Engaging Year 8 Music Lessons – Instruments of the Orchestra

This half term year 8 have been learning about the Instruments of the Orchestra in music lessons. They spent their first session developing their knowledge on the instrument families, the conductor and how the orchestra works. The following week they developed their knowledge on the percussion family.

After that they have been very lucky to have been joined by three specialists in their fields, for the final three families. They’ve had the opportunity to really understand (and try!) the various instruments. 

“It has been a fun experience, that’s once in a lifetime, I would definitely like to do it again. After the woodwind session, I would be keen on learning the saxophone, as it’s a fun instrument that you can play in a few different genres.” – commented Spencer. 

For the third week of this topic, we welcomed in the wonderful Mr Cross, a previous Head of Music and brass teacher at Fyling Hall School, to our music lessons. He marvelled us with a wide variety of brass instruments (including the French Horn, Tuba, Trombone, Trumpet and many more), explaining in detail how each one is played and how it functions. He even had a few pupils up to give the instruments a try (the biggest one – the Tuba, seemed the class favourite).

Oona said “It has been a good opportunity to try out different instruments that I’ve never tried before.”

The following week the wonderful Ms Bentley focused on the string family. Ms Bentley joined the school last year, supporting some music lessons (whilst I was on maternity leave). She also teaches 1:1 piano lessons and string lessons within the school. Ms Bentley showed us a wide range of tunes on the violin, viola, cello and even a double bass (kindly loaned by Steve Johnson).

She talked us through how to play each instrument, the variety of instruments you can get in the string family, and how they slot into the orchestra. Ms Bentley was able to show quite a few pupils how to play each of the instruments and during the music lessons she gave some pupils a chance to try instruments they have never even seen in real life before, e.g. the double bass.

“I really liked being able to have a go at all the different instruments, as I probably wouldn’t have a chance to try them without these lessons. It’s inspired me to think about getting violin lessons and digging out my old violin.” – said Izzy.

During the fifth week, we had the fabulous Mr Butterfield welcoming Year 8 to the Woodwind family in their music lessons. He showcased pupils the flute, the oboe, the piccolo, the clarinet, various saxophones etc. He talked through each instrument’s role in the orchestra and a little bit of history about each one. He showcased his skills on each instrument and even allowed the pupils to have a go at both the flute and the saxophone. Thank you to Head Boy, Tomas Richardson, for joining us to demonstrate the Oboe.

Edward summarised “I have really enjoyed the past few weeks, all the families have taken us on a different journey, but I enjoyed each one. I would be inspired to try and learn the flute, and it felt quite cool that Mr Butterfield was impressed by how I could play on a first try.”

It has been a fantastic half term, with some fabulous specialists sharing their knowledge during Year 8 music lessons. The feedback from pupils has been great and they’ve learnt a lot about the orchestra and its instruments. As Matilda added; “This topic has been really fun and interesting and we’ve learnt a lot.” Some of our pupils have even been inspired to take up an instrument or return to one they previously played.

A big thank you goes out to Tony, Bob and Zena for giving their time to the students, joining our music lessons and for making it such an engaging topic! We hope you will come back again next year to inspire the next cohort.

by Mrs Helena Swain, Head of Music

Visit the music web page or contact Mrs Swain for more about the inspiring music programme at Fyling Hall School. Students wanting 1:1 instrument/vocal lessons should complete the music lesson form.

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Music Lessons, Year 8 Music, Private School, Independent School Yorkshire, UK Boarding School, British Boarding School
Music Lessons, Year 8 Music, Private School, Independent School Yorkshire, UK Boarding School, British Boarding School
Music Lessons, Year 8 Music, Private School, Independent School Yorkshire, UK Boarding School, British Boarding School
Music Lessons, Year 8 Music, Private School, Independent School Yorkshire, UK Boarding School, British Boarding School