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Instrument Family Lesson · Hannah Rosholt/MPR

Age Range: Elementary

Learning Objective: Students will learn the characteristics of the four primary instrument families.

Free Downloads:

ENGAGE students

MOVE. Play a game to notice similarities between students. Ask students to stand up based on a prompt. Prompts include: “Stand if you: are wearing the color red, have long hair, have short hair, like basketball, like pizza… (etc).” Play several rounds.

SAY. “We have a lot of similarities, and there’s also some differences! Today we’re going to talk about instruments that share similar features.”

EXPLORE sounds

EXPLAIN. “Instruments are placed in groups based on similarities of how they create sounds. We call these groups families. We can group instruments into four families: strings, woodwinds, brass, and percussion.”

DEFINE. Sing Instruments Belong in Four Families to teach students the characteristics of each family. Sing the song a few times. Add movement or actions to help students retain the information. Download the score!

COLOR & LEARN. Choose one instrument demonstration video from each family to show. Each video is 1-2 minutes long. While listening, students can color one of the included Instrument Family Coloring Sheets. Each features a few instruments from each family.

PLAY. Play 4 Corners with students to practice identifying instrument families. Use our ready-to-go 4 Corners Visuals & Instructions to play.

EXTEND learning

Choose one or more activities to extend learning.

WATCH. Continue learning with our Virtual Concert: Instrument Families lesson featuring Class Notes Artists.

PLAY. Utilize resources from TeachersPayTeachers like Instrument Family Bingo or Instrument Scavenger Hunt to reinforce learning.

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Clean Water Land and Legacy Amendment

This activity is made possible in part by the Minnesota Legacy Amendment’s Arts & Cultural Heritage Fund.

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