You’ll need

  • A piece of rigid plastic pipe, about 30 cm long and about 2 cm in diameter
  • A disposable rubber glove
  • Packing tape
  • Scissors
  • A plastic drinking straw


What to do


Scissors are sharp. Be careful when using them.

This instrument is like the balloon tuba, which is a bit easier to make. If you haven’t already, try making a balloon tuba first.

  1. Place the open end of the glove over one end of the plastic pipe.
  2. Tape the glove around the pipe. Make sure the seal is airtight.
  3. Cut the tip off the top of the glove’s thumb and stick the plastic straw into the hole.
  4. Tape the straw into the thumb of the glove. Again, make sure the seal is airtight.
  5. To make a sound, blow into the straw and pull the glove back towards yourself. The glove should now be stretched tight across the pipe. Playing the rubber glove-a-phone can take practice before you perfect your technique. Keep trying if you don’t get a good sound the first time!

Questions to ask

What happens to the sound if you change how tightly stretched the glove is over the end of the pipe? Try moving the glove around, including in different directions.

What happens to the sound if you change the size of the piece of pipe? Try using a longer pipe and a wider one.

Can you create a rubber glove-a-trombone? Use 2 pieces of pipe of different diameter, with one sliding inside the other.

What's happening

When you pull the rubber of the glove over the top of the tube, you are making a skin. When you blow air into the tubing through the straw, the skin vibrates as the air escapes. This causes the air inside the tube to vibrate and make a sound. The faster the vibrations, the higher the pitch of the sound.