Want your students to learn about the string instruments? Take these couple of lesson ideas and inspire your students about violins and violas in your next music class

Gather objects of different sizes, or collect pictures of such objects, or simply make a list of such objects (e.g., elephant, mouse, airplane, bicycle, etc.). Show or speak pairs of objects, and have the students indicate the relative size relationships with the words “violin” (for small) and “viola” (for large). e.g. “mouse, elephant” would be “violin, viola” and “train, feather” would be “viola, violin” This will help students remember the relative dimensions of the instruments, which students often struggle to remember.

Make a diddly bow (a rudimentary single-stringed blues instrument) by stretching a wire or string along a wooden plank. Insert objects beneath the string at either end to elevate the string and increase its tension. The diddly bow is an excellent tool as a teacher to demonstrate the effect of string length and string tension (you can effectively shorten the string by pressing down on it with a finger). Greater string tension and shorter strings lead to faster vibrations, which in turn produce higher sounds.

This is just a sample of the materials available in our Music Lesson Plans product from the Fun Music Company.