Instruments of the Orchestra for Kids

Instrument Families – Strings, Woodwinds, Brass and Percussion

I am NOT familiar with orchestras, instruments, symphonies…anything about classical music. But! My son LOVED Beethoven’s Symphony No.9. Notably, the second movement, “Molto vivace.” He only wanted to listen to the Molto vivace part over and over again! I guess he really liked the very intense moment of the beginning. While he devoted himself to watch various orchestras playing Molto vivace, we learned about the instrument families and the orchestra seating chart.

What We Used

I recommend the Oregon Symphony’s Educational Resources (It’s a free downloadable PDF file!!). The teacher guides introducing the families of musical instruments and also many fun activities and ideas you can enjoy with your kids at home! (Grades K – 2)

Activity Idea

  1. Learn about the orchestra and the instrument families from videos and the other resources you like.
  2. Place the conductor in the bottom center of the paper.
  3. Cut out the images of instruments and place them by looking at the orchestra seating chart. (Orchestra seating chart resource: Dallas Symphony Orchestra: Orchestra Seating Chart)
Introducing instrument families and orchestra seating chart to kids

It was getting harder for my son to follow the orchestra seating chart at the end, but he did try his best! It was fun to learn how each instrument sounds like.

Resources for Learning Topics


George Meets the Orchestra | An Introduction to the Orchestra for ChildrenFollow George as he chats with players of the Sydney Youth Orchestra and learns all about the four families of the orchestra – strings, brass, woodwind, and percussion. A perfect introduction to classical music for kids aged 2-5. (My son was 6, and he enjoyed this video a lot.)

These four videos from the BBC National Orchestra of Whales were beneficial. The musicians play the same instrument families are wearing the same color of shirts as a team, so it was easier for kids to see where they were seated. I watched from strings to percussion (from seated front to the back)

BBC National Orchestra of Wales – Strings

National Orchestra of Wales – Woodwind

BBC National Orchestra of Wales – Brass

BBC National Orchestra of Wales – Percussion


Oregon Symphony: Instruments of the Orchestra (Instrument Families)

Introducing the instrument families

Dallas Symphony Orchestra: Orchestra Seating Chart

They are showing the orchestra seating chart from the Baroque period to the modern period

Happy learning!

Photo by Manuel Nägeli on Unsplash

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