Lesson Content


There are 17 exercises to complete during Lesson 8.

  • Before the lesson:
    • Scroll down the page to view information about each exercise
    • Ensure you have read through the preparation guide to this lesson
  • During the lesson:
    • Press ‘open slideshow’ in the top right corner of the page to display and play lesson resources to the class.
    • Download & print the lesson content information at the bottom of this page to reference during class

Lesson Content + Exercise Information:

1. Discussion: Pitch: High and Low Voices:
Ask the children to use their voices to create the ‘sounds’ of each concept.
After each sound, ask if the pitch is ‘high’ or ‘low’.
Afterwards, ask for suggestions of other noises that have a high or low pitch (ones they hear in the classroom, animals, etc.)
2. Explain:

Explain that they will now explore the violin, and another instrument from the String Family – the cello. Instruments in the same family can be very similar or very different in all their attributes – look, sound, how held, how played.


3. Recap the pitch of the violin: Play the clip of the violins, and ask if the violins have a ‘high’ or ‘low’ pitch.

Violin playing the introduction tune:

 4. How to hold the cello versus the violin:

Resources to bring for this exercise:

  • A cello and bow if available
  • A violin and bow if available
 Show the class a real violin and bow, and cello and bow, or the video of both playing (start at 1:30 in the video) whilst displaying the picture.

Demonstrate how each is held (using hands if one is not available), and have the class copy your movements.

Discuss the similarities/differences in how the instruments are held to play.

 5. Similarities/differences between the appearance of the cello and violin: Display the picture on the board.

Ask for a volunteer to read each line.

After each line is read, discuss the ‘feature’ being spoken about (i.e. pin, smaller, etc.) and ask which instrument has this feature.

Students are to come and write the answers on the whiteboard in the correct spaces.

 6. Cedric Cello:  Introduce Cedric Cello as the ‘older brother’ of Violet the Violin in the String Family.

Read the poem together with the class twice through.

On the second reading:

  • have the class pretend to play the cello as they speak, each bow movement in time with a syllable.
  • prompt the class to tell you that Cedric makes low sounds and repeat the poem in a low-pitched voice
7. Group Activity: Close Your Eyes & Memorise:

Resources to bring for this exercise:

  • An Activity Sheet for each pair
  • Writing equipment for each pair

Put the class in pairs – tell them to come up with a strategy on how to remember all the labels

Read through the instructions on the board with the class.

Display the Cedric Cello poem for 1 minute

Change to picture of the clock and have the class fill in the spaces.

Play the clip of verse 3 of the music whilst the answers are being filled in.

Third verse of music:

8. What is the highest and lowest pitch sound you can make?: Go around the class and ask each pupil to sing the highest or lowest note they can reach.
9. Recap on rhythm and add in pitch!: Recap on ‘time signature’ and clap the beats, in the first 2 bars of the ‘crotchet’ sheet, counting the number of beats out loud.

Explain how low-pitch notes are on the lower ‘staves’ and high-pitch notes and higher up.

Repeat the counting exercise, singing the numbers in a high or low pitch voice to reflect position on the staves.

Ask for volunteers to fill in empty staves with notes that are either high or low. Have the class sing the whole line.

Repeat the exercises above for the ‘quavers’ sheet.

 10: What is timbre?:  Quickly recap timbre by asking for the definition: answer is sentence 3.
11. Recap on Timbres Go back through the timbres of each instrument family (and also violin and French horn).

Ask the class which family the instrument playing belongs to.



12. Timbre and Pitch in the String Family:

Explain that instruments the violin and cello have a similar timbre because they are made from the same materials – their main difference in sound is the pitch they can create, and this is because of the size of the instrument.

Read the question on the board and ask a volunteer for an answer.


Pairs Activity: String Pitch:

Resources to bring for this activity:

  • String (not too thin, not too thick)
  • Hangers for each pair (only if they want to make a bow – to do so, bend the long, horizontal part of the hanger up towards the hook, tie a piece of string tightly from one bottom corner to another).
Have the class explore how ‘pitch’ changes as strings increase or decrease in size.

Best way is for 1 pupil to hold the string tightly at either end whilst the other strums it with their finger.

Making the string longer or shorter will change the pitch.

Discuss the findings.



14. The Violin and Cello in Verse 3: Part 1:

Resources to bring for this exercise:

Untuned instruments – one for each pupil

Explain that verse 3 of the music is played by both the violin and the cello. One instrument plays the harmony, or the main song line, and the other accompanies in the background.

Ask the class how they will find out which instrument plays each part (violin will be the one with a higher pitch).

Play the music clip of verse 3 and explain that both instruments can be heard.

Play the clip of the cello playing alone and say this is the main tune – ask which instrument is playing?

Yes – the cello plays the main tune.

Now you will clap and count the beats for the cellos part in verse 3.

Hand out untuned instruments: play and count the beats.

Play the music of the cello playing alone and play the instruments/count the beats as the music plays.

Play the music of verse 3 and repeat above.

Repeat until fluent – as you repeat, have the students sing the tune to reflect the ‘pitch’ of the cello.

Discuss the tone of the cellos – angry, and have the pupils sing to reflect an angry tone – they can stand up and stamp their feet to the beat as they play their instruments and sing.

15. The Violin and Cello in Verse 3 part 2:

Play verse 3 and tell pupils to listen for the high-pitch tune of the violin.

Now play the tune of the violin playing alone.

Clap and count the beats for the violin’s part in verse 3.

Have the pupils pretend to play the violin and bow (pull and push for each note) and count the beats.

Play the music of the violins playing alone and ‘play’ the violin/count the beats as the music plays.

Play the music of verse 3 and repeat above.

Repeat until fluent – as you repeat, have the students sing the tune to reflect the ‘pitch’ of the violin.

Discuss the tone of the violin – sharp, angry and then calmer – reflect the tone in body movements as they ‘play’ the violin and bow.




 16. The Violin and Cello in Verse 3 part 3:  Recap singing the beats to each part of the violin and cello with the whole class – use either the clips of the instruments playing alone, and the verse 3 clip.

Split the class into two groups – one will be the cellos (and will need low untuned instruments such as drums and wooden blocks), the other will be the violins (will need high ones such as bells and triangles).

Select a leader for each group who would like to come and stand at the front facing their group to lead them.

Play the music of the third verse and have both groups lead at the same time.

Practice separately repeatedly to ensure fluency.


17. Group Composing Exercise:

Resources to bring for this exercise:

  • at least 2 sheets of plain manuscript paper for each group
  • pencils for each pupil (and rubbers)
  • manuscript of third verse for each group
  • beat cheat sheet for each group
  • At least 2 instruments for each group

1.Use groups from previous weeks or create new groups of 3.

2. Hand out the different resources (see point 2 on the instruction sheet).

3. Alternately play the violin and cello parts from verse 3 as the pupils work – allow the pupils to ask you when to play each part.

4. Pupils are to write and play new rhythms for their high and low pitch instruments.

Downloadable and Printable lesson content