Here are a few ideas for teaching about the Instruments of the Orchestra. I do hope you find the ideas useful and feel free to provide some feedback using the comment box below.
Instrument Four Corners Game
For this game you will need four posters which represent the strings, woodwinds, brass and percussion instrument families of the orchestra.
Then you play an orchestral CD such as the one used in the game called Instrument Bingo by Cheryl Lavender, available at amazon.com. When the students hear the instrument, they decide which instrument family it belongs to and they stand under the correct poster. If they guess the wrong poster, they are out of the game. There are some that will follow their friends, but it is a great listening game and something fun to do.
This idea is an excerpt from the free e-book called “Substitute Lessons for the Music Teacher”
Fact sheets and Worksheets and Teaching Ideas
There is a comprehensive selection of worksheets called Instruments Of The Orchestra to help cover the whole term’s topic. You’ll be able to print out fact sheets on the instruments, have a collection of ready to use worksheets at your fingertips and have great new teaching ideas that you can implement into your classes easily and effectively.
Music Treasure Hunt Game
Select four contrasting instruments (any that you like…for example a scraping sound, a hitting sound, a shaking sound and a pitched percussion or barred instrument) Each sound will represent a movement (left, right, forward, backward). Practice moving around the room to the sounds. Choose four students to play the instruments, one to be the “treasure hunter” and one to be the “conductor.” The hunter should go near the door and close his or her eyes (you can use a blindfold too if you like). Then place something (stuffed animal, etc.) somewhere in the room to be the “treasure”. Everyone else has a seat on the ground like a “rock” in the ocean. The conductor tells what instrument to play in order for the hunter to move around the room and find the “treasure” (while their eyes are closed!!!) If they bump into a rock, the game is over and new players are chosen. If they “find the treasure” they are the winners and you can play again if you wish.
This can be used especially when working on timbre…in older grades the students have brought in their band instruments….and we use a brass, woodwind, string and percussion instrument for the four sounds.
You can find more games, tips and tricks in the e-book called “40 Lifesavers for the Music Teacher”
Musical Instrument Worksheets
If you’re finding that you need some simple fill-in activities or homework sheets, then a pack of worksheets called Musical Instrument Games may be helpful. Inside this pack are four levels in total of a worksheet designed to keep the students thinking. They’re self explanatory, are addictive and there are so many of them, you can just keep handing sheet after sheet out, without the stress of spending hours and hours having to make them up yourself.
Online Orchestral Instruments Game
Carnegie Hall has a fun interactive web-based game to help explore the orchestral instruments and features the Young Person’s guide to the Orchestra.