Elementary School Music


Posted in Instruments, Purchasing for Schools by P. Conrad on May 17, 2010
Please note: This section will be expanded to include elementary band instruments, guitars and other instruments. At the moment, it includes soprano recorders, guitars, and keyboards.

Soprano recorders and keyboard labs are often the instrument of choice for teaching music literacy and performance in schools that do not provide a regular strings, band, or orchestra program. Below are some links to on-line resources for these instruments.


Soundtree is a division of the Korg keyboard manufacturer that designs and supports keyboard labs for purchase by schools. The Soundtree website includes a collection of lesson plans which can be downloaded and used even if your school doesn’t purchase a lab.

Suzuki offers inexpensive keyboard labs. Their whole catalog is available online.

Soprano Recorder:

  • Recorder Karate from MusicK8 is a popular teaching program, but most people rely on a mix of resources and materials.
  • Do It! Play Recorder is a well-produced student book, with CD available (and extensive teachers’ edition) from GIA Publications.
  • Various fingering charts are available: one British site has an interactive diagram some 3rd to 5th graders would find fun.
  • Rockin’ Recorders, by teacher Kay Greenhaw, has transparencies you can print out and use in class.
  • Carnegie Hall offers two outreach programs, Music Explorers and LinkUp!, both of which involve whole class instruction in soprano recorder, and include a valuable prepared curriculum, and a culminating visit to Carnegie Hall.
Tagged with: ,

Little Kids Rock

Posted in Band / Orchestra, Instruments by P. Conrad on May 16, 2010
Little Kids Rock is a national grant program that provides instruments and instructional methodology and resources for public schools whose populations are at least 50% eligible for free or reduced lunch.

To become a Little Kids Rock Teacher, you must:

. ………

  1. be a full-time public school teacher
  2. work in a public school with  50% or more students eligible for free or reduced lunch
  3. be able to attend the two-day workshop for your district
  4. have basic proficiency on the instrument for which you are applying
  5. be able to offer LKR classes at your school at least once a week.


Write this page . . .

Posted in Band / Orchestra by P. Conrad on May 16, 2010

school band

Jazz band, strings ensemble, winds, “school of rock,” full orchestra — this is an important category. However, this space will remain mostly empty unless a teacher volunteers to create the first post.
If you’re interested in doing it, you can use the other categories as a model. Post a draft and it will be edited and styled and set up with active links to any sites or resources you suggest.

picture © Lawrence Migdale

Tagged with: ,

Finding things on FAMIS

Posted in Instruments, Purchasing for Schools by P. Conrad on July 28, 2009

Item #: 604335865RB2303
Net Price: $16.38
Contract #: 1C50605
Manufacturer Item #: RB2303
Vendor Catalog No: RB2303

The above description comes from the FAMIS site and identifies a staple item for early childhood music: the eight note “step-bell” set. This item is manufactured by Rhythm Band Instruments and can be found on the RBI website for $26.00 plus shipping. The price on FAMIS is $16.38.

On FAMIS, you’ll be ordering the step-bells from the DOE’s contracted vendor: Bronen’s Music, in the Bronx.

Bronen’s “vendor number” is BRO057000. If you search that vendor number on the FAMIS site, you’ll see a 1000-item list of products they offer for DOE customers. If you click on the name (Bronen’s Enterprises, Inc.) you’ll get a vendor listing with contact information. It’s strongly advised that you speak to the vendor personally before placing orders on FAMIS, for help finding things you want, or learning about availability. Naturally, the same is true with any of the other vendors listed above.Next example is a set of Musical Terms and Symbols suitable for a music-room bulletin board.

The item number is #399626654, which refers to a product sold by GRAMCO, a vendor whose glossy catalogs of school supplies are in every main office across the city.

But the FAMIS site’s description shown at left provides the actual manufacturer’s name (McDonald) and a catalog number (MCB964).

Using that information you may be able to find the manufacturer’s website and look up the item and see if it’s what you really want.

Tagged with: , ,

DOE Contracted Vendors

Posted in Purchasing for Schools by P. Conrad on May 19, 2006

Contact information and a general list of brands for each of the following vendors can be found by searching in the FAMIS portal.

Sam Ash is the biggest and carries large numbers of guitars and band instruments. Contact them at their Hicksville, NY office for information about FAMIS purchases.

Peripole-Bergerault, based in Oregon, carries its own brand of percussion instruments, including Orff instruments. They also have a P-B 1-piece soprano recorder.

Frederic Weiner (L.I.) carries the venerable Rhythm Band line of percussion products.

Bronen’s Music (Bronx) provides band and string instruments and the higher-end Orff instruments made by Sonor.

Music Delight (Brooklyn) carries string instruments, Suzuki products (guitars, percussion & Orff instruments) and recorders. FAMIS Contract # B062806

Catalano Music (L.I.) carries band and strings instruments and the best-quality plastic recorders on Fastrack: the 3-piece Yamaha YRS24B soprano.

West Manor (Bronx) carries brass and woodwinds.

Jade Music (L.I.) brass, woodwinds, percussion, instruments and rentals.

For Keyboards and Pianos, you can choose among a whole host of vendors:

  • Steinway & Sons (FAMIS Contract #1B78601) for a Steinway
  • Noldes Pianos (FAMIS Contract #1B78603) for Kawai brand
  • B&H Photo (FAMIS Contract #B058812) for Yamaha electric keyboards
  • Music Delight (FAMIS Contract #B058812) for Suzuki electric keyboards

For Sheet Music there are four contracted vendors: Music Time, Inc., Sam Ash, Catalano, and Advantage Music. Of these, Catalano carries by far the largest list of publishers.

For music text books (but not sheet music), it’s best to start your FAMIS shopping with the titles and ISBN numbers for a specific textbook series.

Tagged with: , ,

Mail-order Suppliers

Posted in Purchasing for Schools by P. Conrad on May 19, 2006

Mail-order companies have a much wider range of all of the above products than can be found in the FAMIS system (however, they are not DOE-contracted vendors):

West Music is one of the best for music education. 800-397-9378

Music in Motion carries many hard-to-find trade books and song collections. 800-445-0649

John’s Music, in Seattle is a great resource for books, and all kinds of percussion and a packed Education Catalog. 800-473-5194

Lyons Music has a huge catalog for all areas of music education. 800-292-4955

If you aren’t shopping for books, or instructional materials, Musicians Friend is one of the biggest general on-line stores for musical instruments and music-related gear. Their educational catalog is handled by Giardinelli.

Tagged with: , ,