- Drums and Accessories
- Guitars and Accessories
- Keyboards (keyboards, power adaptors, note name stickers, headphone adapters/splitters, multi-plug extension cord, X-stands
- Movement Props-Parachutes (Class & Partner), Silk Scarves
- Orff, Xylophones, Mallets, Storage, Stands
- Percussion, Rhythm Sticks, Gongs & Stands, Slit Tongue Drum
- Sound System
- Storage, Vertical, Carts, Bags
- Ukulele, Ukulele Storage
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.
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.
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 direction. The possibilities are endless. These came from School Specialty.
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.
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 got it from Woodwind Brasswind.
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.
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
- 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 had to 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!
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. ☺️
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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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) Sweetwater and many other stores carry it.
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.