The Playground

The Simply Music blog

The Serious Business of Playing Toy Instruments

Found in: Miscellany & Merriment

All good music resembles something. Good music stirs by its mysterious resemblance to the objects and feelings which motivated it – Jean Cocteau

The resemblance to the objects and feelings from which the following music stirs may not be so mysterious, although, the personal connection for each is unique. Researching the topic of toy instruments was a real joy, so we hope you have just as much fun watching the videos. Don’t forget to let us know your favourite or another video we missed in the comments section below.

The Toy Piano Virtuoso

“Poor tools require better skills” says Margaret Leng Tan, the first woman to graduate with a doctorate from Julliard and the first toy piano virtuoso. She travels the world playing her toy pianos in places like Carnegie Hall, for audiences wanting to reconnect with their inner child and creative self.


TEDxAldeburgh – Modified Toy Orchestra

What makes a toy orchestra tick? Interesting question, but not a common one. Born out of a creative crisis, the Modified Toy Orchestra converted abandoned play things into exotic new musical instruments. This TEDx Talk explores the latent potential and surplus value inherent in these liberated circuits.

Not interested in the science? Scroll on through to 17:10 where the music starts.

Jimmy Fallon, Adele and The Roots – Hello

Nothing more, nothing less than some straight up fun here. Jimmy Fallon and The Roots play toy instruments to backup Adele in her hit track, Hello.