DIY Orff Cart

DIY Orff Cart

DIY Orff Cart

This is my first attempt at building a cart for a bass xylophone. Not my original design. I found it on the internet. I just changed a few things. I used left over wood from various projects. The most important part is measuring your instrument carefully and building the cart to fit exactly.

  • “2 Wheels from HF- $3 x 4
  • Spray enamel or polyurethane- 2 cans- $3.55 each
  • Coarse wood screws or pocket screws $4
  •  About $24 total cost.
  •  A bass cart from a music store will be at least $108.

You could purchase dimensional lumber and make minimal cross cuts.  I used left over scrap pieces from previous projects and milled them to size on my table saw. I would consider larger 3 or 4″ wheels to get over bumps. Those are easy to change out.



Texas Gulf Coast Orff Association 2018-19 Workshops

The Texas Gulf Coast Orff Association presents 4 workshops every school year. The first one is this Saturday featuring Jim Solomon

For more information and workshop handouts please use this link.

Texas Gulf Coast Orff Association Workshops

Yes, the Arts Do Improve Reading, Math Outcomes

Music in schools – improves reading and math skills.

Link to full article:

…there is a substantial research base on the relationship of the arts to other academic skills. Check out “Critical Links,” a 2002 compilation from the National Endowment for the Arts of hundreds of studies showing links between learning in the arts and student academic and social development.

The Commentary authors cite one 2004 meta-analysis by Lois Hetland and Ellen Winner that “found little credible evidence that the benefits of the arts transfer to other academic subjects.” Yet, the abstract of that very study says: “Three analyses demonstrate generalizable, causal relationships: classroom drama and verbal achievement, music listening and spatial reasoning, and music learning and spatial reasoning.” Verbal achievement relates to reading development, and spatial reasoning relates to math skills.

The nonprofit organization I lead, Reading In Motion, has been raising the reading scores of Chicago public school students for 31 years with our music- and drama-based curriculum. And we have the research to back it up. Ten outside studies prove our work’s effects on reading skills, many using randomized control groups and pre- and post- designs. (See In the 2013-14 school year, our internal measurements show that our program got 81 percent of students reading at or above grade level—roughly 20 percent higher than those in schools not using our curriculum.

We need to invest more in high-quality research on the impact of arts education. But let’s not overlook the research that already exists.

Karl Androes
Co-Founder and Executive Director
Reading in Motion
Chicago, Ill.

Music Room Projector Project

My music room does not have an interactive board or any technology  for my students to use. I wish it did.  I do have an old projector that I use to project music, videos, photos, lyrics and curriculum. This is crucial because it helps the students learn to read, aquire language skills and gain background knowledge. And my curriculum is internet based. So without a projector I will have to print materials for my students to read.

My projector is old, very dim and the district will not replace it. So I have created a Donor’s Choose project to get a new projector and bulbs.

Currenty, Verizon has a matching program. They will match your donation!

Please donate and help me replace the projector. It gets used all day, every day in every grade level of music class – K-5.

Click on this link to give



Cinderella, If The Shoe Fits Musical Westwood Elementary

My 5th grade students completed a very successful run of an adaptation of the Cinderella tale called: Cinderella If The Shoe Fits. By John Jacobson. The story is cute and fun. The songs are well written. There are challenging solos, singing and dancing,  and lots of lengthy dialogue.

I am so proud of the efforts that my students put into learning dialogue, acting, learning to waltz, costumes, and most especially singing. Their voices were beautiful and strong when required. This was a very special group of 5th grade students who were willing to practice on their own, after school and work together as a team. I’m certain they were made fun of and faced criticism from their peers but they did well anyway! 

I appreciate the parents and family members who helped with make up and hair for the three shows!

This was a very difficult show and I am so proud of the students and the results were in the performance and in their faces.   I wish them all the best as they Move On to Middle school.

Why are you playing music?

Now is the time to play music for your own enjoyment and to begin prepping for All State auditions and junior high auditions. Sometimes band directors and lesson teachers loose sight of playing music for enjoyment. Preparing for contests and festivals is one priority, but do you ever play to play? You should. Find / purchase some music you like. Play along with a video or recording. Learn about a great musician and play their music.
Playing music you like,pPreparing your scales, technical studies and flexibility skills will pay of in at least to ways for region and area auditions next fall. One way pay off is that you will spend less time learning notes, rhythms and technique, allowing you to focus on expressive performance. Second, you will probably audition better and with more confidence. Playing for fun is…fun.
For more ways to improve your brass playing visit my website.