- Books, Students, Teacher
- Drums and Accessories
- Guitars and Accessories
- Keyboards (keyboards, power adaptors, note name stickers, headphone adapters/splitters, multi-plug extension cord, X-stands
- Microphones (vocal and recording)
- Movement Props-Parachutes (Class & Partner), Silk Scarves
- Orff, Xylophones, Mallets, Storage, Stands
- Percussion, Rhythm Sticks, Gongs & Stands, Slit Tongue Drum, Boomwhackers
- Sound System
- Storage, Vertical, Carts, Bags
- Technology-laptop keyboard covers, clicker,
- Ukulele, Ukulele Storage, Accessories (stickers, strings)
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I finally found a laptop keyboard cover that doesn’t leave a residue on the keys, stays in place with absolutely no bubbling, and of course, keeps my laptop safe from dog hair, dust, small liquid spills, food particles, etc.
This little gem may be my favorite piece of tech! I can advance presentation slides from anywhere in the room. The laser pointer lets me highlight any spot on my projected image to instantly help kids focus on what I need them to see. AND it fits in my pocket!
Singing Hush Little Baby and then these three versions of the story is PRICELESS! From the perspective of a family of rabbits, a family from long ago, and a family with a very unhappy baby, these are great books.
The Shure SM48 is a solid pick for a vocal microphone with good sound and durability. It’s a great choice for teachers because of its durability and solid sound. It’s that combo of low cost/high quality. (paid link)
Shure SM48 Cardioid Dynamic Vocal Microphone with Shock-Mounted Cartridge, Steel Mesh Grille and Integral”Pop” Filter, A25D Mic Clip, Storage Bag, 3-pin XLR Connector, No Cable Included (SM48-LC)
This is the SM58. I’ve used their stands, adapters, and cables for years and boom mics are just so flexible in their uses. (Paid Link)
Shure SM58-LC Cardioid Dynamic Vocal Microphone Bundle with Stand Adapter and Zippered Pouch
Read about the difference between the SM48 and SM58. Both are GREAT!
I have this mic in my own home and it’s worked well as an affordable entry-level recording mic. Audio-Technica AT2020 Cardioid Condenser Studio XLR Microphone, Ideal for Project/Home Studio Applications. (Paid Link)
Yes, it’s adorable and I had one at school and so got one for my home as well. It is super simple plug-and-play. (Paid Link)
Logitech for Creators Blue Yeti Nano USB Microphone for PC, Podcast, Gaming, Streaming, Studio, Computer Mic – Blackout
Vertical Storage-This metal mesh unit let me utilize my vertical space. Items on the top were for items that students didn’t need to be able to reach. (or I didn’t want them to be able to reach 🤣)
This Luxor cart was FABULOUS because it rolled, was industrial strength, and could hold so many different items. I used it to transport instruments to the stage and hold materials for class. If I didn’t want congestion at the front of the room, I could move this to the side so that some students headed that direction and others came to the front, easing the traffic flow in the room. (Paid Link)
I have a similar IKEA bag for personal use, but many teachers have found these storage bags to be so useful because of how much they can hold and the great handles, and you can’t beat the price!
This 20′ diameter parachute with 18 handles has room for up to 30 students. It has enhanced stitching and is from School Specialty. (Paid Link)
One of my FAVORITE movement props is a Partner Parachute. It can be used for pitch exploration, melodic direction, tempo, dynamics, and form. Movement can be non-locomotor, locomotor, or a combination and use high/low and side-to-side directions. The possibilities are endless.
These silk scarves are incredible. They are 35 x 35, a very generous size but float beautifully and are light and airy. They are easy to wash and very durable. Many children used these scarves and they still look like new. I thought about dyeing them but love the eggshell/white color.
These scarves from Sarah’s Silks look very similar to the ones I used and they are dyed and in really beautiful colors.
1/2″ dowels to make rhythm sticks, drum beaters. They are the perfect thickness for sturdiness. From Amazon. (paid link)
Gongs & Stands
I had a major STEAM moment (inspired by Evelyn Glennnie) and got three sizes of gongs. (14, 18, and 22″) The Wuhan gongs have a beautiful sound and the Meinl stands are sturdy. They do take up a lot of space. 😀 Wuhan gong and Meinl stand.
Slit Drum Tongue Drum
This is a beautifully made drum with a warm sound. I had never used Timber Wood Co. products and I really loved their craftsmanship and quality.
I used BW in TWO ways-to explore melodies (many of them pentatonic) and to play BW play-along videos on YouTube.
I had the octavator caps but rarely used them. One diatonic set has 8 notes and in C pentatonic, 6 notes. If I want to plan for a class of 30, for YT videos, I’ll need 4 diatonic sets. If I want students to explore in pentatonic, I’d need 5 diatonic sets. Many YT play-alongs are in C so I only had one set of chromatics. (not many kids playing the #s and bs but whatever) But then I wouldn’t have enough BW for a class of 30 and so either buy a second set of chromatics (so more kids are playing those notes) or another set of diatonics.
Bottom line, for a class of 30, I’d buy 5 diatonic sets and two chromatic sets. And I stored them in bucket drumming drums. No fancy hanging. (paid links below to Amazon)
Diatonic Set-8 Boomwhackers
I was Team Studio 49 all the way. I inherited some others along the way-Sonor, Suzuki, and others but Studio 49 was my favorite. Peripole is a popular option for some and I never used them in my classroom so it might be something to investigate. In general, a majority of teachers love Studio 49, Sonor, and Peripole and find others to be problematic holding up to student use and staying in tune.
I never had a budget so worked really hard getting grants, with a majority coming from DonorsChoose. Because of that funding, I was able to get the top-of-the-line most of the time and that was the 2000 series rosewood barred instruments. They were stored in a variety of conditions in humid Indiana and I never had intonation problems.
I actually did purchase a second bass that was the 1600 series for considerably less money and it was great. I believe my 2000 bass was a bit more resonant, but for the money, the 1600 worked great as my 2nd bass.
I used Basic Beat and loved them because they rolled beautifully, had locking wheels, and were adjustable for BX to AX.
IKEA tall utensil holders zip-tied to carts hold the bars beautifully. (paid link)
IKEA Marius stools worked great because they stack and take up little space. They are not as sturdy as some other stools so teaching procedures is super important-Always keep flat on floor, never force onto the stack.
My FAVORITE music classroom poster and stuff spot—BEST MUSIC STUFF! I chose these posters because there’s enough info but not too much. It doesn’t look cluttered so kids feel it’s accessible. Warning: If you go to their site you can kiss an hour goodbye! 🤣
I love these posters outside a classroom door. From West Music.
- Student keyboards were Yamaha PSRE263 or 273-I had students work in pairs and the keyboard had an input to split the keyboard so that the two sides were the same octaves and not a high side and a low side.
- Yamaha PA130 120 Volt Keyboard AC Power Adaptor-I didn’t want to deal with batteries so I needed to buy power cords to plug in.
- Single X Keyboard STAND-a workhorse. Sturdy and easy to story.
- ABC Keyboard Stickers-I put stickers on all of the keyboards
- 3.5 mm (F) to 1/4 in. (M) Stereo Headphone Adapters-to use headphones, the 1/4″ plug in the back MUST have an adapter so the 3.5mm headphones or splitters if there were partners, would fit.
- headphone splitters-I loved the Rockstar splitters with the green cord seen on the back of the keyboard in the picture on top right.
- multi-plug extension cord-expensive but SO worth
My classroom piano was the P-115 88-Key Weighted Action Digital Piano. I loved the action of the weighted keys which for me was like playing an acoustic piano. Here’s the P-125 which is very similar. It can be taken off the base to transport but easily secured to the base for classroom use.
Drums and Accessories
I recommend the Pearl Road 4-piece drum set. It was played hard by so many kids and still working great! Here’s a review by Sweetwater. Do NOT get a Ludwig Pocket Kit set. It was toast after a couple of months.
I LOVE this drum. You can tune it and it allows kids to get so many different sounds without having a wide skill set. It will never go “flat” like a pre-tuned drum.
I bought bulk drumsticks from Amazon and very few broke. We would drum on chairs, buckets, the floor, and of course, our drum set!
Bucket Drum Dampeners-Pack of 20
I loved these mouse pads and I did not glue them down. I kept a stack of them in one drum for storage along with the drumsticks and kids were instructed to grab a bucket, a pair of sticks, and a mouse pad. They worked great! (paid link)
Guitars and Accessories
I used Yamaha’s Student Classical Guitars and found them to be reliable and consistent in sound, ability to stay in tune, and durability. I had mostly 3/4 size. Here they are on Amazon and Woodwind Brasswind.
Bass Guitar & Amp
The Ibanez short-scale bass guitar was our favorite because it was such a great size for my middle school students. I went with the Ibanez bass amp and really liked the controls on the front and it had a good sound. I usually had 4 bass players so it didn’t need to be overpowering. ☺️
I went through the Little Kids Rock program and received these guitars and eventually ordered more so more kids could play. They took a beating and did well! (paid link)
My favorite ukulele for classroom use is the soprano Kala Makala.
I have used them for years. They are sturdy, stay in tune, and don’t need string replacement very often. Students have dropped them, plucked the strings with gusto, and strummed them within an inch of their life. They take a slaying and keep on playing!
For the classroom, I opted for all mahogany (brown) because I didn’t want to constantly deal with kids fighting over the colors. If I had it to do over again, I’d get a color that matched our school colors.
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These stickers stay on really well and come in great colors.
These strings are sturdy and comfortable for little fingers.
Studio 49 alto mallets-They are expensive but worth it. Their sound is bright and crisp.
I LOVE this Basic Beat mallet collection from West Music! A lot of bang for your buck and the mallets are very durable and make a great sound on glocks, BX, and AX.
Here’s my Pinterest Ukulele storage board for more ideas related to making, adapting, and buying options.
This is a JBL Eon PA System. I put it in the back of my classroom and connected via bluetooth. It filled my room with beautiful sound-rich bass, bright treble. It can be easily taken outside and has a built in small mixer. (depending on the model, 5 channels or so).
Here it is in the back of my classroom.
I loved my Cube! It is super small and lightweight and has mic inputs in back. It had a powerful sound for such a little item!
This monitor/speaker has lots of sound power and is portable. It has a place to mount on stands and I actually did get two of them eventually just for that purpose. It has additional inputs for lots of flexibility.
This is a great economical choice with very good sound. Super small for on a cart or to take outside.