The Instruments of the Orchestra module contains fourteen lessons based on instruments found in a standard classical orchestra. Whether you teach in a school that uses a classical approach or a more modern Rock curriculum, you still need to cover the basics of all musical instruments with the students.
This is really written for around a junior high level, but we did not make this information too specific so that it can be relevant in both elementary and high school levels, depending on each school situation. We are not here to tell you what is appropriate for whom – you can decide that for yourself!
Here is a breakdown of the lessons included in this module:
This lesson covers seating positions, the instrument family names, and a description of how the different instrument families make sound. It is an ideal introduction to musical instruments for fundamental music lessons.
The Fun Sheet contains a crossword, plus a “Match the Instrument to its Family” game.
This lesson covers the role of the conductor, and how he works with the orchestra. The lesson also describes some simple beat patterns (duple, triple and quadruple), so the students can actually learn to be conductors!
The Fun Sheet contains a “find a word”, plus a name scramble of some famous conductors.
As well as covering the basics of the Violin and Viola such as the number of strings, the parts of the instrument and its history, the lesson also includes a description of basic playing techniques, including vibrato and pizzicato.
The Fun Sheet contains a “scattered parts puzzle” where students will need to be able to identify the various parts of the string instruments to put them together.
The Cello and Double Bass lesson covers the differences between the remaining members of the string family, and provides listening ideas for identifying the Cellos and Double Basses in the orchestra.
The Fun Sheet contains a fun scattered words activity, plus a decoding activity where the students will find the names of three famous cellists. We’ve included links to videos where they can hear and see these cellists playing.
In this lesson students will explore high sounds coming from the Flute and Piccolo, as well as learning about all their parts. The lesson plan contains some great directed listening activities to help the students become familiar with the sounds of the Flute.
The more unusual and interesting instruments in the orchestra provide a great resource for students. Its not boring at all when students “make” an oboe from a drinking straw and learn about the vibration of a double reed instrument.
Directed listening (from Peter and the Wolf, by Prokofiev) is tied in with activities on the Fact and Fun Sheets