As an Orff process teacher, I use my instrumentarium almost every day with at least one grade level. Some days every class is using it. Because I use it so much, and thankfully have the room in my room, I leave the instruments out all the time. The students know not to go into “instrument land” during our movement or regular class activities. We also only have a one-way street when entering music land. That way I can try and cut down on the chaos of picking and instrument. I do let my kids just pick whatever instrument they want. I usually break it up into 2 groups to head to the instruments, girls or boys first. Then I just remind myself, or the kids do, to let the other group go first the next time.
I have stands for all of my Bass, Alto and Soprano instruments. My glockenspiels sit on desks. The desks are nice because they do provide a barrier to the other instruments if our movement gets a little crazy and they add extra storage for other random things inside of them. I have 22 instruments currently, with 2 more on order. This will give most of my classes a 1-1 ratio of kids to instruments.
Each instrument is labeled with its name and has been assigned a number. I used stick on chalkboard labels for the numbers so that when I get my new instruments I can re-number the other ones. The numbers on the instruments correspond to the numbers of the plastic boxes under each one:
Those plastic boxes hold the accidental bars, mallets, and cards showing the different pentatonics. This helps when we are switching between pentatonic in different classes because they just reach into their box to get what they need. It also keeps the bars off the floor where they could get stepped on.
Another thing I added this year was decorative tape onto my instruments, under the number label. I found some cute tape in the Target dollar section (best place ever!!!). I put it on my instruments and on their corresponding mallets. Each type/size of instrument has a different type of tape, and the mallets that match that instrument match that tape. For example, the metallophone instruments have white and gold polka dot tape and the felt mallets that go with them has it too. But in the picture you see, the soprano xylophone has black and white triangles, and their hard orange mallets do also. This way my kids don’t get the mallets mixed up between instruments.
It has taken me quiet a few years to get all these instruments, stands, boxes, etc. I used some of my own money for the organizational things, and used my school budget money wisely for some of the other stuff. I have also applied for some grant money through my PTA and other organizations around Cincinnati to build my instrument collection.
Let me know if you have any questions!