Instrument Repair Hospital: Glockenspiels

In this episode of Instrument Repair Hospital, “Dr. Lissa” demonstrates her method for cleaning and reconditioning glockenspiels. Tubing and nails only last 10-12 years before the rubber begins to rot and needs to be replaced.

Take good care of your Studio 49 Orff Instruments for their long lasting health and great sound!

Be sure to order replacement parts before beginning any repair.

– Furniture polish
– Goo Gone
Turtle Wax chrome polish*
– Scissors
– Hammer
– Screwdriver
– Needle nose pliers
– Rag
– Vacuum cleaner

*Please note: in the original video Lissa uses Yamaha bore oil to polish and protect the glockenspiel bars. We’ve learned a lot more about instrument repair in the last 10 years. Bore oil used for woodwind instruments is not recommended. Lissa’s new preferred product to shine and protect the bars is Turtle Wax Chrome Polish.

Lissa Ray

Lissa taught general music in a suburb of Cincinnati. Lissa currently teaches Pre-K - 6 in at a Montessori school in Northern Kentucky. She is President of the Board of Directors of the Cincinnati Children's Choir and has served on the American Orff-Schulwerk National Board of Trustees. Lissa presents Orff-Schulwerk workshops and classes for teachers and children.

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  1. Barbara on September 10, 2015 at 10:50 am

    When the glockenspiels loose their coating. can they be spray painted to make them look good again? I have some that look like the one in your video:(

    • Karen Sweet on September 16, 2015 at 1:21 pm

      I am wondering where you got the tubing and the posts and the tacks.

  2. Neil West on December 9, 2015 at 1:08 am

    I love your videos. Who knew that even repairing Orff instruments could be fun?? I enjoyed your session at AOSA in San Diego too!

  3. Helene Neeley on December 19, 2015 at 4:56 pm

    How do you repair the black and white keys, soprano xylophones? The felt has come out from under the keys and some of the screws are bent.

  4. Mary Ann on January 22, 2016 at 10:52 am

    Yes! Love it! However, I am having trouble finding the special tacks that hold down the tubing. Where can these be purchased?

  5. David Schmitt on September 26, 2023 at 2:32 pm

    Hello Dr. Lissa, I’ve used Naval Jelly and Turtle Wax Chrome Polish on my Studio 49 glockenspiels as recommended and followed directions to a T. But now, after having stored them for a month, there is literally 100x more area of rust than there was before. I’ve got photos to share of before & after. Might there be something different that I should do, or do again? Or, is it just something that I’ll have to live with? Thank you for your help!

    • Teaching With Orff on November 9, 2023 at 4:23 pm

      I am so sorry to hear that you have rust returning to the bars after you’ve treated them. I’ve been thinking about this problem of yours for a while. I’ve consulted with colleagues and am wondering why this is happening. Did you thoroughly dry the bars after cleaning off the rust with naval jelly? If so, the only thing I can come up with, and this is just a guess, is that there a a LOT of humidity where you are storing your glockenspiels. If you agree with this You cold consider getting a dehumidifier for that room. It could be a pain to empty the water out but would likely be worth it.
      Not that this will help you but I want you to know that Studio 49 has changed the finish on their glockenspiels to a beautiful, sparkling silver that will not rust.
      The nice thing is that no matter how old, rusted, and battered the Studio 49 glockenspiel bars get they still sound beautiful.
      “Dr.” Lissa

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