Here are a few simple classroom games you can play to help your students learn about the cello and double bass in the music classroom.
Learning about the parts of the instruments is easy if you play this game: play Pin the Parts on the Cello or or Double Bass (a variation on the classic party game called Pin the Tail on the Donkey). Simply have one student blindfolded and they have to pin the paper instrument parts (for example the scroll or endpin) 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 reinforce the relative sizes of these instruments, which may be a little tricky to remember. If you have already covered the violin and viola, you can extend this game to include all four string instruments, i.e., comparing violin with cello and so on.
Here are a few excellent pieces featuring the cello and double bass:
Camille Saint-Saens, Carnival of the Animals, V. The Elephants (featuring double bass section). Several commercial recordings are available.
Edgar Meyer, Double Concerto for Double Bass, Cello, and Orchestra (available on CD or as mp3 download from Amazon.com).
Elgar’s Cello Concerto, first movement
These are just a few of the ideas in our music lesson plans product