April 2017 Instrument Families

One of the first steps in teaching students to understand art music and listening is to acquaint them with the unique characteristics and timbres of orchestral instruments and instrumental families. Students can explore each of these instruments on the Classics for Kids website. Easy navigation tools lead them to information, pictures, and sound clips of each instrument. The site also provides other interactive musical activities including games.

After students have explored each instrument, offer them a chance to hear Benjamin Britten's Young Person's Guide to the Orchestra. This live recording by the Kölner Philharmonie, 2012, showcases each family as well as solo instruments through a vibrant performance with up-close video images. Enjoy!

Link/Website: http://www.classicsforkids.com/music/instrument_families.asp

  1. Explore families of instruments: Brass 
  2. Explore families of instruments: Woodwind
  3. Explore families of instruments: Strings
  4. Explore families of instruments: Percussion
  5. Explore families of instruments: Keyboard

Benjamin Britten's Young Person's Guide to the Orchestra