Orchestra Teacher Resources
Find Orchestra educational ideas and activities
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What Is My Family Name?
Students listen to selected solo instruments and place the instrument in its correct family of instruments; students also identify from listening to examples: orchestra, band, vocal solo, and choral performance.
Duke Ellington: Great American Musician and Composer
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.
Star Spangled Banner: For Orchestra
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.
The Brass Family
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.
Classical Music Appreciation (Grades 3-4 / Lesson 1)
Young scholars listen to, analyze, and describe excerpts from Benjamin Britten's, 'Finale From the Young Person's Guide to the Orchestra'. They listen to the entire piece, and identify the different instruments by their sound.
Students 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.
Identify the Homographs
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.
In this music worksheet, students locate names of instruments found in a traditional orchestra as well as some general music terms.
In this word-search worksheet, student search for twenty-nine music terms having to do with instruments of the symphony orchestra.
Music As Survival: Alma Rose and the Auschwitz Women's Orchestra
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.
Introduction To The Orchestra
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.
Music: Instruments of the Orchestra
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 lesson to present in a quiz show format.
Exploring Musical Instruments of the Orchestra
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.
The Layout of an Orchestra
In this orchestra instructional activity, 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.
Orfeo: Sinfonie e Ritornelli
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.
Meet Mikhail Ippolitov-Ivanov!
Pupils 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.
Beethoven Manuscript Sold at Auction
Young scholars 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. For 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.
Words in the News First Woman Leads Baltimore Orchestra
Middle schoolers complete vocabulary activities including worksheets in order to read an online article. They discuss typical male and female roles in a variety of situations.
Music - Lesson 3 - Orchestra
Second graders study the four families of orchestral instruments and patriotic songs in this unit of lessons.