Sound Shapes, Boomwhackers and Orff

  • Sound Shapes, Boomwhackers, Orff instruments…Basic or Novelty?

    As an Orff teacher in preschools and elementary schools as well as a teacher trainer since the 1980s, I am amazed at what instruments teachers or schools have purchased. Sometimes instruments that I would consider the necessary core of a school’s instrumentation are totally missing but they have a set of boomwhackers (with a set of chromatics), some sound shapes and a stretchy band. Instruments that I consider the “sprinkles,” not the cake! There are instruments with awesome tone quality and durability that a teacher should purchase to teach the most musical, challenging, rewarding and effective lessons all school year long. Please see the Music Box Forum and Blog for articles on this subject. As always, if you have questions or want to learn more about making smart purchases for a preschool or elementary program, log into Music Box, click FORUM in the menu bar at the top, click ASK LYNN QUESTIONS and I will be there to chat more about this subject. 

    But, I do enjoy colorful, fun Sound Shapes, Boomwhackers, and other novelty type of instruments and equipment. I use these kind of specialty items right after our holiday or spring concert, the last week before a holiday or summer break, for a summer camp, a workshop, birthday party or other school celebration or special occasion.) I did not purchase these until I had my basic set of Orff instruments and unpitched percussion. I have used Sound Shapes for Kindergarten 100 Day Party or their Graduation party but I have also used them at a school’s summer camp. When I use Sound Shapes, I have several essential items I use to ensure success:

    • The Sound Shape Play Book (Music Box Members, remember to use your discount when ordering)This book will make the event easy for the leader to plan some very successful activities!  The book will also have activities to use wih any unpitched percussion.
    • Cowbell and striker
    • Samba Whistle or other loud whistle
    • ChatterVox Microphone
    • Optional additional percussion such as Woods: Rhythm Sticks or Tone Blocks

    For workshop videos, go to

    For resources for teachers such as books/CDs, puppets, instruments and more go to