May 15, 2011

Instruments of the Orchestra!

"You know mom, I love the coral reef and I am always interested in science but do you know what I love more than those? Instruments!"
That is what Max said when we started to look at the instruments of the Orchestra. To get an overview we went online. The Young Person's Guide to the Orchestra is a very good and a very fun way to have an introduction to the instruments in the orchestra, their families and lots of info bites to tease you into learning more. Did I say how much we all enjoyed it?

 Then to look more closely at each instrument we began reading The Story of the Orchestra by Robert Levine. He incuded so much fun information I was inspired to create some copywork to go along with it. The copywork covers the double bass, violin, viola, cello, flute, piccolo, oboe, clarinet, bassoon, trumpet, trombone, tuba, french horn, bass drum, snare drum, glockenspiel, triangle, cymbals, tam-tam, gong, timpani, xylophone, piano, harpsichord, organ, saxophone, harp, and the tubular bells.

We loved the CD that goes along with The Story of the Orchestra. The pieces of music on it highlight each of the instruments. We listened to the music while doing the copy work. The CD can also be handy for Instrument Bingo. Play the music and place a token on the instrument it is highlighting. We varied the lessons by playing bingo, dominoes, go fish, and concentration with the copywork and reading.

(We did color a few instruments but they were cut out and used up before I got any pictures of them.)

 Lastly we put this seating chart of the orchestra together. It is part of the "Composer's" Hands on Activity Pack from Homeschool in the woods.  This was very helpful for the boys to see where each instrument sat while playing in the orchestra.  There are cards for each instrument and instructions so you can placeinstruments in according to which ones were in the orchestra as it grew and  changed over the years. We had just learned about Beethvoven so we set up the orchestra as it was composed in the Classical period.

We have not finished with the instruments...but, it is time for a break, and a new venue. Onto Bach! Then we will return and learn more.

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