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Music and Instruments Lesson

Updated on December 10, 2015
iijuan12 profile image

I am a Christian. I was an 8th-grade American History teacher. I am currently a freelance writer, public speaker, & homeschooling mom of 8.

This is part 2 of a 4 part hands-on unit study on the five senses. See the inside of a piano and how it works, study pitch while playing water glasses, test out different instruments, and more! My lessons are geared toward 3rd-4th grade level children and their siblings. These are lessons cdeveloped by another creative mom to do with our weekly homeschool co-op. We meet each week for 2 1/2 hours and have 14 children between the ages of 0-13. Use these fun lessons with your classroom, family, camp, after school program, or co-op!

Learning how to tune a piano
Learning how to tune a piano

Introduction and Tuning a Piano

***Please bring any instruments you own. If your child plays an instrument and would like to play for us, please let them prepare a song.***

1. Stretch & pray.

2. Read Genesis 4:21 and Psalm 4:1-3.

3. Review the sense of hearing.

4. We had a man who tunes pianos come over during our co-op meeting. I paid him to tune my piano. While he did that, he showed the children all the parts of the piano and explained what he does & how he does it. (I did ask him ahead of time if he'd be willing to do this while he tuned our piano. He is a grandfather who loves children and was delighted to do this!)

Each of the children got to play musical instruments they brought, including this violin.
Each of the children got to play musical instruments they brought, including this violin.

Mini-Concert

5. Everyone shows the instruments they brought. Some children played the instruments and let others play them or touch them.

6. Read most of "Ah, Music" by Aliki. While reading the book, let children clap a rhythm and hum a melody. Quickly discuss pitch, tone, and octaves.

Ah, Music!
Ah, Music!

This was the best picture book we found that provides a broad introduction to many of the aspects of music theory and includes enjoyable illustrations.

 
Water glasses as instruments
Water glasses as instruments

Water Glass Chimes and Instrument Families

7. Divide children into 2 groups. Each group fills 8 glasses with different amounts of water. Let the children play them. Discuss how changing the amount of water changes the pitch of the sound waves.

YOU WILL NEED: 16 water glasses, 8 spoons, & 2 pitchers

8. Review instrument families using pictures from books.

9. Play parts of "Peter and the Wolf" and "Carnival of Animals" and have the children shout out what instrument they hear.

10. 5 minute review of what we learned

Storybook and CD

Sergei Prokofiev's Peter and the Wolf: With a Fully-Orchestrated and Narrated CD
Sergei Prokofiev's Peter and the Wolf: With a Fully-Orchestrated and Narrated CD

My children love hearing Peter and the Wolf, which allows children to hear how different instruments can be used to tell a story. They enjoyed this version that includes a beautifully illustrated picture book to accompany the CD.

 
Carnival of the Animals: Classical Music for Kids
Carnival of the Animals: Classical Music for Kids

My children also love listening to Carnival of the Animals, which features different instruments as they portray various animals. They enjoyed this version that includes a beautifully illustrated picture book to accompany the CD.

 

Ready for the next lesson?

Using cup phones to learn how sound waves travel from the first lesson in this unit study on hearing and sound
Using cup phones to learn how sound waves travel from the first lesson in this unit study on hearing and sound

Build a crawl-through ear as you study hearing, play scales on water glasses as you study music and sound, dissect a cow eyeball as you study sight, try to identify mystery objects simply by their smell, present on various aspects of the five senses, and more during this 4 lesson hands-on unit study of the five senses!

  • Hearing and Sound Waves Lesson - This is part 1 of a 4 part hands-on thematic unit on the five senses. Build and crawl through a model of an ear, watch sound waves at work, make paper cup phones, use a stethoscope and otoscope, and more!
  • Music and Instruments Lesson - This is part 2 of a 4 part hands-on unit study on the five senses. See the inside of a piano and how it works, study pitch while playing water glasses, test out different instruments, and more!
  • Eyes and Seeing Lesson - This is part 3 of a 4 part hands-on unit on the five senses. Make an edible model of an eye, dissect a cow eyeball, visit an eye doctor, and more!
  • Touch, Smell, & Taste Lesson in Five Senses Unit - This is part 4 of a 4 part hands-on unit on the five senses. Feel, smell, and taste mystery items, make a touch and feel book, and more!
  • Five Senses Culminating Project and Field Trip Ideas - This is the culminating project for the 4 part hands-on unit on the five senses. The students created presentations on people and ideas related to the 5 senses and shared 5 Senses-themed snacks and desserts. (Recipes are included.) Also included is where we went for field trips during this unit.

To find even more great lessons on sound and music, check out these lessons by cutting and pasting the below links.

http://www.coreknowledge.org/mimik/mimik_uploads/lesson_plans/572/A%20MUSIC%20%20SCIENCE%20CONNECTION%20Instruments%20of%20the%20Orchestra.pdf

http://www.coreknowledge.org/CK/resrcs/lessons/02_Music_SciConn.pdf

http://www.uen.org/Lessonplan/preview.cgi?LPid=2541

Musical Families Video

Walt Disney - Toot, Whistle, Plunk And Boom Movie

The Young Person's Guide to the Orchestra

Kids Orchestra Movie

Konos Volume I (Attentiveness)
Konos Volume I (Attentiveness)

Konos Curriculum (Attentiveness Unit)

Would you like to teach this way every day?

Konos Curriculum

I use Konos Curriculum as a springboard from which to plan my lessons. It's a wonderful curriculum and was created by moms with active boys! This lesson is based on the activities found in the Attentiveness Unit Study from Konos Volume I.

Konos Home School Mentor

If you're new to homeschooling or in need of some fresh guidance, I highly recommend Konos' HomeSchoolMentor.com program! Watch videos on-line of what to do each day and how to teach it in this great hands-on format!

© 2011 iijuan12

What Instrument Have You Always Wanted to Play and Why? - Or just let me know you dropped by! I love getting feedback from you!

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    • CoffeeWriter LM profile image

      CoffeeWriter LM 

      6 years ago

      @LouisaDembul: Know what you mean. I have 4 young kids and we have been going through the same thing.

    • LouisaDembul profile image

      LouisaDembul 

      7 years ago

      My daughter just started learning the recorder in school, and my ears are almost falling off! In a few weeks she has progressed a lot, though.

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