Lesson Content


There are 13 exercises to complete during Lesson 4.

  • 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. Recap using the Word Search Homework: Use the words from homework from the previous lesson to recap the information on the story, violin and crescendo learned so far.

Finish by reiterating that Violet is from the String family.

2. Discussion: Similarities and Differences Amongst Family Members: The discussion picture will only have the title and a subheading of similarities and differences.

  1. Ask the children to suggest features that can be similar or different between family members.
  2. Encourage pupils to draw and reflect upon personal examples e.g. “my sister has curly hair and I have straight hair”
  3. Once pupils have identified ideas, write them on the board e.g. ‘different hair style’, ‘similar colouring of skin’ etc.
  4. Encourage discussion of extended family members e.g. grandparents, cousins, aunts, uncles etc.



3. Explain the link between musical and non-musical ‘families’: Explain how the instruments in the orchestra can be grouped into families.

Explain that instruments in the same family can be played in a similar way to create sounds.

Recap Violet the Violin [ask the children who she is and what family she belongs to] (The String Family). Why? Because we play her strings to make music!

Show the video of the String Quartet and explain that these are the different instruments from the String family. Ask the class to point out Violet the Violin. Discuss the sizes of the instruments and how music is being made (pulling a bow across the strings).

Tell the class that instruments in the String family are all made from the same material – ask if it is metal or wood (look at colour).

Explain that we will now discover Violet the Violin’s older brother.


String Family instruments playing together:

From left to right:
Violin, Viola, Cello, Double Bass

 4. Read the Story:
  1. Read page 9 of story.
  2. Recap how Violet played high-pitch and exciting music.
  3. Ask pupils what they believe Cedric’s music will sound like (you are looking for antonyms/opposite words) e.g. low, unexciting, etc.
5. Introduce Cedric Cello:
  1. Introduce Cedric Cello
  2. Read page 10 of the story
  3. Read the poem together with the class twice through with actions on the second reading (see preparation video)

Cedric Cello Poem:

“Im Cedric Cello big and bold,
you must be sitting down to hold
and pull my bow across the strings
to make low sounds and music things!”


6. Demonstrate how a cellist holds and plays a cello:
  1. Show the class how to hold the cello and bow, using your cardboard cutout or just your hands, or the first video.
  2. Create the movements to play the cello [seen in the preparation video] and have the class copy you.
  3. Show the video clip of the cellos being played. (start at 1:30 in the video). As you watch the video, ask the class questions about similarities and differences in the appearances of the two instruments (you can fill the answers in on the board as you do this. The questions are on the same slide as the video and on the next slide too).

(Also recap how to play the violin as you complete these exercises).

 7. Expressive Voices: Pitch Exercises:
  • Explain that in the string family, the bigger instruments play low-pitch sounds, and the smaller instruments have a higher pitch.
  • Explore recreating familiar high and low pitch sounds with your voices. Encourage the pupils to use examples based on familiar ideas e.g. a high-pitch fire bell, a low-pitch car engine revving etc.
8. Aural Training: Which instrument is playing?:
  • Explain: Explain that in the String Family, the bigger instruments play low-pitch music.
  • Play the cello clip: Play the clip of the cello playing the introduction of ‘Voyage to the Moon’ alone.
  • Discuss: Ask the pupils if it is the violin or cello playing and why (the cello as the pitch is low).
  • Teaching tip: 
    • To prompt answers, you can also compare it with the clip of the violin.
    • You can have pupils sing along to the tune of the introduction, in a high- or low-pitch voice to match the clip being played.

Cello playing the introduction tune:

Violin playing the introduction tune:

9. Listening for and responding to ‘pitch’ in the music Exercise Play the first part of the third verse.

  1. The violins and cellos are playing separate tunes here.
  2. The cellos play the melody (or main tune), whilst the violins play the harmony (the background/accompaniment)

Discuss the pitch of each instrument and explain the difference (cello=low, violin=high).

Analyse the tone of the cellos music by discussing the different elements of its music:

  1. tone = scared then happy because:
  2. duration = jumpy
  3. tempo = quite fast
  4. pitch = low
  5. timbre = heavy

Repeat the music and have the children pretend to play cellos low to the ground as the music plays. They should match the tone of the cellos music on their faces and through bodily actions e.g. ‘stomping’ their feet.


10. Performing to the Music whilst analysing ‘pitch’:
  1. Hand out untuned instruments.
  2. Explain that pupils will hear the whole of verse 3. Pitch changes from high to low throughout the music.
  3. Play the music. Pupils are to play along softly, playing low to the ground or high to the air to match pitch.
  4. Repeat this.
  5. Discuss the crescendo at the end of the verse.
  6. Split class into two groups depending on whether they have a high-pitch or low pitch instrument (high-pitch = bells, chime bars etc. low = drums etc.)
  7. Have class sit in groups on either side of room with their instruments. One group will be high-pitch and the other low-pitch.
  8. Play the music again. Each group must play softly when they hear the correct pitch, i.e. when the pitch is high, the ‘high-pitch group’ should play.
  9. They should get gradually louder as the crescendo occurs at the end of the verse.

Verse 3 – alternate between ‘high’ and ‘low’:

 11. Connect the Music with the Story:  1. Play the music of the beginning of verse 3.

2. Explain that the cello plays this music just after Violet tells Cedric she wants to go to the Moon.

3. Discuss how the class believes Cedric may react to this news, based on the ‘tone’ of his music (angry, scared, worried etc.), and how this may change as the tone of the music changes.

4. Tip: you can have the class relate this to familiar situations and how people react to different news.

12. Read the Story:
  1. Explain that the class will now hear what happened in the story when Cedric played his music.
  2. Read pages 11 and 12 of story.
  3. Afterwards, discuss what happened between the story characters and their emotions.
  4. Play the beginning of verse 3 again, telling pupils to think about the story events as they listen for the tone.
  5. Ask how the tone of the music and the events from the story correlated.


13. Reacting, responding and acting to Music: The music will be played from the beginning, until the end of the 3rd verse

  1. Split the class into the following:
    1. Solo actor roles: King Vlan, Queen Antoinette, Prince Caprice, Violet the Violin, Crescendo Croc, Cedric Cello
    2. Party guests who will dance at the party and react to events.
    3. Orchestra members: split the rest of the class into 2 groups (Group 1: high-pitch, Group 2: low-pitch) – hand each group either high or low pitch instruments. Have groups sit together on either side of the classroom in a semi-circle like an orchestra
  2. The actors are to act out events from the story.
    1. Recap the events in the order on the board.
    2. Discuss what the actors, orchestra and party guests are doing during each event.
  3. Play the music and act it out! You can narrate or direct by reading out events.




Homework: Fill in the family report homework sheet.  screen-shot-2016-09-13-at-22-17-22

Downloadable and Printable lesson content

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