So clearly I’ve spent time teaching from a cart. Since my Hacks for Teaching Music on a Cart post, the number one thing people have been asking for is a tour of my cart. So here we go!

THE cart. I have a flip up tray addition on the left side, the paper towel holder on the right (just wait), a cup holder and extra tray, all from Harbor Freight. Click here to see the cart (I get no money from this!) I’d also like to point out that now they have SEVEN colors (I’m super jealous of those of you with white!) The only colors that were around when I got it were red and black.

Flip up tray
“Spray paint” aka coffee holder 
Paper towel holder – is actually 2 magnetic pieces so they can be turned on their side to make super strong hooks.
Glove dispenser – perfect for tissue boxes
Small tray 

If you are interested in seeing a full tour, check out my YouTube video.

This is the tool caddy that is a great last minute catch all for things I’m taking with me. It can hold recorders, puppets, little dry erase boards, egg shakers and rhythm sticks and other small percussion, and literally whatever else you want. A number of years back I actually dedicated an entire post to this and you can see how it’s held up to the test of time!

Also note the awesome iPad stand. It’s sticky and has a twist secure suction cut  so it is going NOWHERE. It can also rotate and fold flat when it’s not in use.

This is the top of my cart –
I keep magnets with things like pink slips (missing assignments for middle school), hall passes, etc in here as well as extra hooks and clips. In the top I keep my folders for band and choir, concept plans, any flash card type things I will need that week – bonus – the screwdriver slots along the side are the perfect size for these, Post Its galore because I am always covered in them by the end of the day, silicone wrist bands for partner choosing, dancing, group making, etc. I won’t really be using these this year but this is where they are, and manipulative for games I play often or will fall on if I need something for time: pennies, buttons, a little duck call attention getter, etc.

Bonus on this cart: The top locks. When the top is locked, the drawers which already have little latches so they can’t just fly open are also locked. Very necessary.

The top two drawers on the left are short and the one on the right is much deeper.  On the right I keep my recorder, slide whistle, small instruments, mouthpieces for all the band instruments (in that pink container), a tuner, a mouthpiece puller, drumsticks, etc.

On the left, I keep class lists, my iPod and an aux cord. The iPod SO much better for a sub because they can pull up the “sub” playlist and plug into my speaker and I don’t have to worry about my personal Apple info being out there.

In the lower of the two drawers on the left I have a folder that I keep master copies of any worksheet we do. As I plan during the year I put a copy in there so I have them when I’m on the go. I’ll use these to make copies later but this way I don’t have to search and if for some reason I need extras, they aren’t back somewhere I can’t get to them and I can hand one to a kid to take to the office.

My next drawer actually has blank space on purpose. This way I have a spot to put any extra things I may need on a particular day like song books, an extra manipulative, or something. The box has a hand drum (in the box so it doesn’t get a hole!), a square timer that flips on the side to set/turn off, and some googley-eyed finger puppets that are washable so I can use with the younger kids.

In the past I’ve also used this bottom drawer which is the deepest for instrument repair tools but right now I’ve got a little plastic paper tub with rhythm sticks, a glockenspiel and a roll up piano in here. I store my egg shakers in one of these bins as well so I can switch out which one I’m using. The glockenspiel is great for high/low work and while I’m not a piano player and don’t use it much, I still think it’s important to have one for talking about cords, scales, etc. I use a tuning fork to start songs so I don’t use it for that.

On the bottom of my cart I keep a bin with things like puppets, felt envelopes, or other things that I might bring out in class. The file folder has an extra of each part for the tunes we are working on in band in case a kid doesn’t have their folder. The two bins have books and dry erase pockets. I always keep extra books on the cart so I have something I can go to if I have extra time. The white bin is my sub tub. I also think it’s always important to have a ball on the cart. I use it mostly for a ‘pass the ball’ that I use kids to help remember lyrics, but it’s also great to pass if you want to call on a kid.

Around the back of the cart is where I keep my speaker. I use the JBL Flip and I have a case for it so it protects it. I do not leave this here when my cart is unattended.

On the back of the cart I have a set of 6 magnetic pocket charts. They can hang on the hook (or roll them up and use the hooks to display anchor charts!) These are great for displaying word walls, icon or notation cards, or even a schedule for class. I don’t use these with middle school so there is one for each grade K-5. The magnetic pockets on the right are great for manipulatives for rhythm. I have the popsicle sticks cut to the size I can use for 16th notes and they have magnetic tape on the back. I also have a hook which you can’t really see on the far left. It holds a pointer.

When the top of the cart is up you have a perfect spot to use these manipulatives, or you can move the pocket chart up to display so kids can see it better as well. (Note the folded down iPad stand.)

This paper towel holder is turned on it’s side so I have two REALLY strong hooks. This one has my ukulele. Behind that is a pencil cup and next to those is a two-cup holder (I think they are actually for spray paint) from Harbor Freight so I can have coffee AND water. 🙂

Underneath the flip up tray, I have a few small trays – I keep my tuning fork when I’m not using it, our school-wide reward coupons, an extra pocket with extra magnets, an extra pencil cup with a reusable bag so if I need to carry something and I run out of space I have a way to carry it. My old cup holder is here and now it’s my walkie talkie spot. The long drawer across the bottom has a pool noodle so I have a bumper and it’s got recorder cleaning sticks in there for conducting. Also good for drum sticks.

Did you see something you like? Shop my Amazon store for thing you saw in this blog post (affiliate links – I get a small cut but it won’t change your price.)

That is my cart tour!! I hope that this has been super helpful. I’d love to hear how you adapt something you saw here! Leave a comment and share your cart pics!


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