Since the start of lockdown, many of you have asked yourselves the same question: how to make use of all this free time at home by learning an instrument and playing some music yourself? Here are seven solutions which will turn your humble home into a vibrant temple blessed by St Cecilia. None of them cost much; every one is a delight.

1It wouldn't come as a surprise if you were tempted by the guitar, an instrument of undeniable popularity and with an abundance of Internet tutorials. Without my wishing to dampen your enthusiasm, let me point out that there is a less costly, less cumbersome and simpler alternative: the ukulele. With its small size and just four strings in place of the guitar's six, it's been the sexiest instrument on the planet since Marilyn Monroe picked one up in Some Like it Hot. It also became a star in the rock world when Eddie Vedder, leader of Pearl Jam, devoted a superb album to it (Ukulele Songs). And by the way, it can serve without problem for the most magisterial works of the baroque repertoire. Granted, there's a certain thickness that's lacking, but you have to admit that it's easier than installing an organ in your living room.

2If the guitar doesn't appeal to you, maybe it's because you're drawn to the piano, the king of instruments which reigned over every respectable living room of the 19th century. But you may be reluctant to spend your life savings on getting a concert grand delivered into your attic. So you may be happy to know that there exists another solution, one that's more accessible, of modest size and whose practise is nothing but fun: the melodica. This miniature keyboard with integral blowpipe works on the same principle of black and white keys, so you can get oriented quickly. And with a bit of imagination and a few accessories, you can venture into the great works of the history of music without departing from your settee.

3Here's one of the smallest instruments of all, a fraction larger than a pen, which will bring back happy memories to anyone who played the recorder at school. The tin whistle (aka "penny whistle") is the trendy member of the flute family which comes from the British Isles. Its preferred repertoire, traditional Irish dances and other Celtic melodies, should galvanise your household in these dispiriting times – it's not for nothing that Howard Shore chose this instrument for his musical portrayal of Tolkien's hobbits. But I counsel moderation in your repetition of the theme tune from Titanic, for fear of the effect on your household's morale.

4Here's another evocative instrument, which will transport you into the great American wilderness. The ideal companion for long solitary evenings by the fireside, the harmonica needs no accompaniment to provide melodic and harmonic richness (as its name implies). And your technique doesn't need to be anything like rock solid to produce the three notes for the iconic scene in Once upon a time in the West. Just be sure to leave regular gaps in your practise schedule, to avoid any unpleasant duels with your neighbours.

5If, despite the existence of home delivery, you find it hard to imagine buying an instrument at this point, there's always the possibility of building your own, with results surprisingly far from ridiculous. Using an inverted dustbin or bucket, a laundry rope and a broomstick, it will take you but a moment to produce a quite respectable washtub. Banned from a long walk in the spring sunshine, opt for a fine walking bass on your balcony. Get your neighbour to accompany you on the washboard: together, you'll travel to the sources of jazz and banish the blues.

6If you lack an instrument, a bucket, a laundry rope or a washboard, don't fret. You can still make music: open your fridge, empty out the vegetable compartment and let your imagination run riot, following the example of the Vegetable Orchestra. Before every concert, this batty ensemble of serious musicians (or possibly serious ensemble of batty musicians) creates its Stradivari from the fruit and veg department of the local supermarket. Most of the band's rehearsal time consists of turning a carrot into a flute or assembling a clarinet out of a cucumber and a pepper. At the end of the concert, don't forget to eat the instruments – but stick to your own! This isn't an excuse to forget social distancing.

7Without instrument, bucket, laundry rope, washboard, cucumber or carrot (or if you're fresh out of toilet paper and pasta), in short, if you have nothing left and the wolf is at the door, be strong: you can always slake your thirst for music with just your hands. Teach yourself to clap along to the rhythm of Steve Reich's Clapping music, invent your own finger ballet inspired by Thierry de Mey's beautiful Table Music, or develop your conducting skills with the hygienic choreography of Iranian actor Daniel Kheirikhah, perfect to ally the useful with the agreeable and take the artistic fight to the coronavirus!

Translated from French by David Karlin