Learning the Orchestra Family

Shannan Winkleblech
Bishop Leonard School




Computer Computer Projector Smartboard


40 Minutes

Prior Knowledge and Skills:

Students do not need to have any prior skills or knowledge, but they may have some knowledge of instruments.

MENC Standards Addressed:

MENC 6: Listening to, analyzing and describing music.


Computer projector
Power Point on instruments



  1. At the end of this lesson, students will be able to name the four groups of instruments in the orchestra.
  2. At the end of this lesson, students will be able to name the instruments and identify instruments by sight and sound.
  3. At the end of this lesson, students will be able to identify the characteristics of an instrument and be able to name what family the instrument belongs to.



  1. Explain to students that we will be discussing instruments in the orchestra.
  2. Explain to the students that there are four instrumental groups.
  3. Ask the students if they could name any of the four instrument groups.
  4. Show the students slide one of the Power Point (names the four families).
  5. Show students slide two (string family) and explain the characteristics of the string family.
  6. Discuss with the students how sound is made and explain to them that how each instrument creates sound is one of the characteristics of a family of instruments.
  7. Ask the students if they can name any of the string instruments. Tell the students the names of the instruments that they could not name.
  8. Go to slide three. (pictures of string instruments).
  9. See if the students can name the pictures of the instruments. When students name an instrument then have the student come up the smartboard and click on the picture of the instrument to hear the sound.
  10. Continue this process with all of the instrument families.
  11. When completed the slide show, if time permits, turn off the projector and see if the students can name the instruments by hearing.


Through out this lesson the students will be evaluated on their ability to name the instruments and name the proper instrument family by looking at the characteristics of the instruments. Students should be able to do this with 95% accuracy
The students will be able to name the instruments by sound with 80% accuracy.

Follow Up:

This lesson can be reinforced by spending a day in the computer lab and going to www.nyphilkids.com. Here they can explore and learn more about each instrument and answer questions on a worksheet concerning the family of instruments.


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