Finishing the orchestra unit – and the field trip.

Our completed orchestra seating chart.

Our completed orchestra seating chart.

I wanted the kids to learn about the orchestra instruments. We love music at our house and have multiple instruments available for them to play. In addition to learning about music, I teach piano. I teach both my children and other students. Music is an important part of our life, and learning about the musical instruments is a fun thing to do.

We learned about the instruments in their various groups: Woodwinds, strings, percussion, brass, and the conductor. I had a very old, “History of Music” book which provided some of the pictures. MS Word Clipart provided the others.

When we did each musical group we would:

1. Identify what instruments were in the group.

2. Show/learn how each one makes a sound – and thus why it is in the group.

3. Identify the similarities between each of the instruments in the group.

4. Listen to a famous piece that highlights that instrument (so when we did woodwinds, we listened to 4 different musical pieces).

5. Played an instrument from that group.

6. Learned about a famous musician who composed the music we listened to.

7. Learn the names in German.

After we did all that, we would put the pictures up on our orchestra chart. The pictures are all laminated so I can take them down and use them again when we do this next year.

The best part was that we took a field trip to our local music store afterwards. I had called a week in advance and asked if we could come and play the different instruments that we don’t have at home. I explained that we were homeschooling, and the kids were learning about instruments and asked what we could play. They nicely said we could play what they had. So we went, and got to play each and every instrument in the orchestra – and some that aren’t (think sax, electric guitar). It was a blast to hear the kids talk with the music guy about the different instruments.

By listening to them talking I learned that sometimes I teach stuff and it really does stick with them 🙂

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