These days Handel’s keyboard music is most often performed on a piano. At the time that this music was performed however pianos had not yet been invented, so keyboard music was generally played on a harpsichord. Have the students research differences between the instruments, looking at the time when each instrument was invented, and the methods of sound production in each instrument.

You can then find recordings of the two instruments and listen for the differences in sound. You may like to consider the following topics:

What does each of the instruments sound like?
Can you think of any factors in either instrument that may influence the way the music sounds?
Which instruments sound do you prefer?
Do you think Handel would have liked the piano?
Recently musicians have been seeking to perform baroque music on instruments from the era. Why do you think they would do that?

One of Handel’s best known works is the oratorio The Messiah. Imagine that you are in the audience of that first performance of the Messiah. On the way out, you are stopped to be interviewed by the local television news (…just use your imagination!). What do you tell them about it? Choose someone to be the interviewer, with a brief introduction and video record the responses of the “audience” members.