Background Information

Lesson 2 introduces the violin – this is the first instrument from the Voyage to the Moon orchestra.

Index for the table:

1. Discussions

2. Musical Theme: the Violin/high- and low-pitch

3. Analysing the music

4. Violet the Violin (poetry)

5. Characters so far


1. Discussions:

 Discussions allow the children the freedom to express themselves. It is a great opportunity for children to develop their speaking and listening skills, as well as building a sense of self-confidence and self-awareness. Each child should be encouraged to participate in the discussion.
The non-musical theme of this lesson revolves around the ideas of Description and the different ways we can describe something. Our non-musical example is ‘greetings’ – different ways to describe greeting someone verbally, with an action, etc.

2. Musical Theme:

The Violin/high- and low-pitch:

The Violin:
A small, handheld instrument.
You can create sounds either by plucking the strings or by pulling the bow backwards and forwards across the four strings that run the length of the Violin. It is made of wood and so must be treated delicately to avoid being broken.
As well as playing together, each instrument family gets to play individually as well.
In the ‘Strings’ family, the Violin sits in the first chair of the orchestra and therefore is seen as the most important under the conductor. Most of the time it plays a very special solo piece all by itself. This is because it is the instrument that is most similar to that of the human voice.
‘Pitch’ relates to how ‘high’ or ‘low’ the frequency of a sound is (high/low sounds).
The violin has a natural high-pitch!

3. Analysing the Music:

To analyse the music, pupils will explore the inter-related dimensions of music. They will see this picture as they listen out for things in the music:

The aim is to understand why musical tone is created – why is the violins’ music excited? Because it is jumpy, with a high-pitch, quite fast, and sounds bright. You can then relate each element to familiar ideas e.g. when we are excited we squeal with delight, similar to a high-pitch and bright sound.

4. Violet the Violin (poetry):

 Prince Caprice’s instrument-friends from the orchestra come alive to help him on his journey. To call them, he must recite their poems. Each poem must be chanted, and actions performed. Videos in the preparation section will show you the actions.
I am Violet the Violin
I like to rest under your chin
My sounds are high – my body is small
So pick me up with bow and all!
Teachers should discuss features from the poem throughout the lesson activities.

5. Characters so far:

Many discussion topics that are relevant to this age group can evolve around the characters from the story.
For example, relationships with friends and family, etc.

6. Teaching Tips

When using untuned instruments, try to select those with a high-pitch to further demonstrate the high-pitch of the violin. Examples of high-pitch instruments are: bells, triangles, chime-bars.