Our Mission in Music Education
The SSO works to equalize access to fine arts education. In pursuit of that goal, we are offering free educational resources. On this page you will find quizzes, activity ideas, lesson plans tailored for the classroom, and a fun 'Meet the Symphony' curriculum for all ages, detailing what exactly makes up an orchestra.
Meet the Symphony: Instrument Families
Meet the Symphony is a collection of videos and curriculum materials designed to help students learn about orchestral instruments. Each video focuses on a different family of the orchestra and is 20-30 minutes long. Instruments are demonstrated individually and by family. The curriculum materials can be adapted for use in classroom discussions, group projects, or individual assignments.
Note: shorter versions of instrument demonstration videos, along with brief descriptions of each instrument, are available here.
Designed to correspond with each Meet the Symphony video, the following content includes comprehension assessments, discussion points, and creative activities that may be completed in groups or individually. Each curriculum piece is designed to be utilized over the course of four to five class periods, and may be modified to suit the class time available.
What Do You Know? takes students from the known to the unknown. This infographic is used to gauge how much exposure to the arts that students have received outside of class. This can be used with all of the materials on the SSO site.
Why these questions?
Exposure to the arts isn't always considered a priority. With these questions we can figure out just how much you know about music.
- Have you ever attended a live concert? If so, who or what was performing?
- Do you know what it means to play an instrument for a living? What does it mean?
- Do you or a family member play an instrument? What instrument?
- What kind of music do you enjoy listening to? Do you know why you enjoy it?
Talk Like a Musician invites students to listen to a piece of music and describe what they hear. This activity can be supplemented with the Kahoot! Music Vocabulary games linked below.
What was your experience?
- What is the overall mood of this music?
- How does the music make you feel?
- Do you think this piece tells a story? If so, what could it be about?
Find a partner:
Find others in the class who had similar answers to yours. See how each person answered the second and third one.
Using the provided glossary, now describe the music using technical terms!
With your partner:
Compare your answers again! Did you use the same words to describe what you heard, or did you not? Why?
This Kahoot! can be used in conjunction with Meet the Symphony videos or on its own. It teaches students about the instrument families, which instruments can be found in the SSO, and a few fun facts and videos of what certain instruments sound like.
Below is a printable worksheet that corresponds with Meet the Symphony activities:
The two different versions of this Kahoot! contain technical, musical terminology:
This quizlet can be used to play matching games or as a gradable measure with the quiz feature included in quizlet:
Follow SSOEducation on Kahoot! for games about instruments, musical terms, and more. If you don't have an account, you can play these games as a guest.