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Pick Up the Violin: Zin, Zin, Zin Classical Music Lesson in a Zip

written by: Jacqueline Chinappi • edited by: Wendy Finn • updated: 1/20/2012

This lesson plan revolves around musical instruments and is a favorite in my elementary class. It can be part of your regular curriculum, or used in a music class, appropriate for grades K-2.

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    • Zin! Zin! Zin! A Violin (Aladdin Picture Books) by Lloyd Moss and Marjorie Priceman. This book is about all the different instruments you find in an orchestra and the sounds they make.
    • Empty coffee cans (cleaned & dried).
    • Markers & Crayons
    • Constructions paper
    • Glue
    • Scissors
    • Rice or dried beans
    • Any classical music CD. Good ones to try are:
    • The Classical Child at the Opera by Metromusic
    • The Classical Child at the Ballet by Josef Bayer, Frederic Chopin, Leo Delibes, Aram Khachaturian, and Amilcare Ponchielli

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    1. Read Zin! Zin! Zin! A Violin (Aladdin Picture Books)by Lloyd Moss and Marjorie Priceman

    Ask students if they know what an orchestra is and what kinds of musical instruments can you find in an orchestra.

    Also ask if any of the students play a musical instrument-you may be pleasantly surprised.

    Before you read a page ask the children if they know the name of the instrument. Then ask if they know the sound it will make. Try to allow different students to name different instruments and sounds, letting each student have a turn.

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    2. After reading this book ask the children what they have learned from this book and what they know now about orchestras. Ask if they know of any famous composers or musicians such as Bach, Mozart, or Beethoven.

    3. Play the Classical CD you have chosen for the class. As new instruments enter the song ask children if they recognize which instrument it is.

    4. Introduce the arts & crafts/ musical instrument you will be making with the class. Each student will get an empty container (a coffee can works well & you can ask children to bring them in from home) Have children decorate construction paper, which you will help the students cut and paste to the can.

    5. Place dried beans or rice in cans and cover (make sure students brought in coffee can covers). Now let the kids shake, shake ,shake! They have made themselves instruments!

    6. Ask them:

    • What sound the new instrument is making?
    • What should this instrument be called?
    • Does this sound like any instrument we read about or heard on the CD?

    7. Let the CD play as the children are doing the arts & crafts.

    This lesson plan will explore what the children know about music and also teach them new material about music, especially classical music and instruments in the orchestra.

    Read more about The Importance of Music in the Kindergarten Classroom.