"Music produces a kind of pleasure which human nature can not do without." ~Confucius

Saturday, March 10, 2012

Tools of the Trade

If you are curious about what "tools" to have around for music making, this post will list some of my favorites for your consideration. If you have anxious grandparents wanting to buy their darling grandchild a wonderful Easter, etc. present, or if you happen to find one of these while browsing on Amazon, consider adding one or two to your list.

We all know that the really good parents like to make their own instruments with their kids... this is of course, wonderful. But, if you still want a cool selection to have around to grab anytime for your music-making jamborees, take a look and then get your groove on.

In no order of importance...

1. A Xylophone.

Don't be bored to tears yet.... we all know they're great toys/instruments, especially for babies and toddlers. Simple and easy to play, these introduce music-making to the young and uninhibited!

2. Shakers (Maracas)

I especially like the fruit shakers. These great shakers are just a few examples.... maracas are great for any rhythm activity.

3. Triangle

These were always the favorites in my classroom - why not give your child free reign on one at home? Within reason, of course.... You may run from the house screaming if you don't keep it hidden sometimes.

4. Tambourine
Another favorite with most kiddos is this one.... I suggest one with a head (skin cover) on it because kids tend to gravitate to that kind more, but more importantly, it allows use as a drum and a shaker too. Please try and keep your child from hitting their sibling on the head with it, though.

5. Pots, Pans, Spoons, Bowls, etc...

Nothing beats what you can find around the house to make into a drum of some sort. Lots of excellent musicians began experimenting rhythmically with these humble beginnings. :-)

Combined Kits: 
Here are two combined kits I like as well where you get a bunch of instruments in one group:

B. Parum Pum Pum Drum:
Great for little ones - there are lots of sounds to explore with this set and they're designed so creatively. The container is a drum which even has a strap so your little darling can march around like the little drummer boy him(her)self!

Rhythm Band Rockin' Rhythm Bag:
This one is better for older kids.... beware of the rhythm sticks. I know what my boys would use those for right now and it would not be for music!

Reminder... As stated before, I vote for getting your child singing first and foremost. Rhythm instruments are also a natural outflow of your child's musical curiosity, so encourage them at age-appropriate levels and demonstrate well by using them correctly and keeping a beat. Don't just expect them to know what to do with these instruments, though - demonstrate for them with enthusiasm.

My suggestions for music to use these with? Any song you're singing with them... or turn on some salsa music and let 'em at it. :-)


  1. I just stumbled upon your blog and ended up reading every post! I am a mom to a toddler and a nanny for infants. I've never felt particularly talented in the musical arts, but my training and research tell me how important it is for kiddos. I found your posts inspiring and I'll be checking back for new ideas. For now I plan to finally show my daughter the slide whistle I got on a whim while I was out shopping(alone!)...glad to have a plan now :) Thanks for sharing!

  2. Thanks for visiting - hope you find some inspiration for music making! :-)