Background Information

The aim of this lesson is to be able to recognise the sounds and the features of a new instrument – the Cello.

Index for the table:

1. Discussions

2. The String Family

3. Cedric Cello

4. Teaching Tips

1. Discussions:

The theme of this lesson revolves around the idea of Family.
Family is something that is extremely important to children and they especially enjoy talking about them at this age.
  • A discussion about families with the children gives the adult an insight into the child’s home life and who surrounds them.
  • When speaking about families also mention the notion of the extended family (i.e. cousins, grandparents, aunts and uncles) as some children may not only be surrounded by immediate family.
It also helps the children understand the concept by allowing them to personalise the topic. This discussion should also include similarities and differences between our family and us (e.g. who is taller – you or your brother?).

 2. The String Family:

Instruments are grouped into ‘families’ based on their design and the way sound is created.
  • The cello and the violin are both from the same familythe String family – and in appearance the cello looks like a very big violin with a few varying features (see preparation for more information)
  • They also produce a similar sound or timbre, the main and distinctive difference lying in pitch – the cello having a low-pitch, and the violin having a high-pitch
This lesson will explore the difference between high-pitched and low-pitched sounds, which is easily done by comparing the sounds of the violin versus those of the cello.

3. Cedric Cello:

The cello is introduced to the children as Cedric Cello, and to help the children understand its’ ties to the string family we say Cedric is Violet the Violins’ older brother.
In our story, Cedric and Violet have a strong relationship – they play together and Cedric worries for Violet’s safety. Make sure you come prepared with lots of discussion points about families!
You can also use untuned instruments to show the difference between high and low (triangles/bells for high, drums/wooden blocks for low).

4. Teaching Tips

Recapping on the information taught in the previous lesson will help the children solidify what they learnt and use the information within this circle time.
Understanding of the world – learns that people have similarities and differences that connect them to, and distinguish them from, others.