Sunday, April 29, 2012

Young Person's Guide to the Orchestra - Part Two: Woodwind Pond

Carnegie Hall's listening adventure, "The Young Person's Guide to the Orchestra," takes you and your students on a fun safari through the African wilderness in a hunt for all of the instruments played in the orchestra. This is the second part of my five-part resource for this excellent website. If you missed the previous post, you can click here for the Four Families Introduction resources.


1. Documents and Multimedia
First, I want to make sure that I give credit where credit is due. I did not create the website, the text, or pictures for any of the resources I am sharing with you. The interactive website, the images from the website, and the text used in the student worksheets were created by the Weill Music Institute at Carnegie Hall. The black and white drawings of the instruments come from "Music Instruments: Blackline Masters" in the Share the Music series published by Macmillan/McGraw-Hill. The color pictures of instruments come from the Nashville Symphony Orchestra "NSO Kids" teachers/parents website. I merely put them together in a way that worked for me as a teacher.

I created a SMART Notebook file and student worksheets to accompany this lesson. Occasionally, my school's internet is down, and thanks to Murphy's Law, it always seems to go out when I need it the most. Although the website works great by itself, it's always nice to have back-up materials just in case.


I have been playing around a bit with Prezi. I recently created a "Prezi" presentation to go along with the flute. Press the arrows to move from slide to slide. I love how information can easily be hidden within the presentation. I even have a YouTube clip in there somewhere!

I am still new to Prezi, and I have learned that although this tool is great for sharing information, it can take a long time to make a presentation look good and flow well. My students loved the one I made above, and I plan on making more.

2. Movement and Demonstrations
Although this website is primarily dedicated to interactive websites, it is important to understand that interactive whiteboards have their limits. With each instrument on this website, I have a number of activities that I use to get my students up and moving in some way.

For the flute, I have my students stand up and turn themselves into a flute! Their head is the head joint, their body is the body, and their feet are the foot joint. We go down to our knees to become a piccolo because a piccolo is missing the foot joint. We pretend to play keys on our body, we point to our lips and mouth for the lip plate and embouchure hole.

For the oboe and bassoon, I have my students create a double reed by clapping their hands together. To make the single reed for the clarinet, we turn one hand to a fist (the mouthpiece) and use the other hand (the reed) to clap against it. I also have an oboe reed and bassoon reed that I show to the students. I blow through them and let my students hear the different sounds they make.

If any of your students have a woodwind instrument, this is also a great time for show and tell. I had a few students bring instruments from band or from home to share with everyone.

3. Final Thoughts - Sharing Ideas
I am thrilled with the positive response IWB-Music has been getting on Facebook, Google+, Twitter, and Pinterest. Facebook already has over 100 fans! I would love to hear how you use these resources in your classroom. Please leave comments and share or retweet what you like!  Thanks for reading and continuing to share great ideas!