4th Grade Lesson – Timbre

This lesson should come before the lessons on Ensemble Timbres and Texture/Ostinato.

This lesson is most effective when the students can see the instruments demonstrated and see how they work. I am a clarinetist, can play oboe relatively well, and can play saxophone and flute better than middle schoolers (lol), so those were easy for me to demonstrate. I also was able to give some demonstration on the trumpet and trombone, and later on violin (which I can play) and a little on cello. (This lesson was created and presented during my internship at an elementary school).

In this lesson students are introduced to various types of instruments, how they produce sound, and what instrument family they belong to. The word timbre is introduced, and descriptive words are used for the instruments. A flute could be described as clear, light, airy. A tuba might be described as fat, round, heavy, and so on. After the presentation of instruments students sing a song about instruments, using motions to aid in remembering (and makes it more fun!). I have provided a worksheet that I used to help students test their knowledge of the instrument timbres. This can also double as an assessment.

4th – Timbre Lesson (PowerPoint)

4th – Timbre Lesson Plan

Wind Instrument Timbres Worksheet



About Lady Fair

Lady is a musician with a bachelor's degree in music education. She plays multiple instruments and has participated in numerous musical ensembles, giving her a wide variety of experiences and knowledge to use in her teaching career. Of her ensemble participation, she has fifteen years of band experience, nine years choral, and four years in orchestra. Éowyn's primary instrument is clarinet, with voice and piano being close secondary instruments. Throughout her musical education career she studied voice and clarinet simultaneously. In addition to clarinet, piano, and voice, she has also studied violin and oboe at the college level, and also plays recorder, tin whistle, and other instruments in the woodwind family. If you ask her, she will say, "I chose to major in music education because I have a desire to use my knowledge and experience in music to share its beauty and foster a love of music in the hearts of my students. I hope to encourage my students to try their hardest, feel like they have accomplished something, and give them a life long passion for music." Lady currently teaches private lessons on clarinet, sax, flute, oboe, piano, and voice, and recently gained a position teaching orchestra and chorus at a local middle school. She is also a member of the Once Upon a Dream woodwind ensembles.
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