The triangle is held in one hand, suspended from the top corner by a cord or leather holder. The beater is held in the other hand and the instrument can be struck either on the outer side, or lower inner side. The touch should be delicate and springy, like bouncing a ball. The beater can also be struck rapidly against the inside base and the side of the instrument producing a trill, or tremolo effect.
Cymbals and finger cymbals
The cymbals are traditionally played by holding the leather holders in each hand and clashing them together. The sound can be allowed to vibrate, or can be dampened by pressing the cymbals against the body. For younger children, a single cymbal can be suspended from its holder and struck with a variety of beaters to provide different sounds. To achieve a delicate sound one cymbal may be struck gently on the edge of the other. Finger cymbals are mini cymbals, held between the fingers and struck together to produce a clear bell-like tone. They may also be mounted on the fingers with elastic loops.
This instrument consists of two brass disc shapes, joined by a piece of string. The cord should be held loosely in each hand and the lower bell struck with the upper, so that the edge of one disc bounces against the flat surface of the other.
The cow bell may be cupped in one hand and struck with a beater which is held in the other hand. The cow bell may also be suspended by its upper loop, and struck either on the inside or on the outside.
Metal agogo bells
This instrument is held in the mid section and struck with a beater. It has a clear, bell-like sound, and each bell produces a different tone.
Jingle stick and sleigh bells
A jingle stick has a wooden handle, with two or more bells fixed at each end. It may be played by shaking the handle or by tapping smartly against the other hand to produce a sharper rhythm. A sistrum is similar to a jingle stick except that it has more bells. Sleigh bells are semi-circular in shape and may also be played by gripping the handle and gently shaking the instrument.
This can be played by shaking it. Alternatively, and more usually, it is played by rotating the beads against the central metal cylinder to produce a grating sound.
The single toned wood block is a cuboid-shaped block of hard wood. It is held in one hand and struck with a beater. It is most effective when it is played with a pair of drumsticks.
Two-tone wood block
As the name suggests, this instrument can produce two different tones. It is held by the handle and each side is struck with a wooden beater.
The tulip block is shaped like a tulip with a hollow head. It is held in one hand and played with a stick which is held in the other hand. Different parts of the head can create different sounds.
The guiro is an oval-shaped instrument with a ridged surface. It may have finger holes to help hold it. It is held in one hand and scraped with a stick held in the other hand producing a rasping sound. Guiros are made of a variety of materials including metal and wood. Metal guiros often have more than one type of serrated surface, so that it is possible to produce a greater variety of sounds on them.
The wooden agogo may be struck like the two-tone wood block or scraped like the guiro.
These are hardwood sticks, in varying thicknesses. One stick is held cupped in one hand and struck with the other stick.
The castanets mounted on a wooden handle are easy to hold and produce a clear rhythm. The children can hold the instrument in one hand and clap it into the palm of the other hand. Sometimes, the castanets may be manufactured using a strong elastic band to connect each pair. The instruments are held between the fingers, and clicked together in a pinching motion.
Maracas are held in each hand, and shaken to produce the desired effect. One maraca per child is sufficient for young pupils. Different sound effects can be achieved by varying the intensity and/or the speed of the shaking motion.
The tambour is basically a tambourine without the jingles. The tambour may be struck with the hand, but more usually a soft, felt beater is used. The tambour is an excellent drum substitute, and the larger sizes, which produce lower tones, provide a very good way of playing accented pulse.
The tambourine is like a tambour, but it has jingles around the head. It may be played in a number of ways to achieve different effects. It can be held by the rim and shaken to produce a jingling tremolo effect, with varying intensity and speed. It can also be held in one hand and struck or tapped with the other, using finger tips, knuckles and palms to produce varying degrees of volume. Tambourines come in several varieties - with or without a skin and in interesting shapes, like the half-moon tambourine.
These are twin-headed drums, which are played with the open palms of the hands, or the finger tips, depending on the sound effect required. Bongos are usually held between the knees, but younger children find it easier to place them on a soft surface (folded towel), sitting in front of the instrument and playing with their hands. More expensive bongos may be mounted on stands.
Glockenspiel, xylophone and metallophone
A glockenspiel is an instrument which has steel keys, varying in size. The tone is clear and bell-like, with good resonance. The notes are arranged like those of a piano and are struck with a beater or pair of beaters. A xylophone is similar to a glockenspiel, except that it has wooden keys, mounted on a resonating box. The notes are shorter in duration than those of the glockenspiel and 'dryer' in tone colour. The bars of a metallophone are made of aluminium alloy, and the notes resonate for a very long time.
These may be purchased individually and each comes with its own beater. The bars come in varying sizes and the notes are usually labelled by their staff name, shown in letter form, e.g. C, D, E, F, etc.
A suggested sequence in rhythm
A suggested sequence in melody