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The Handpan for children's musical education

August 07, 2023 3 min read

The Handpan, also known as the Hang Drum, is a relatively new percussion instrument that has gained in popularity in recent years. It is distinguished by its flying saucer shape and haunting timbre, sometimes reminiscent of bells or drums. Although the Handpan or tongue drum is often associated with meditative and world music, it has also found its way into an unexpected realm: children's music. In this article, we will explore how the Handpan can be used to awaken children's musical interest, stimulate their creativity and offer a unique musical experience.

1 - Educational benefits of Handpan for children


The Handpan offers a playful, accessible approach to music, making it an excellent choice for children. Its intuitive note layout makes it easy to learn musical basics such as scales and chords, while providing opportunities for sound experimentation. Children can quickly produce pleasing melodies, boosting their confidence and motivating them to explore further. What's more, playing the Handpan (tongue drum) encourages hand coordination and concentration, aiding the cognitive and motor development of budding young musicians.

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2 - Stimulating children's creativity with the Handpan

The expressive nature of the Handpan or tongue drum opens the door to creative exploration. Children can invent their own melodies, improvise and give free rein to their musical imagination. This aspect not only fosters creativity, but also emotional communication. Children can express their feelings through music, which can be particularly beneficial for those who have difficulty expressing themselves verbally. By playing the Handpan, children develop a unique way of expressing their emotions and ideas.

3 - Integrating handpan into children's music education


The handpan can be a valuable resource in formal and informal music education. Schools and educational programs can introduce the Handpan to diversify instrument options and encourage children's interest in music. Group classes can be designed to teach basic musical concepts while providing an ensemble playing experience. Outside school, parents and educators can also integrate the Handpan into musical activities at home, whether through games, improvisation sessions or family performances.

4 - An ideal starting point for children in music

One of the Handpan's most appealing features for children is its apparent simplicity. Unlike many traditional instruments, which can seem complex and intimidating, the Handpan presents itself with a clear arrangement of notes that invites children to explore and create right from the start.

The circular arrangement of notes on the Handpan encourages tactile exploration, and children can quickly spot harmonious-sounding note combinations. This apparent simplicity inspires confidence and enables children to create simple melodies from the very first interactions with the instrument.

What's more, the Handpan's limited range of notes simplifies the process of learning musical basics such as scales and chords. This allows children to develop a fundamental understanding of music while having fun playing. However, this simplicity does not limit musical possibilities. On the contrary, it provides a solid foundation on which children can build and explore their own unique musical style as they progress.


Handpan instruments offer a captivating and engaging way to introduce children to music. Its unique combination of enchanting sounds, ease of learning and creative potential makes it an ideal choice for budding young musicians. Whether to stimulate their creativity, strengthen their coordination or simply immerse them in the enchanting world of music, the Handpan opens up new avenues for children's musical education.

alexandre zunino
alexandre zunino

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