The school year is coming to an end. Although I’m not in the classroom this year, I’ve always thought the end of the year is the perfect time to introduce the instruments of the orchestra. I’m not sure if it’s because of the field trips so many schools are taking around this time, or because it’s when my classes were finishing up recorder units, but I always taught the instruments unit toward the end of school. Last week, I shared different stories I like to use to introduce the instruments of the orchestra (Peter and the Wolf and Carnival of the Animals, in case you missed it).
I love using children’s stories to introduce musical concepts to children. That’s especially true when I am introducing the instruments of the orchestra. There are so many wonderful books to help aide in teaching about the instruments of the orchestra. Today I’m sharing a few of my favorite books for introducing the instruments of the orchestra!
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Books to introduce instruments
1. Zin! Zin! Zin! a Violin, by Lloyd Moss
This book is extremely popular, and for good reason. It introduces the orchestra with fun rhymes. This book does a great job of introducing the orchestra in a way even younger audiences can appreciate. It also introduces new vocabulary words, like “duo”. The pictures in this one are great, as well!
2. Never Play Music Right Next to the Zoo, by John Lithgow
I love this book!!! This book is perfect for field trip season! With so many of the younger grades heading out to the zoo, they are sure to love this one! My son’s preschool just took a field trip to the zoo. At my last school, all the kindergarten through second grade classes took field trips to the zoo, and they loved this book. Lindsay Jervis has a wonderful resource in her store for this book. It’s currently a FREE resource!
3. Meet the Orchestra, by Ann Hayes
Great introduction with cute pictures! The fun surprise in this book is guessing which animal will be holding each instrument. Meet the Orchestra does a great job describing each instrument, along with the instrument families. This is a perfect selection for going to your first concert!
4. I Know a Shy Fellow Who Swallowed a Cello, by Barbara Garriel
I love this entire series! If you haven’t tried them before, you should check them out, starting with the classic There Was an Old Lady Who Swallowed a Fly (my copy came with the puppet pictured below)! I love being able to sing along with the story. Cumulative songs are so much fun for children. This book was very popular with the younger grades. They were big fans of my old lady puppet, too.
Do you have any go to books you like to use when introducing instruments? Any books I left out? I love hearing about new books!
P.S. Looking for more ways to introduce the instruments of the orchestra? Here are some of my favorite resources and activities:
- instrument bingo
- instrument petting zoo (like this idea from David Row)
- instrument matching