It is overwhelming to think that you have to clean every single instrument that you want to use during a class so well that there is no possible way any germs are left behind ~ especially for those of us on a cart! Here are 5 instruments that I use regularly that are small enough to store nearby and shaped so that I can clean one end then hand that side to the student while I clean the other end. I clean all instruments before I pass them out then again when I pick them up, so that I make sure every bit is covered!!

  1. Rhythm sticks ~ We all have them (for the most part) and there are all kinds of things you can do with them! Up until I attended a Music Together class with Jennifer Holland, I only had the kids make sounds in the traditional way. When I attended her class with my little one, I saw her doing all kinds of fun things ~ from holding them up on their heads to look like antennae to holding the sticks parallel to each other with enough space for kids to look through. Since then, we have added on and kids have been inspired to share their own ideas!
  2. Boomwhackers ~ Are a bit bigger than the others, but they are great for teaching melody in a time when we aren’t really singing or using melodic instruments as regularly. I store them in a large plastic hamper and put the whole bin on the top shelf of my cart. I have enough of each so that if I decide to change notes mid-lesson, it isn’t a problem… and let’s face it, whacking something THIS year, sounds pretty great!!
  3. Triangles ~ These take some maneuvering to clean, as the shape complicates things a bit. The kids need to hold it steady so that I can clean everywhere. My students love using these for half notes and the rhythm sticks for quarters. We had fun playing around with them when we were beginning our STOMP series!
  4. Egg shakers ~ I love to use these with the little ones and cleaning is a breeze! They are small enough to clean in one hand covered with a wipe and pass out.
  5. Maracas ~ Also a simple instrument to clean and pass out! These are great in that they can be played in pairs or, if you absolutely need to, you can separate them and give each student only one.

If you would like to learn how to clean the rest of the instruments in your room, the West Music blog post ~ Keeping Your Instruments Clean | West Music Company ~ is a fabulous resource! It covers it all!

If there are instruments that you have found to be simple to use during this time, please let us know in the comments below!