5th Grade General Music Classes
PRACTICE MAKES PERFECT!
In the next part of our unit on the orchestra Instruments, students will be asked to identify the orchestral instruments just by their sound, or timbre (tam-bur): in the WOODWIND FAMILY: flute, clarinet, oboe, and bassoon; in the BRASS FAMILY: trumpet, French horn, Trombone, and Tuba; in the STRING FAMILY: violin, and double-bass; in the PERCUSSION FAMILY: snare drum, bass drum, timpani, cymbals, and tambourine.
Parents & students -below, I have linked some youtube videos that can help you practice by listening. The more you listen to a particular instrument, the more familiar you become, and identifying it JUST BY SOUND (TIMBRE) gets easier and easier! It also helps the student to tell closely related instruments apart. One example is that many 5th graders, at first, have a hard time telling the clarinet & oboe apart (both woodwinds). Listening practice, with a video is fun, and can really help you master this skill! Here are some hints and suggestions, to get you started:
1) to try to think of a word, or a phrase that reminds you of the sound of EACH instrument. For example, many students think the oboe is "nasally" in its tone. These mental hints can really help you tell the instruments apart from one another, just by their sound.
2) try to listen to, and to pick other videos, where that instrument is features with the melody. Specifically, you can type in three different search words,at the top of the youtube page, to help you get started: concerto, sonata, and solo. For example: trumpet concerto, bassoon concerto, flute sonata, trombone solo, violin concerto.
a concerto - features an instrument, with an orchestra accompanying the instrument (concerto often have an introduction of over a minute, before the soloist starts to play - be patient!) A concerto often has a section near the end, where the solo instrument plays alone (called a cadenza); this is a very good place to listen - so if you're short on time, then "fast forward" to the cadenza!
a sonata - features an instrument, usually with a keyboard instrument, like piano accompanying
a solo - can be any kind of music that features that instrument
3) Often, older musicians have a better developed tone - but that is not always the case! Sometimes a video will feature a young person who has a wonderful sound on the instrument. You'll know pretty quickly if the performer has a good tone, or not, to help you learn.
4) Remember, anyone can post a video to youtube, so choose carefully to help you learn the sound of each instrument! Don't be afraid to check out some unusual ones - for example, I ran across an oboe video, with a guy playing the melody from Katy Perry's song "Roar" on the oboe!! The style of the music
does NOT have to be classical, to learn to recognize an instrument's timbre!
5) Finally - it you get good at identifying an instrument, when it is being accompanied by other instruments - just think how EASY the quiz will be, when you are asked to identify the instrument - and the examples I use have ONLY that one instrument playing! If you find an interesting video - please let me know, and I may add itto the list below for others to use! A reminder: some videos start with an advertisement - you can usually "skip the add" after 5 seconds or so.
Below here links to some youtube videos, sorted by family. Have fun listening & watching - challenge your friends and family to play a video when you can't "see" it, but can only hear it, to test your new skills!
Thanks for trying this out - Mr. Flegel