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ACO Music & Art: Lesson Two

In this lesson you will learn more about the different instruments of the orchestra, particularly the instruments of the Australian Chamber Orchestra – the string family.

Length of activity

  • Two video lessons of 20 minutes each + extra time for the art activity.

You will need

  • Print out of the student worksheet (or blank paper if you can't print)
  • Pencil
  • Screen or device, with access to the video below or click here to launch the video on YouTube
  • Art materials – blank paper, coloured pencils, pens or textas

Video lesson one

Print out the worksheet and have it in front of you or have some blank paper and pencil where you can copy down the questions and your answers.

Play the video and answer the questions throughout the video as you hear Sharon give the information (pause or rewind the video if you need to hear information again).

You may also like to watch this video from the ACO to learn more about string instruments and the sounds they can make

Video lesson two

Watch this video ‘George Meets the Orchestra’ made by our friends at the Sydney Opera House to learn more about the instruments of the orchestra and hear them being played

For further information about each orchestral instrument, and a video demonstration, have a look at this page from the London Philharmonia.  

Choose one instrument from each family (Strings, Woodwind, Brass and Percussion), read about it and listen to it in the video links above, and fill out the table in the worksheet, describing:

  • What the instrument sounds like
  • What kind of personality it would have if it were a person e.g. grumpy old man, cheerful young girl
  • If the instrument were an animal, which animal would it be and why?

Additional activity

If you would like to hear the instruments being played in an orchestra, you could watch this performance of a piece called ‘The Young Person’s Guide to the Orchestra’ by a composer called Benjamin Britten. In the piece you will see and hear each different section of the orchestra.  

Art Activity

Create a cartoon drawing of one of the instruments you described in the activity above. A cartoon drawing is a simple drawing of something which shows its features in a funny or exaggerated way.

Pick an instrument and draw it in a way that make it looks like what it sounds like, or the kind of personality it might have. For example, if you chose a flute and thought it sounded like a bird, you might draw a flute with wings, or if you chose a bassoon and thought it sounded like a grumpy person, you might draw it with a grumpy face.

Make your cartoon drawing nice and big and colourful! Here are some examples of a cartoon drawing of instruments:


Share your artwork with us here.

Additional Information

Click here for additional information about this lesson.


Continue to Lesson Three