A maraca is a musical instrument that you shake — the stones or beans rattle against the hollow case in time to the beat of the music. If the violin seems a bit too complicated to learn, try out some maracas!
Maracas are percussion instruments commonly used in Latin and Caribbean music. They mark the beat like drums do, and they are fairly simple to play. Most traditional maracas are made out of dried, hollow gourds or coconut shells, and they're filled with dry beans or pebbles. The word maraca comes from the Portuguese, via a Brazilian language called Tupi. In some French-speaking parts of the world, maracas are called "shac-shacs."