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Xylophones at KS3

Discussion in 'Music' started by Rockmeamadeus, Dec 31, 2011.

  1. Who uses Xylophones any more? If so, what for?
    I have four classroom xylophones in various states of repair that I inherited from the last teacher of music at my school. They are all different makes. In two years I have hardly used them - sometimes students choose to use them instead of keyboard parts in group performances - however I find them limited beacause none of them are chromatic.
    One of them needs completely new pins and rubbers which I can get from Omega - however I'm not sure I can be bothered. Furthermore - they are taking up a large amount of very limited storage space whcih I could use for other things.
    I'm tempted to pass these down to my primary colleagues.
    Advice please.
  2. rooney1

    rooney1 Occasional commenter

    I'm KS2 and we often use xylophones and glockenspiels - more glocks because they are so much cheaper.
    We do lots of composition and stave notation things. I also have lots of children who play tuned percussion in my orchestra - more and more percussion as we have fewer children learning instruments and they can all have a go on percussion - all the children want to play xylophones rather than glocks.
    If you really want to get rid of them I'd be interested - I'll find room to store them!
  3. v12


    Glocks, Xylophones and Metallophones are used every day in my lessons.

    The children enjoy playing them as a class or in group work with other instruments.

    I don't do any keyboard work though and have virtually written them out of my SoW.
  4. I also prefer glocks and xylos and my children are happy to use them. I prefer them to keyboards as well. I teach at a secondary school.
  5. florian gassmann

    florian gassmann Star commenter

    Is that because it feels more like having control over a real instrument?
    Against my better judgement, I was persuaded to play the organ for a carol service last month in a local village. It turned out to be some electronic gizmo, and felt more like programming the central heating than playing an instrument. Perhaps I'm just getting old!
  6. rooney1

    rooney1 Occasional commenter

    Real instruments! Absolutely - you just don't get the same 'feel' playing electronic keyboards/pianos - however good they are. That's just my opinion though. I have to keep saying this to my head who keeps suggesting we change the piano in our hall to a clavinova. I like to think that the children from our school, when they go to secondary school, have some idea what instruments should sound like and what it feels like to play them.
  7. Doitforfree

    Doitforfree Star commenter

    I know it's pretty minor but the time the electricity to the school's electric piano failed in the middle of a concert convinced me that my feelings about such instruments were not unfounded. And it always took so much time setting the thing up, getting extra speakers as it was too quiet (to say nothing of the miles of wire that seemed to be needed) and so on. A real piano seemed like a much simpler choice. They have a real piano now.Keyboards are really just toys unless the operator is very skilled. Real instruments are much more fun.
  8. I still use glocks and xylophones as well as keyboards and computers. I find that it is useful to be able to remove un-needed bars so that pupils who struggle with the keyboard are able to play/improvise without fear and can gain confidence. Whilst some pupils hate them and don't see them as real instruments others really like them - some benefit from the physical movement involved in moving the beater from bar to bar and from the front row to the sharps and flats. I do however have sufficient for a whole class to use at once. Sometimes having something "simpler" is better as it allows for a focus on the music and not on finding the right key or getting in a tangle with fingers. Another bonus is not having to spend ages making sure that headphones work!!
  9. I must be on my own here then. I teach in a city school and the year 7 curriculum was recorders, xylophones and glockenspiels for nearly a full year.
    I scrapped the lot and did units more modern and that students can reflect and have a connection with. I guess it depends on the students you teach.

  10. It is quite simply a case of using what is most appropriate for the situation/pupils/task. Whilst I do still use glocks and xylophones they are now only one type of resource amongst many that are used by my pupils. They have proved to be useful more than once when weaker GCSE students have struggled to play the keyboard and have refused to sing.
  11. The class glocks are popular with my students and they often choose them over keyboards and guitars. You can hit the bars with great enthusiasm while dancing on the spot and there is no damage. The sound of thirty students playing glocks simultaneously is far preferable to the sound of lots of keyboards out loud. I have used glocks to teach drones, ostinati, pentatonic/major/minor scales, blues chord sequences, composition - eg for adverts and winter weather, bass line cliches, gamelan, minimalism, class orchestra. Also, very good fallback resource when there is a power cut. Only drawback is the occasional flying beater and rubber bits the bars sit on.
  12. pauljoecoe

    pauljoecoe Occasional commenter

    Variety is the spice of life. I have 16 keyboards and computers in each of 2 music rooms and do a lot of work on Cubase and Sibelius but also have 64 Glockenspiels so that we can have class performances on those to. We use them particularly for our Gamalan Project amongst other things,
  13. Hey there,

    I recently used xylophones and glockenspiels for a scheme of work on Gamelan music as it was a great way to simulate the sound of a Gamelan. I also found it a great way to demonstrate dynamics at the start of Year 7. I don't have any chromatic ones either, but the students quite enjoyed using an instrument other than keyboards and you can always find/transpose music into C major. They can be effective when studying Minimalism and the idea of using small repeated motifs etc.
  14. Could you share with the resources you have used, please?
    Drones, ostinati...

    Thank you!

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