Orchestra Teacher Resources
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Do These Add Up?
Common Core mathematical practices require that young mathematicians not only know how to add fractions with unlike denominators, but also to recognize when adding fractions are appropriate for the word problem. Fifth graders are given nine different word problems and asked to identify when and why adding fractions is correct.
5th Math CCSS: Designed
Playing With Your Food
Students discover about the form and function of traditional musical instruments, then use this knowledge to create non-traditional instruments that replicate the sounds of traditional instruments. They use vegetables to create their instruments!
6th - 12th Visual & Performing Arts
Percussion Instruments and Pitch
Students play string instruments to discover how the pitch changes on various string instruments. In this pitch instructional activity, students listen to video clips and play an online music game. Students become familiar with music vocabulary.
4th - 7th Visual & Performing Arts
Woodwind Instruments and Pitch
Students explore musical pitch. In this cross curriculum musical instruments and "sound" physics lesson, students identify and describe common traits of woodwind instruments. Students research "pitch" and what causes pitch fluctuation by viewing a number of web sites.
3rd - 5th Visual & Performing Arts
Students discover music that was inspired by the spooky and bizarre. In this music of Hector Berlioz and Camille Saint-Saens lesson, students identify elements of music and listen to the Symphonie Fantastique and Danse Macabre. Students write a short story based on their interpretation of the music and create a group mural based on their visual interpretation of the music.
5th - 8th Visual & Performing Arts
Sergei Prokofiev's "Peter and the Wolf"
Fourth graders study Sergei Prokofiev's "Peter and the Wolf." They explore the characters and the instruments that represent the characters. They create their own version of "Peter and the Wolf" for the purpose of introducing the kindergartners to the classroom instruments and developing a love for music (much like the purpose that Prokofiev wrote his).
4th Visual & Performing Arts
Opera and Poetry
Sixth graders examine the basic elements of an opera in a three part instructional activity. Part one includes listening to opera excerpts and analyzing the excerpts in writing; part 2 includes recognizing the elements of a quatrain, identifying and creating rhyme schemes, and writing their own quatrains based on Greek or Roman myths.
6th Visual & Performing Arts
"Mambo" from West Side Story by Leonard Bernstein
Students encounter and study "Mambo" from "West Side Story," by Leonard Bernstein. They practice utilizing musical elements (instrumentation, tempo, and dynamics) to create a certain mood for a scene with music. Each student interprets or imitate various experiences through pantomime, dramatization, role playing, etc.
8th - 10th Visual & Performing Arts
Students explore Western and Chinese instruments. In this cross-curricular music and history lesson plan, students identify and classify instruments. Students view websites that include Chinese cultural history, and write a paragraph based on research done.
K - 4th Visual & Performing Arts
Students discuss the structure of the musical film "The Bolero." In this film arts instructional activity, students watch "The Bolero" before participating in discussion questions and watching a second performance of the same musical. Included in this learning guide is helpful background information about the composer and the composition.
4th - 5th Visual & Performing Arts
Students explore Chinese instruments. In this Chinese instrument music lesson, students listen to a performance by Liu Fang and describe the sounds they hear. Students classify western and Chinese instruments according to their instrument family.
4th - 5th Visual & Performing Arts
The Sorcerer's Apprentice
Third graders listen to "The Sorcerer's Apprentice". Using the music, they identify the high and low parts in the orchestal composition. They compare the elements of a story to the piece of music and respond to the music and state how it makes them feel.
3rd Visual & Performing Arts