Holding the mallets - Pinch and wrap. I remind them that fingers and thumbs should not be sticking up.

Taking xylophones bars off - Use 2 hands, one on each side of the bar. That way pins don't get bent or broken and rubber pieces last longer.

Taking glockenspiel bars off - Pop & slide. They pop from the top and slide the bars out from underneath the disks at the bottom (if they have them). 

Taking bars off - I've heard a lot of different ideas but the one I use is to call out what key we are in and have the students respond with what bars need to be removed. For example, the teacher calls out "C pentatonic" and the students respond "no F's, no B's."

Magnetic Orff instrument - I keep a big version of the xylophone bars on my whiteboard so that I can use them as examples as needed. They stay up there with magnets attached to the back. They are cut proportionally and labeled with the letters. Students can also use them to show me the correct bars to take off. 

One of my biggest struggles is getting students to play with their weak hand. We practice on our laps with both hands and things go fine. I even make it a game and tell them how good musicians play the Orff instruments. It just takes time for them to develop that skill.

What are some of your favorite tips?

What are some of your struggles? 

How about your biggest successes?



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