Classroom Music Lessons about the piano, harpsichord, organ and celesta

There are several other instruments which are related to the piano which are important for us to introduce to school students. They are the organ, celesta and harpsichord. These are great instruments to include in your music lesson plans.

Discuss with students the similarities and differences among keyboard instruments. The instruments are mainly similar in the way that they are laid out. The keyboard layout is the same in all of these instruments. However if we are to be technical about it each of these instruments really belongs in a different family.

Both the piano and the harpsichord are really stringed instruments. The hammers on the piano strike the strings, while the harpsichord mechanism plucks the string. (In this respect the harpsichord is like a guitar and the piano is like a hammered dulcimer.)

The pipe organ really belongs in the wind family. Some pipes operate like a flute, other pipes operate like a whistle or recorder, and yet other pipes operate like a reed instrument.

The keyboard on the celesta plays bells, just like the Glockenspiel, hence why it can be called a “bell piano”

Here are some other observations: There is only one row of keys on a piano or celesta, however on the organ (and most harpsichords) there are nearly always more than one keyboard. Pianos and organs have a very wide range while harpsichords and celestas have a more limited range.

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