Music Without Words

Contributor: Renae Green. Lesson ID: 12973

Orchestral music is written for many different types of instruments, but there are no words! Hear what these instruments sound like alone and together. You'll even create art work to match the music!


Musical Arts

Fine Arts
learning style
Auditory, Kinesthetic
personality style
Otter, Golden Retriever
Grade Level
Primary (K-2), Intermediate (3-5)
Lesson Type
Quick Query

Lesson Plan - Get It!

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Q: Why do orchestras have bad reputations?

A: Because they don’t know how to conduct themselves.

It's true! All orchestras have a conductor who stands in front of all the musicians and instructs them on how and when to play their instruments. Learn how these instruments team up to make beautiful music that can speak to your heart, even without words!

  • Have you ever wanted to perform in a band?

There are so many different instruments to choose from, some people decide to play several of them. (Probably not all at once, though!)

Instrumental music is music that has no lyrics or words. An orchestra is a group of musicians who perform instrumental music together. Orchestras often perform classical music, but they can perform any type of music.

An orchestra has four main musical sections: strings, brass, woodwinds, and percussion. Each section has many different instruments and players, and they all work together to create a wonderful sound when performing. Explore some of the instruments that are played in an orchestra:

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All audio clips from philharmonia orchestra

A composer is a person who writes music for orchestras. This type of music is often called a symphony. A conductor is the leader of the orchestra. The conductor tells the players how fast the music should be played and when to get softer and louder.

Here is a short video to help you understand more about an orchestra. As you watch, think about the following questions:

  • What is your favorite instrument?
  • Which instrument do you think makes the biggest sound?
  • Would you like to play in an orchestra someday?

George Meets the Orchestra | An Introduction to the Orchestra for Children, posted by Sydney Opera House:

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Here’s a funny clip of an orchestra performing when the conductor gets arrested and taken away so a very special guest can be the new conductor!

Darth Vader conducts the Imperial March when the Central Garrison invades the Rochester Symphony, posted by Douglas Smith:

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  • What would you do if Darth Vader tried to take over your job?

Continue to the Got It? section to hear an exciting fictional story about one of the most famous conductors of all time.

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