Grade: Middle
Subject: Music

#3305. Instruments of the Orchestra Race

Music, level: Middle
Posted Wed Dec 8 23:53:40 PST 2004 by Kathryn Criss (
St. Patrick's Guildford, Sydney, Australia
Materials Required: a chair for each participant
Activity Time: 20 -40 mins
Concepts Taught: Reinforcing information about families of the orchestra

Ask each student to pick a partner who runs about as fast as they do. Sit each pair facing each other on the chairs (or on floor) in two long rows with about 2 metres between the rows. Allow plenty of space for running around outside of rows. Give each pair of students a musical instrument of the orchestra AND the family to which it belongs, telling them they have to remember both bits of information. Once everyone has a different instrument, the teacher calls one out and the 2 children have to stand and run in agiven direction around their own row/team and back to their spot. The first one home sitting with feet under (or legs crossed if playing on the floor)gets a point. Sometimes I may call a family of the orchestra and ALL pairs from this family must stand and race (Make sure they are all running in ONE direction!!!)The team with the most points at the end of the game wins. I have strict rules about the way this game is played to avoid accidents. Feet MUST be tucked under chairs at all times. Hands in laps to avoid fingers getting squashed between chairs or trodden on. I find it useful to spread out the families too e.g don't put instruments like flute, clarinet and oboe too close together.
The kids LOVE this game and it is by far the best way I have found to teach them about the families of the orchestra.