• See also Orff Instruments post here
  • Class Set up & Instrument storage post here
  • Classroom instruments – tips & tricks part 1 – post here

Students generally love to play musical instruments! They are also great for practicing rhythm and coordination. And when done correctly, they contribute to the artistry of the music-making experience!

Let’s begin with some suggestions of instruments I recommend. Click on the picture for the link to purchase where I recommend based on best price I could find at the time. (I can’t promise the prices are the lowest you will find anywhere.) (Amazon links are affiliate links.)

Babies / Toddlers

I did not add recommended quantities, since it depends on how many students you have… one or two of each of the instruments, enough so each child gets something.

  • My faves

1baby drum   1toddler tamb    1baby bell    1maraca


  • Another fun instrument



Early Childhood

Children ages 2 to 5 tend to have more trouble sharing and waiting their turn. I have found it helpful to have a lot of one kind of instrument, maybe 1 for each child in the class or at least for half the class so the children don’t have to wait long – or so they can switch instruments.

  • My faves


1gather     1handdrum    1rhythm sticks    1maracas
1bells    1tambourine
  • Other fun instruments

1resonator bells   1triangle    1guiroec



As much as possible, on the days I get out the instruments, I want each child to have a turn playing something. I like to have enough of each instrument for ¼ of the class. That way, if I am only using one kind instrument that day, we can repeat the song 3 times and give everyone a turn. If you don’t have the budget or space for that many instruments, I suggest you have enough of each category of instrument for ¼ of the class. For instance:

  • 6 Skins = hand drums & tambourines
  • 6 Woods = woodblocks & claves
  • 6 Scrapers/Shakers = guiros, cabasas, maracas
  • 6 Metals = triangles, finger cymbals (I didn’t include regular cymbals because they are so loud!)
  • My faves

1gather   1floor tom    1tubano    1handdrumelem    1guiro    1maracaschiquitas    1cabasa    1woodblock    1claves     1clave companion    1tambourineelem    1fingercymbals    1triangle6    1jinglebells    1rhythm sticks
  • Other fun instruments

1templeblocks   1chimes    1jingle    1ratchet    1slapstick    1cowbell    1frog rasp    1cricket rasp    1slide whistle    1thunder tube    1train whistle    1rainstick    1castanets


Recommended Orff instruments here