Want your students to learn about the string instruments? Take these couple of lesson ideas and inspire your students about violins and violas in your next music class

firstly, compare the sizes of violins and violas with other objects of different sizes Demonstrate the differences between the pairs of objects and ask the students to recognise the relative size of the instruments with the terms “viola” for large and “violin” for small. For example, “elephant, mouse” would be “viola, violin” and “bicycle, airplane” would be “violin, viola” This will reinforce the relative sizes of these instruments, which students often struggle to remember.

Make a diddly bow (a rudimentary single-stringed blues instrument) by stretching a wire or string along a wooden plank. You can place objects underneath the string at one of the ends to life the string up and alter its tension, and thus its pitch. The diddly bow is an excellent tool as a teacher to demonstrate the effect of string length and string tension (press down on the string with a finger to effectively shorten the string. Greater string tension and shorter strings lead to faster vibrations, which in turn produce higher sounds.