Music Box Orchestra

Rick Darnell
First and Third Fridays in November & December, 6pm-7pm PDT
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Have you ever wanted to play music in an orchestra? What if it was easy?

The Music Box Orchestra is a unique social practice project that incorporates drawing, music-making, and collaboration to create a shared sensorial arts experience.

Best of all, no prior experience required!


Zoom Meeting Link >>

About the Workshop:

We will create our own melodies using a hand-cranked music box. We will record and playback our melodies by punching holes into little strips of paper, just like the paper scrolls used in player pianos. Once participants have made their own individual melodies, we will combine our melodies in pairs, trios, and quartets, until we crescendo in melody! 

The unique scoring process is what makes Music Box Orchestra so accessible. Rather than use traditional musical notation, we will create and score our compositions by drawing simple pictures, shapes, and words on the paper rolls.  We will punch the paper, following the outlines of the shapes to create and arrange the notes of our melodies. Have you ever thought about what squares and circles sound like? 

We can then record our finished orchestral works and upload to social media to share!

Here’s how to get a music box:

Participation in Music Box Orchestra is free! However, you will need a music box kit to join. A kit consists of music box, hole punch and paper tape. 

We have 10 free music box Kits to give to people, at no charge. Contact Rick at

Here’s a link to purchase a 15-note C scale Music Box >>

A 30-note Music Box is fine, but make sure it’s in C scale!

Music Box Orchestra is supported in part by the California Arts Council, a state agency, and the National Arts and Disability Center at the University of California Los Angeles.



December 19
February 11, 2021