Musical Role Models


Meet the musicians! Identify instruments and their sounds then model your own orchestra.


1. Become familiar with the sights and sounds of an orchestra, band, or other types of musical groups. Attend performances, listen to recordings, look at instruments, and pay attention to the individual contributions of each musician's instrument.

2. Choose an instrument to investigate further. Become familiar with the sound of the instrument, how the sound is created, and how the instrument contributes to the orchestra or other group. Research the history of the instrument and learn about contemporary musicians who play it.

3. Use Crayola® Model Magic® to model a real or fantasy musician playing the instrument you researched. Shape the compound with your hands and simple tools such as a rolling pin or dowel, combs, craft sticks, and plastic utensils. Give the musician personality by creatively embedding decorative craft materials such as beads, feathers, buttons, and yarn into wet compound. Use Crayola® Scissors to cut pieces as necessary.

4. Build the instrument to scale with your musician, using Model Magic and other craft items such as chenille stems and aluminum foil.

5. Arrange musical role models into an ensemble. Invite others to attend a performance, playing music as the audience arrives and departs. Introduce your musician, sharing information about the instrument and its contribution to the group.

Safety Guidelines

Adult supervision is required for any arts & crafts project. Observe children closely and intervene as necessary to prevent potential safety problems and ensure appropriate use of arts and crafts materials. Some craft items, particularly beads and buttons, are potential choking hazards for young children. Avoid use of such small parts with children younger than 3 years. Craft items such as scissors, push pins and chenille sticks may have sharp points or edges. Avoid use of materials with sharp points by children younger than 4 years. Read all manufacturers' safety warnings before using arts and craft supplies.

Crayola Modeling Materials including Crayola Model Magic®, and Model Magic Fusion™, Crayola Air-Dry Clay, and Crayola Dough—

  • Keep away from open flames. Do not use to make candleholders, hot plates, trivets, or other similar objects that will be used or placed near fire and other heat sources.
  • Do not put in an oven, microwave, or kiln.
  • Do not make into vessels/containers that will hold unpackaged food.
  • The use of modeling material to make items that look like food is discouraged for children younger than age 5 to avoid their confusion with real food.
  • Unless sealed with a water-resistant glaze, do not make projects exposed to or immersed in water, such as boats or outdoor bird feeders. They would disintegrate when exposed to moisture.
  • Crayola Dough—contains gluten (wheat flour) as an ingredient.
  • Crayola Air-Dry Clay, Crayola Model Magic and Model Magic Fusion are gluten-free. However, they are produced on the same machinery as Crayola Dough which does contain gluten. Although the machines are cleaned prior to the start of each production run, there is a slight possibility that trace amounts of gluten from Crayola Dough may be present in the other modeling compound products. For information regarding specific ingredients or allergic concerns, please call our Consumer Affairs department at 1-800-272-9652 weekdays between 9 AM and 4 PM Eastern Standard Time.

Modeling Tools—Use the least dangerous point or edge sufficient to do the job. For example, craft sticks, plastic knives and forks, and cookie cutters can cut or carve modeling materials.

Scissors—ATTENTION: The cutting edges of scissors are sharp and care should be taken whenever cutting or handling. Blunt-tip scissors should be used only by children 4 years and older. Pointed-tip scissors should be used only by children 6 years and older.

String-Like Materials—Includes string, raffia, lacing, yarn, ribbon, and other similar material. Children 3 years and younger should not be given any string-like material that is longer than 12 inches. Close adult supervision is essential whenever children use string-like material. When crafts are to be worn around the necks of children 8 years and younger, attach the ends of the “string-like material” with clear adhesive tape, which allows easy release of the bond if the craft becomes entangled or caught on equipment. For children older than 8 years, the ends of the “string-like material” may be tied and knotted.

Wood—By its nature, wood is rough and may contain splinters or sharp points


  • To build the Model Magic musician, form long, thin, or unusually shaped pieces first. Add secondary forms to the basic form by pressing them firmly together. Measure equal size forms, such as arms, against each other before attaching. Dampen fingertips to smooth joints or re-moisten.
  • Each child writes and illustrates a page for a class book introducing the instruments in an ensemble such as an orchestra, or famous performers such as jazz musician Duke Ellington, who was born on April 29, 1899. Use Crayola Watercolors to portray the Model Magic figures playing instruments drawn with Crayola Marker. Add colorful descriptions of instruments to the page with Crayola Fine Tip Markers.
  • Create acrostic poems about musical instruments, writing the name of the instrument vertically with phrases about the history and characteristics crossing each letter horizontally. Use markers to make poems colorful, adding music notes and sketches of instruments around text.

Related Lesson Plans

Lesson Plans

Share on Facebook


crayola supplies
  • Model Magic®
  • Pointed Tip Scissors
household supplies
  • rolling pin (optional)
  • chenille sticks (optional)
  • yarn (optional)
  • plastic dinnerware (optional)
  • craft feathers (optional)
  • craft sticks (optional)
  • dowel stick (optional)
  • aluminum foil (optional)
  • plastic drinking straws
  • decorative craft items



  • Grades 1 to 3
  • Grades 4 to 6
  • Grades 7 to 12


  • Language Arts
  • Visual Arts


  • 30 to 60 minutes
  • Multiple Sessions


  • Students listen to and identify the sounds of a variety of musical instruments, matching sounds to instruments of the orchestra, band, or other group of musicians.

  • Children research the different ways sounds are created by musical instruments.

  • Students create an orchestra or other group of musicians playing their instruments, all made from Crayola Model Magic and decorative craft items.


Research Canada Standards
Research UK Standards
Research U.S. Standards