Classroom Instruments: Orff

Quick Intro to Orff Instruments

First of all, this is a great video worth watching.

Cleaning, Maintaining & Repairing

I know for many of you, the Orff instruments were at your school already when you got the job. So what you might be looking for is how to clean, maintain and repair your instruments. Here are some great videos that will help you:

Buying New

Now, if you are fortunate and someone hands you some cash to purchase some new Orff instruments, here is what I have found after doing some online research. I have not listened to these instruments in person, but I have rounded up some videos for you to watch to help you make the best decision for your classroom.

Take a look at these cute xylophones & metallophones from the Studio 49 1000 Series! They are compact, stackable, reasonably priced, and they sound good, too! Check out this video.

For the regular-sized xylophones, check out Sonor. I really like what Judy from West Music describes as the “best” (Sonor Palisono). This fiberglass xylophone has a full 2 octaves, which allows two students to use it at the same time. So you pay more than the lower quality ones, but you don’t need to buy as many. My favorite xylophone is on this video at 9:20.

And now for the bass xylophone: This video discusses how Studio 49 has created a smaller and more economically priced version. Obviously, the bigger (2000 series) one is more resonant, but if you have less space, the 1600 series might be what you’re looking for.

If you purchase metallophones, look for ones with damper bars. In one of my schools I had a bass metallophone I couldn’t stand to use because of the loud sustained sounds of the bars. This video shows you how to assemble a damper bar on a Studio 49 bass metallophone. Talk about getting more for your money! Metallophones are great for half and whole notes, but with the damper bars, they can also play non-sustained tones.

As you can see in this post, one year I purchased bass xylophone/metallophone rolling stands. I highly recommend them if you have to move the basses around. (They also fit tenor/alto xylophones & metallophones.) This video shows you how to assemble them.

Most glockenspiels are pretty comparable. Find one that fits your budget.

These resonator bells nestle easily into their case, so it also functions as a glockenspiel. The bells have a good sound, also.

These step bells are handy for students to visualize the upward and downward movement of the scale. The one with removable resonator bells is twice the cost of the regular one. I wouldn’t use the cheaper one regularly, since I’m not impressed with the sound. I have just used it for visualization purposes. (I haven’t used the step resonator bells so I don’t know what they sound like.) It would be nice if they sold just the ladder so if you already have resonator bells, you could use them…

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2 thoughts on “Classroom Instruments: Orff”

  1. How you clean and refurbish white and red glockenspiels?

    I have 15 sets of old, I mean OLD, red/white glockenspiels for my K-5 students. I want to repaint them and make them functional again. What sandpaper, paint and tools will I need?

    1. Hmmm, interesting question. I would do a google search on the brand and see if there are any recommendations. Or you could contact the company or look on their website. Good luck!

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