The Orchestra Overview
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.
The Violin and Viola
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
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.
The Flute and Piccolo
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 Oboe, English Horn and Bassoon
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
In this lesson plan there are some ideas for long term projects about clarinet players, as well as links to hear them play and recommended listening to hear the Clarinet in action.
The Fun Sheet contains a word search and a name scramble where students will have to become familiar with a lot of interesting facts about the Clarinet.
Yes… we know that the saxophone is not really a “full time” member of the classical orchestra, but it is such an important instrument in Jazz and Concert Bands in schools that we felt it should be included with its own lesson here.
The students will learn lots of interesting facts about the history of the Saxophone, and its place in modern music.
The Trumpet and the Horn
The brass instruments are very important to learn about, as one lesson we’d all love our students to have is not to go around calling a Trombone or Tuba a “Trumpet” later in life!
In addition to the facts about the instruments the lesson plan includes a fun game to help students learn the parts of the Trumpet and Horn.
The Trombone and Tuba
Instead of the usual facts and details, this lesson plan sheet for this lesson includes a fun game called the “Trombolympics”, which may well be needed by the time the class gets up to this lesson!
The Fun Sheet contains a word search, plus a “fallen phrase” game where students will learn interesting facts about the Trombone.
Most school students are familiar with the drum set. However, it’s important for them to learn about the percussion instruments that are in the orchestra and how they relate to classical music.
The Fact Sheet contains some clear pictures of all the instruments, and the lesson plan has ideas to bring percussion instruments to life in the classroom.
In the tuned percussion lesson students will learn the differences between Xylophones, Glockenspiels, Marimbas and Tubular bells, as well as learn all about Timpani (the only drum of definite pitch)
Your students will have fun cracking codes about tuned percussion instruments, and will find out how to make a “paperphone”
Piano, Harpsichord, Pipe Organ or Celesta, they are all covered here, as are listening examples featuring each instrument.
A game is included in the lesson plan to make learning about the keys on the keyboard fun for keyboard players and non-musicians alike!
The Harp might be an obscure instrument, but one that is worth focusing on from a technical point of view, as you can discuss the effect on sound when the length of a vibrating string is changed.
The parts of the Harp are identified in the Fun Sheet, which brings it all back together to the fact sheet.