Music Teaching Tips: Teaching about Peter and The Wolf in the Music Classroom

I’ve just stumbled across this set of very cool YouTube videos which would be relevant for teaching upper primary about Peter and the Wolf and the Instruments of the Orchestra.

Click here to check out the story of Peter and The Wolf on Video


This is the story of Peter and the Wolf which is a puppet show and orchestral performance. Very cool and is the type of presentation that won’t date like other animations etc! Could be used easily with upper primary / junior high classes easily.

When I posted this video on facebook recently, one of our facebook friends and music teacher, Ruthe Elizabeth Brewer left this comment on how she uses materials and resources for this topic:
” I have my upper elementary students watch a video version that I have, watch the Disney version on Make Mine Music and then they make a lap book which not only emphasises the story, but focuses on the instrument sound with diagrams that they put in their lap book. To complete the unit, we play instrument bingo where they must identify the sound and name the instrument using other pieces of music played by that instrument.”

Some other useful resources and links include:Peter and The Wolf: A Percussive Musical
If you scroll down and read on past the objectives on this site, it outlines a basic plan for making Peter and the Wolf: A percussive musical with your classes. It will get your classes making costumes, creating music, listening to music and being immersed in this work for approximately eight lessons.

Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra Sound Discoveries
This pdf document will give you some basic info and ideas for teaching about Peter and the Wolf. The idea I most liked on this set of pages was this nicely presented and useful listening map of the recording to use. Perfect for younger students to hear their way through the music and keep track of the events that happen in the music.

Peter and The Wolf games and activities for Kids
Using the links on this website, you can get access to some great Disney you tube links where walt disney explains what Peter and the Wolf is about ( old footage, but timeless), you can get access to the story from here and there are some professional looking and colourful presentations on the orchestral instruments and audio files.

Peter and the Wolf on Wilkipedia
Always a great first place for any teacher to start!

Peter and The Wolf: The Nature Of Music
This pdf file is a whole swag of teaching resources and fact sheets compiled by the princeton Symphony Orchestra. Some useful information and pictures in here as you scroll through the pages.

But now it’s your turn!! What are your favorite resources for teaching about Peter and the Wolf in the music classroom? Please leave your feedback using the comments box below to help other music teachers have less work to prepare for a lesson on this topic.


  • By Leslie Kerchner Reply

    Thank you for the information. I have taught Peter and the Wolf for the last 3 years and have never had so many resources to choose from. Obviously, the piece is so ideal when teaching about instrument families. But, now I have a number of other concepts I can teach about as well.

  • By Michael Boudewyns Reply

    I, too, love “Peter and the Wolf”!

    Since 2004 I’ve been performing a vaudeville-inspired, fully-staged, solo performance of “Peter and the Wolf” with orchestras around the country; Philadelphia Orchestra, Saint Louis Symphony Orchestra, Richmond Symphony Orchestra, New Haven Symphony Orchestra, Westchester Philharmonic, Annapolis Symphony Orchestra, Kennett Symphony, Texarkana Symphony Orchestra, and more.

    In the 2012-2013 season I’ll be performing “Peter and the Wolf” with the Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra in Canada.

    I’m always moved by the joy and delight audiences express at experiencing this timeless and thoroughly entertaining composition. It is, in my opinion, a masterpiece that will continue to entertain audiences forever. I firmly believe that “Peter and the Wolf” has the same timeless appeal as Thornton Wilder’s “Our Town.” A real work of genius that people enjoy returning to time and time again. It is, as Peter Dobrin, Music Critic for the Philadelphia Inquirer, said: an orchestral “rite so powerful as to be sacred.”

    “Peter and the Wolf” is clearly the benchmark against which all other compositions for young audiences are judged. The most amazing element is that each character has their own distinct hummable melody; and all play an integral role in the story; nothing is superfluous. Our production company, Really Inventive Stuff, presents other vaudeville-inspired orchestra productions of “Dr. Seuss’s Green Eggs and Ham”, “Tubby the Tuba”, “The Story of Babar” and even Britten’s “Young Person’s Guide to the Orchestra” – but each of those entertaining compositions stand of the shoulders of Prokofiev’s “Peter and the Wolf.”

    We’ve also developed an educational study guide with fun historical facts, trivia and activities that we offer to orchestras, so that they could share it with teachers, schools and students

    Thanks for sharing the resource links. It’s always wonderful to discover others who also love “Peter and the Wolf”

    Michael Boudewyns, co-founder

  • By Yolanda Marshall Reply

    First heard Peter and the Wolf in 6th grade and never forgot it. When I became a teacher I could not wait to introduce it to my class.

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