The Cello and Double Bass in the Music Classroom

Students will learn all about the Cello and Double bass through these easy and fun games. This is part of a music lesson plan from the fun music company.

To help students learn the parts of the instruments: play Pin the Parts on the Cello or or Double Bass (a variation on Pin the Tail on the Donkey). Simply have one student blindfolded and they have to pin the paper instrument parts (e.g., endpin, scroll) on a picture of a double bass or a cello.

Another game they can play is to gather objects of different sizes, or collect pictures of such objects, or simply make a list of such objects (e.g., telephone, tree, beach ball, baseball, 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)e.g. baseball, beach ball would be cello, double bass, and train, feather would be double bass, cello This will help students remember the relative sizes of the instruments, which students often have trouble remembering. If you have already had a lesson on the violin and viola then you can extend this activity to include all four instruments, and have students compare the relative sizes of them all.

Here are a few excellent pieces featuring the cello and double bass:

Camille Saint-Saens, Carnival of the Animals, XIV. The Swan (featuring solo cello). Several commercial recordings are available, but note that the recording with Leonard Bernstein as narrator features double bass instead of cello.

Pablo Casals plays J. S. Bach Suite No. 1 for Solo Cello (music begins at 0:53)

Elgar Cello Concerto, first movement