Learning about the cello and double bass in music class

Learning about the Cello and Double bass has never been more fun than with these enjoyable games. These ideas make music lesson plans easy for music teachers.

Learning about the parts of the instruments is easy if you play this game: play Pin the Parts on the Double Bass or Cello (a variation on Pin the Tail on the Donkey). Simply have one student blindfolded and they have to pin the paper instrument parts (e.g., endpin, scroll) on a poster of a cello or double bass.

Another fun game is to have the students collect objects or pictures of different sizes (e.g., tree, car, mobile phone, ball, train etc.)The students then have to speak or show their pairs of objects and indicate the relative size relationships with the words double bass(for large) or cello(for smaller)For example, telephone, tree would be cello, double bass and beach ball, baseball would be double bass, cello. This will help students remember the relative sizes of the instruments, which students often have trouble remembering. If you have already had a lesson on the violin and viola then you can extend this activity to include all four instruments, and have students compare the relative sizes of them all.

Here are a few excellent pieces featuring the cello and double bass:

Camille Saint-Saens, Carnival of the Animals, XIV. The Swan (featuring solo cello). Several commercial recordings are available, but note that the recording with Leonard Bernstein as narrator features double bass instead of cello.

Edgar Meyer, Double Concerto for Double Bass, Cello, and Orchestra (available on CD or as mp3 download from Amazon.com).

Dvorak Cello Concerto, first movement