Category Archives: Music Education Resources

Instruments of the Orchestra: String Family

Learning Outcomes:

  • Students will know the different string instruments of the orchestra.
  • Students will be able to identify each string instrument through visual and audio examples.
  •  Students will complete worksheet based around the string instruments of the orchestra.

Strings 15 minutes

Power point on the string instruments accompanied by audio/visual examples of each instrument. Students will take down key bits of information down about each string instrument in their music copybooks.

Violin features 10 minutes

Show students a violin. I will point out the features of a violin. Students will then be able to play and examine the violin and bow within class. They will know features such as: Strings, tuning pegs, chin rest and f holes.

Worksheet 15 minutes

Students will find each string instrument within the string family in their Bravo books. Using information they have learnt in class they will write a short description of each instrument on a worksheet. The worksheet will then be completed for homework. They will also be given a diagram of the violin on one of the worksheets. Each student must work individually and label each feature of the violin.

Phase 4 Videos

Students will watch videos on all the string instruments. Each video will be accompanied by questions allowing students to identify instruments aurally and visually.

Mario on the violin:

Rolling in the Deep: Cello

Mario: Cello

Lady Gaga: Viola

Mario: Double bass


Irish Music: Sean O’Riada

Intended learning outcomes:

  • Students will be know and be able to identify characteristics of Irish traditional music.
  • Students will know the main developments of Irish Music.
  • Students will have an understanding of who Sean O’Riada is.
  • Students will know what Sean O’Riada contributed to the development of Irish music.

Compare and Contrast

Play examples of music from a collection of different eras and ask the students can they identify features of the music and what genre it is such as:

  • Instruments they can hear
  • What genre of music it is.

Play a piece of Irish music and ask students to identify features of it. They will then compare and contrast each piece. This should help them understand the main features of Irish music.

Flash Cards

In groups students will study flashcards containing words related to Irish Music and music of a contrasting genres such as:

  • Triplets
  • Orchestra
  • Electric guitar
  • Jig
  • Reel
  • Choir
  • Hornpipe
  • Rock band
  • Fiddle
  • Drone

There will also be images on the flashcards. Students must arrange flashcards in two categories. One for Irish music and another for different genres.

Sean O’Riada (Powerpoint)


For homework: Students will write down key words from the board describing the music of Sean O’Riada. They will write a short newspaper article based around Sean O’Riada and his music.



Aston-Teaching Instruments of the Orchestra for Music Teachers

Looking for a new, imaginative and fun way to teach your students about the instruments of the orchestra? Using the orchestra band called Aston you can now bring some new fun into your Music Classroom. Aston use up to date chart songs and rearrange them for orchestral instruments.

Identifying classic popular songs aurally

I will play 4 classic popular songs. Students will identify the name of the song and the artist who sung each song. The songs will be re-arranged for classical instruments.

Identifying Instruments playing each extract

Students will try identify any instrument they hear playing the re-arrangement of popular songs and what family they belong to.

1)    Violin

2)    Cello

3)    Classical Guitar

4)    Piano

5)    Timpani

6)    Gong

7)    Cymbals

8)   Chimes (Tubular Bells)

Video of Aston playing classical instruments.

I will ask the class can they name any instruments they see in the video. I will then provide a short definition and explanation of each instrument (what family they belong to, how they are played etc). Students will then continue watching the video and identify what song it is and answer questions on handout.


Students will read biography on the band ‘Aston’ from handout. I will provide a profile on each member in the band and what instrument they play. They will then answer questions on the handout about the band, allowing me to assess what they have leant throughout the lesson.