Help your child understand the different instruments of the orchestra and their distinct sounds. From this activity your child will experience the visual and aural recognition of orchestral sounds and instruments.
- Pictures of orchestral families (Strings, Woodwinds, Brass, Percussion)
- Sound clips from recordings or computer
- Worksheets, coloring pages
Introduce each family of the orchestra by playing a brief excerpt of single instruments. Use samples from recordings or sound-clips from the computer. Illustrate each sample with the picture of the instrument being heard. Explain that depending on the character or mood of the piece different combinations of instruments can be used. Then, listen to three basic ensemble combinations (string ensemble, woodwind ensemble, and brass ensemble) for a sense of players performing together.
Take it Further
Make up a listening game that involves identifying orchestral sounds and instruments. Have your child make a chart with the different instruments in each family. Then, play random selections from recordings or sound-clips from the computer to be recognized and notated. Children will accumulate points for each correct answer.