Orchestra Teacher Resources

Find Orchestra educational ideas and activities

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Students delve into the life and music of Duke Ellington as a major American musician and composer. The elements that made the sound of his orchestra unique and the talents of his band members are explored in this lesson.
Students observe a PowerPoint presentation to explore how brass instruments produce wounds. They observe the teacher demonstrate the proper use of the mouthpiece and slides to produce a tone. With and without the mouthpiece, students then "buzz" their lips to crate a sound. They explore ways that brass instruments are used in bands and orchestras.
Young scholars explore the life and accomplishments of George Gershwin. They listen to Latin rhythms and practice the rhythmic parts. Students identify Latin instruments George Gershwin added to the orchestra. After practice, they perform a rhythm ensemble using the Latin instruments.
To conduct an orchestra, a conductor’s conduct must be above reproach. What fun! Light a match under your readers by having them read a series of definitions and find the homograph that matches. If students don’t contest, you could conduct this exercise as a contest. An answer key is provided. 
Students identify the dramatic expression made by performance and how it relates to the content of the story L'Orfeo. They determine the form of orchestra and each instrumental group within the orchestra for this piece.
Students listen to music and review instruments of the orchestra. They explore musical terms, solo, texture and theme of the music and discuss other features of the music. Students research and discuss the life of Mikhail Ippolitov-Ivanov.
In this music activity, students read a description and then label the blank sections of a orchestra layout accordingly. Students also shade each section in the appropriate color.
Students investigate the families to which the instruments of an orchestra belong. The identification of the instruments and their function in the playing of symphonies are made as they listen to the piece, "Peter and the Wolf."
Middle schoolers practice playing "The Star Spangled Banner" while focusing on phrasing. They work with the instructor to mark the lyrics and music, then play the song using the phrasing indicated. Several cross-curricular  extension activities are included.
Students explore a period of European history in which musicians have used theri musical talents and abilities to survive and rise above extremely difficult situations. The psychological uses of music by the Nazis is examined in this seven lessons unit.
Students listen to a book, "Meet the Orchestra." They observe a PowerPoint presentation, listen to the sounds in "Peter and the Wolf" and then match illustrations of instruments to their specific sound. Students identify instrument families and create a chart.
Learners study the classical orchestra in this technology-based general music lesson for the high school classroom. Emphasis is placed on the use of the "Microsoft Musical Instruments" software. This lesson can be accomplished in one class period.
Students identify various musical instruments and explain their roles in an orchestra. Following a Powerpoint presentation, students discuss what they have discovered in small groups. Then, each groups devises four questions based on the instructional activity to present in a quiz show format.
Students listen to "The William Tell Overture," identify instruments, sounds and other characteristics of the music. They compare and contrast orchestra music to large band music. Students discuss the musical composition and how the timbre of the instruments affects the mood. They complete a worksheet, detailing information about the four families of the orchestra.
For this orchestra worksheet, 7th graders follow directions for coloring in a diagram of an orchestra setting. They shade each section according to the type of instrument that would be seated there.
Elementary listeners learn about each section in the orchestra and the sounds they make. This would be a great introduction prior to a field trip or a visit from a real orchestra. Note: The audio does not appear to work. 
Students complete vocabulary activities including worksheets in order to read an online article. They discuss typical male and female roles in a variety of situations.
Second graders study the four families of orchestral instruments and patriotic songs in this unit of lessons.
Second graders study Folk Songs and instruments of the orchestra in these lessons. They recognize the difference between folk songs and classical music.
Students react to a series of statements about Beethoven, then read a news article about the sale of a 179-year-old manuscript by the musical genius. In this current events lesson, the teacher introduces the article with a discussion and vocabulary activity, then students read the news report and participate in a class discussion. Lesson includes interdisciplinary follow-up activities.

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