I recently discovered a wonderful free on-line game for kids which teaches them all about the instruments of the orchestra so I thought I would share the website along with some of our other favorite resources for learning about the orchestra. You can go straight to the website called The Young Person's Guide to the Orchestra to check out the game. I recommend having your child log in which saves your child's spot in the game so they can come back and continue it later. The game is quite long so you may not get through the whole thing in one sitting. If you have more then one child, I would recommend registering so that each child can save their spot in the game.
Our favorite books for learning about the orchestra are Zin! Zin! Zin! A Violin for younger children and The Story of the Orchestra with accompanying CD for children who are a bit older. We also love listening to the classic CD, Peter and the Wolf. Two other great websites about the orchestra are the San Francisco Symphony and the New York Philharmonic websites for kids. You can find free coloring pages with instruments of the orchestra at The Coloring Spot. You can also print out free instrument cards at Montessori Materials and find instrument minibooks to make at Homeschool Share (scroll down to instruments). The Portland Symphony Orchestra has free teacher's material for the different instrument families.
Don't forget to go on-line and check out your local orchestra and what activities and performances they might have for children in your area. You can also watch a performance of "The Young Person's Guide to the Orchestra" on YouTube below. My kids enjoyed hearing and naming the instruments in the video.
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