Its been a VERY long week, only one more week left of school for the kids and they are bouncing off the walls like the school is a bounce house! I can blame it on the spring fever right?
I save my unit on instrument families as one of the last ones of the year. Not because that’s just where it falls but because it is one that can keep students engaged. We talk about instruments, we see some instruments, we listen to them, we even play a few games that help us learn about them. It’s a great ending of the year lesson to keep you going all the way to summer. What makes my instrument unit stand out above the rest of my units is how much technology is involved.
There are several websites and tech tools I use to bring the instruments of the orchestra to life:
1.) dsokids.com– Perfect website with pictures, audio clips, and brief histories of some of the major orchestra instruments. I normally cannot bring most of them into the classroom for students to see so having this website is a huge help and introduces my students to a new world of music. I also play a game of four corners where I place 4 signs around the room one for each instrument family and play an audio clip of an instrument and they have to figure out what the instrument is and go stand next to the family it belongs to.
2.) Melodystreet.com-They have fabulous apps to teach younger students about the instruments. Linked is their YouTube channel which has some great videos for younger students (K-2) to watch and get excited about classical music and instruments. Two of the videos are for their interactive book which is a big hit in my classroom. My kindergartners actually remember more about the orchestra after watching those videos and using the apps as opposed to other methods of instruction I have done.
3.) Carnegie Hall Listening Adventures Young Person’s Guide to the Orchestra– This is the best thing since sliced bread. An interactive click adventure highlighting all the families of the orchestra in an in depth and engaging safari through the jungle to find and collect all of the instrument animals and bring them back to the stage for a grand performance! This may take a few classes but it is totally worth it. My kiddos and I put on our safari hats and dive right into the challenges.
What ways do you teach instruments of the orchestra? How do you use technology to open up a whole new world to your students?