DIY Conducting Batons

Several years ago I wanted to make conducting more exciting for my students, so I decided to have them make conducting batons!  Here's the basics of what I did:

Purchase supplies:  You will need:
*wine corks--unused (I bought mine online, it was around $11.00 for 100, but not sure on the shipping)
*wooden skewers like you would use for shish kabobs (priced online for .45 for 100

 Also consider buying:
*acrylic paint, gloss, and paintbrushes (egg cartons will work for holding the paint)
*a piece of Styrofoam to stick the batons in for drying the paint

1.  Put each students name or initials on the bottom of the cork.

 2.  Put the pointy end of the skewer into the other end of the cork.
 3.  Have students paint the base of their baton.  They may need 2 coats
 4.  Have students paint the stick of their baton.

5.  Cover with at least 2 coats of gloss.  And--tadah!  You have made cheap batons for maybe .30 each!  They are easy to store in a container with the names up so students can find theirs quickly.  The paint jobs also help them find their baton quicker and also gives them a sense of ownership when conducting :)

6.  Make a conducting CD with great classical and popular songs to help your students experience lots of tempos, meters, and musical styles!  Enjoy!


  1. HI Jen,

    What grade did you do this activity in?


    1. Hi Katelyn,
      I believe I did it with 3rd-5th grade students!
      Jen :)

  2. This is brilliant! Thanks so much for the idea. and I'm going to borrow it for my music sessions if that is ok? Please can I share the link and some of the pictures on my FB page with credits to you? My group is called Rhythm Circle and we are in the Birmingham, UK

  3. I LOVE this!! I'm teaching hybrid this year and this is such a cost effective alternative to buying music store batons!! (especially for the 200 students I'm planning for)

    Looking at your pictures-- how/what did you use for the very thin handled baton in the final picture? I think this model would best fit most of my students hands. Thanks!

    1. Sorry for such a delayed reply--I somehow missed this comment. The thin handled baton was one that was produced professionally and the picture is for comparison with the one we made in music.