Band Beats

Band Beats lesson plan

Discover the world of instruments and the mathematics of music. Design labeled posters of various instruments.

  • 1.

    Find out about the four types of musical instruments. Identify several instruments of each type. Which ones are played in the orchestra? In a band?

  • 2.

    With a music teacher or someone who reads music, listen to simple, rhythmic music. Follow along with its notation. How do musicians know the number of beats per measure? Identify treble and bass clefs. Create your own rhythms and count the beats. Clap, stamp your foot, march, or dance to the beat. Notice all the math that's embedded in music!

  • 3.

    Choose an instrument that you play, or would like to play. Research its materials, construction, and how it makes sounds.

  • 4.

    Draw a large, colorful picture of this instrument on posterboard with Crayola® Metallic Colored Pencils and Crayola Washable Markers. Use a real instrument, or a detailed picture, for reference as you draw.

  • 5.

    Label the parts of your instrument. Describe how it makes sounds. Embellish your drawing with musical symbols.


  • Students research the four types of musical instruments in an orchestra or band: aerophones (wind), idiophones (rhythm), chordophones (string), membranophones (drums).
  • Students recognize the mathematical bases of musical notation, rhythm, and counting.
  • Students research and represent their favorite instrument in a large, detailed drawing.


  • Children work together to create a bulletin board showing common instruments in a band or an orchestra.
  • Older students put together a brochure that shows common band or orchestra instruments and then visit classrooms in which younger children are preparing to select an instrument. Students play their instruments for them and distribute copies of the brochur
  • Students attend a concert and record where each type of instrument sits in the orchestra or band. In the classroom, they use their posters to group themselves in similar fashion.