- Primary needs one complete octave (13 bells) - in duplicate for matching. One set is painted white/black to match the piano keyboard; one set is painted brown.
- Elementary needs 2 complete octaves (25-26 bells), no duplicates. All are painted white/black to match the piano keyboard.
- Within each set the ideal is that the bells/tone-bar itself all matches in appearance so the children don't just match or grade based on appearance, but on sound.
- We have somewhat decided that this doesn't matter so much at the elementary level.
- At over $1000 for each set, that's a HUGE outlay.
- Kaybee Montessori used to sell the bells for $450. I own that set. Worth EVERY penny.
- Using these for ONLY elementary? Purchase a "resonator bell" set that has 25 or 26 tone bars. Use as-is. Price range: $150-$300 for one set.
- Need them for primary? Purchase two of those sets, but only use one octave (c1-c2). Tuck the others away for now, or use them with your elementary children. When your youngest reaches elementary and you no longer need the duplicates, sell that set to another Montessori family - either elementary or primary - and keep the one 2-octave set for your elementary work.
- If you get a set that has G-G instead of C-C, you will find that your AMI album presentations need to be just slightly tweaked. Not a huge deal actually, but I'll point it out here so you are aware. Perhaps if someone asks, I'll re-write the corresponding pages for you, to avoid confusion :)
- Using them for primary, I have a couple of ladies working on a "packaging" so that they appear the same for matching purposes AND will tilt upwards for the sake of swinging the mallet into them in similar fashion to the bells (so much handwriting practice this way! and control of movement!).
- If you do have the bells - a slightly damp cloth is ALL you need. DO NOT POLISH the bells!