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Glockenspiel Xylophone and Music Book Review by Kelly Burgess

Upado Unlimited
P. O. Box 188
Atascadero, CA 93423

My 8-year old son, Holden, was so excited to receive the Glockenspiel Xylophone just a couple of days before Christmas. He couldn't wait to get started with it! He's always been a child who feels the rhythm of music, and just about any instrument or style of music will suit him just fine!

On the flipside, though, some instruments, particularly those intended for children, don't necessarily offer a pleasurable sound for the parents who have to listen to their children banging away at them. However, with the Glockenspiel Xylophone, I'm pleased to report that's simply not the case! 

It has an 8-key scale from C to C, and it's perfectly tuned with crisp, clear intonation. Its solid wood construction and 2 included mallets are very well-made and stand up to use by young children. Both Holden and my 11-year old daughter, Haylee, couldn't resist taking turns with this beautiful and brightly colored instrument. I was overjoyed that it didn't have the clanky sound of other xylophones you typically buy for children. In fact, it was so beautiful that I couldn't resist playing it myself! I found it quite relaxing. My only wish is that it had more than eight notes, as that would facilitate playing a broader range of songs; but that clearly did not bother my kids one bit!

The included music book has a total of 10 children's songs to play, and the music shows both the letter notes as well as color-coded lines that match the colors of the bars on the xylophone. The xylophone bars also indicate the letter note on each bar. So as you play the songs, you can choose between learning the letter notes to be played or following them by color. The length of the colored lines varies based on the length of the note to be played, and this is clearly explained in the front of the booklet. All three of us found it very easy to follow after just a couple of tries. 

In addition to those ten songs, additional songs can be found on the company's website. There, you also have the option in the "Listen and Learn" section to hear the songs being played on a xylophone so you can get a feel for the melody before you try to play yourself, or you can choose to play along with the recordings. I thought that was a nice feature, as well, as I was unfamiliar with some of the songs in the book. 

I kept this instrument in its box on a shelf in our school room, and it was an item that my son asked permission to play with often after school work was done. It's truly a lovely instrument, and the music book makes it possible for anyone of any age to play, whether they can read music or not. Starting off with the included songs made Holden familiar enough with the instrument that before long, he was creating songs of his own. That's the kind of creativity I like to see!

-Product review by Kelly Burgess, The Old Schoolhouse® Magazine, LLC, April, 2016