blowing on the bottles, take the teaspoon and gently strike or tap the bottles. Can you make the same sounds as you did when you were blowing across the top of the bottles? What do you think makes the difference in the pitches and sounds you hear?

What Is Happening

The bottles make sounds because there is air inside of them. The air vibrates when you blow across the top of the bottles. The more air that is inside the bottle, the more air that can vibrate and so make a lower sounding sound or pitch. Bottles wi th more water in them have less air in them. So, when you blow across them, there is less air inside to vibrate and we hear a higher sounding pitch.

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