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Musical Instruments

You can check out a musical instrument at any of our branches!

  • Musical instruments check out for 7 days; items on hold for another customer cannot be renewed
  • Musical instruments must be returned to the library where they were checked out
  • Holds for musical instruments will not be shelved in the holds section; rather, they will be available at each library’s service desk



Ukeleles come with
the ukulele in a case, tuner, and book with CD/DVD to get you started learning to play

Kids Toy Accordion


This toy accordion from Hohner has 7 treble buttons, songbook, and playing instructions.

Wood Xylophone

wood xylophone

Each note of the xylophone is stained a brilliant, bright color that is coordinated with enclosed music sheets. Your child simply follows along with the colors to play a well-known song. The xylophone has 15 notes, and comes in a bag with mallets and a booklet.

Metal Xylophone

metal xylophone

The metal xylophone comes in a blue plastic case, and includes mallets and a notes chart.

Percussion Chimalong


Children can discover pitch and melody with confidence and sound great doing it with these chimes – easy to play and lots of fun.

Toddler Music Band Set

toddler instruments

This 5-piece band will get all the kids involved with making music. Set includes musical shapes, wave drum, and toddler glockenspiel. Safe, durable, and a good sound.



Boomwhackers can be taken in and out of their case, played like a xylophone in the case with mallets, or hit against each other or just about any other object to create new and exciting sounds. Perfect to encourage music and movement!

Portable Recording Studio

Portable Recording Studio

The Portable Recording Studio includes a digital recorder, tabletop tripod stand, and accessories to help musicians, students, podcasters, and anyone who wants to do pro-level recording on the go. The Portable Recording Studio, is available in the Children’s Department at Columbus Public Library.



World Music Instruments

CVL also offers World Music Instruments, to expose young learners to a wide variety of cultures

Afro-Cuban Bongo

Afro-Cuban Bongo

Fun Facts

  • This type of bongo originated in Cuba in the late 1800s. However, bongos themselves probably originated in Africa. They model other drums that also have open bottoms.

  • In Spanish, the larger drum is called the hembra (female)
    and the smaller the macho (male).

  • The bongo is used in music many types of music including
    Cuban son, salsa, and Afro-Cuban jazz.

How to Play the Afro-Cuban Bongo

1. Hold the bongo behind your knees with the larger drum on the same side as your dominate hand.

2. Strike the edge of the drum with your fingers or palms.

Bali Steel Tongue Drum

Steel Tongue Drum

Fun Facts

  • The steel tongue drum comes from the island of Bali, Indonesia.

  • The drum is a member of the steel drum family.

  • It is not really a drum because it makes pitched sounds like a xylophone

  • This particular drum is tuned to a scale which is derived from Eastern world music.

How to Play the Steel Tongue Drum

1. Can by played with rubber mallets or by hand

2. The drum is intended to sit in your lap

Celtic Harp

Celtic Harp

Fun Facts

  • The Celtic Harp was originally played in Ireland and Scotland
    over 1,000 years ago!

  • Many Scottish and Irish kings had their own resident harper who
    sang celtic songs in court.

  • Many celtic harp songs were never written down. Instead, they were
    traditionally passed down by ear.

  • It is so popular that it is featured on Irish coins!

How to Play the Celtic Harp

1. Sit on the floor with the harp between your legs.

2. Lean the harp back into your chest.

3. Use both hands to pluck and strum the strings.

African Kalimba (Thumb Piano)


Fun Facts

  • People have been using Kalimbas since somewhere in
    between 1,000 B.C. and 700 A. D. That’s 1,300—3,000 years ago!

  • In Africa, there are over 100 kinds of traditional thumb pianos; each cultural group has their own name and tuning for the instrument.

  • Thumb pianos come in many different shapes and sizes.

  • It’s easy to make your own thumb piano at home!

How to Play the African Kalimba

1. Hold it in both hands like a smart phone.

2. Pluck the metal bars with your fingers like a video game controller.

Puerto Rican Guiro


Fun Facts

  • It was first used in 1788. It is over 200 years old!

  • It is often used in the traditional Latin American music called Salsa.

  • It is usually made from hollowing out a plant called a gourd.

How to Play the Güiro

1. Hold the guiro in your left hand.

2. Use your right hand to rub the stick along the notches.

3. Rub the guiro with long and short strokes to make a variety of sounds!

Greek Lyre


Fun Facts

  • The Lyre originated in Ancient Greece over 4,000 years ago!

  • In Ancient Greek culture, The lyre was played either alone or used with singing and lyric poetry.

  • In Greek mythology, the messenger god, Hermes, invented the lyre.

  • Other mythical Greek figures who played the lyre included Apollo,
    Orpheus, Eros, and the nine Muses.

How to Play the Greek Lyre

1. Hold it like a baby in one arm.

2. Use your other hand to strum the strings

Appalachian Dulcimer


Fun Facts

  • The Appalachian Dulcimer originated in the Appalachian Mountains
    in the early 1800s (200 years ago!)

  • It is also often called a “lumberjack’s piano” or a “whamadiddle.”

  • It is used to play American folk music, an ancestor to country music.

  • It was called a lumberjack’s piano because it was portable. The settlers couldn’t bring a traditional piano because it was too large and heavy!

How to Play the Appalachian Dulcimer

1. Place the dulcimer in your lap.

2. Pluck the strings with your fingers, the guitar pick, or the stick!

Jamaican Steel Drum

Steel Pan

Fun Facts

  • Also known as a “steelpan” or “pan”

  • The steel drum is the national instrument of Trinidad and Tobago

  • The steel drum is actually not a drum because it makes pitched sounds like a xylophone

How to Play the Jamaican Steel Drum

1. Setup the collapsible stand (note: there are 5 pieces)

2. Place the steel drum on top of the stand (note: it will swing)

3. Use the two pansticks to strike the drum within the lettered circles

4. Some musicians use four pansticks, holding two in each hand!

Melody Maker

Melody Maker

Fun Facts

  • Originally used in the Middle East and in Ireland

  • The melody maker is an ancient ancestor of the piano!

  • It is also known as a “hammered dulcimer.”

  • It is often confused with the Appalachian “mountain” dulcimer.
    However, the two have nothing in common except their names.

How to Play the Melody Maker

1. Insert one of the starter music sheets.

2. Hold it in your lap.

3. Pluck the strings along the sheet music with a guitar pick.

4. You don’t have to use the starter music sheets. Try experimenting for yourself!

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