November 9, 2012 at 2:49 pm #15223
First off, I’m a few months into my 3rd year teaching and my first year at my current school. I also want some recommendations on what types of mallets I need (i.e. one pair of marimba soft, one of hard, one medium soft, one medium hard, one rubber…? What selection do I NEED?) and which brands to go with. I’m also having problems with mallets being broken, and I would like some advice on how to deal with it.
Here’s my thought for the broken mallets: Assign each percussionist a pair of mallets to use during warm-ups each day and lock them in a cabinet when not in use (I already try to do the cabinet thing). I’ve also considered requiring the percussionists to purchase their own mallets, but I know that would prevent some students from being in band.
Any advice you can give is much appreciated!November 12, 2012 at 7:52 am #15257
What grade are we talking? If junior high, don’t go crazy with the amount of mallets you have. I’d have for each instrument: 1 soft, one medium. Add the hard if you have the extra cash…in my opinion, I don’t want our JH mallets on hard mallets…creates alot of clutter at that age.
Broken mallets? Don’t provide them with mallets. Start your beginners with purchasing their own mallets from day one. Other kids have to buy a saxophone, why can’t they by mallets? Providing them with xylophone/marimba mallets shouldn’t be an option.November 14, 2012 at 2:47 pm #15436
I teach beginning, 7th & 8th grade, and high school band. And jazz band (sort of). I think I’ve done a pretty good job of making the beginners understand that when they do use school equipment, they must respect it. The 7th and 8th graders are very careless in general (not just in band), and that translates to things like mallets being dropped on the floor and left there to be stepped on.
Like I said, this is my first year here, and the mallets weren’t in the greatest shape when I came in. I’m trying to get these kids to understand that they have to take care of the things that are provided for them, but when the things aren’t in great condition, how do I monitor what’s new, what’s intentional, etc?November 16, 2012 at 8:35 am #15573
I may be the grinch, but if a mallet is broken, I would just automatically assume it’s intentional or due to neglect. Either way, they pay to replace the mallet. Mallet shafts just don’t “break” unless they are cracked from being stepped on, beaten too hard, etc. The heads on cheap bell mallets tend to fall off, and that is an easy repair…I wouldn’t hold the kids accountable for that…..just don’t buy cheap bell mallets 🙂
I still think having all beginners have their own bell, xylo, and marimba mallets is the way to go. They should have a stick/mallet bag when they get their beginning bell/snare kits and those mallets and sticks should last them at least through 8th grade. Check with whoever does your beginning rental program, and ask them to include sets of mallets/sticks/bags with the kit from day one. It may add a few bucks to the rental, but it will still be much much cheaper than kids who are renting a ww or brass instrument.
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