Inspiration or decoration?

The Elephant  Royal March of the Lion  Africa

When I first hung these frames above my piano I intended them to be some fun decoration. I chose to include two pieces from the Saint-Saens suite ‘The Carnival of the Animals’ because it was something most students would be familiar with or have played a piece from at some point. (I particularly like the value of teaching ‘The Elephant’ for students with a shaky left hand because there is definately no hiding!). The third frame features ‘Africa’ by Saint-Saens.

Guess what? The students loved them! What a perfect moment for that conversation about bringing music to life. Ask those questions, what does the elephant sound like? How do we make him or her come to life? How do we go from scribbles on a page to an elephant? What about this other piece, what is the story? How do we know and how do we tell it?


I definitely recommend making your own frames for your teaching studio, even if just for a bit of fun. It’s quite easy to do as well! I got the idea from similar frames in a pop-up store featuring a row of butterflies scattered over random sheet music. I found it much more valuable (you can ensure the origami model actually relates to the piece) and cost efficient to create my own! The store was charging at least $60 for a smaller frame, my final product cost under $20 per frame. So here you go, how to make your own origami music frame!


  1. One Shadow Box Frame (this is important because it gives your origami room to pop out of the music).
  2. Decorative paper: I bought a pack of gold coloured A4 invitation paper. Any leftovers can be used to create classy achievement certificates for students (so no waste!)
  3. Origami Paper: You can easily order origami paper online if you can’t find it in any stores near you. And there’s a heap of great tutorials on Pinterest, I’m sure you’ll be able to find a tutorial for the model you want to create!

Time to Assemble!

  1. Print Music: Feed the invitation paper into the printer and print the music you want to feature!
  2. Make your origami model: There are a heap of great instructions on Pinterest. I’m sure you’ll be able to find instructions for the model you want!
  3. Attach your model to the sheet music. I just used a bit of sticky tape, it seemed to do the job!
  4. Open the frame and put in your sheet music and model, voila! You’re done!

They make great gifts too, here’s an example of one I made for my brothers graduation. He loves Wicked!


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s