Sample the Sounds CD

Introduce elementary and middle school students to all the instruments of the orchestra, played by musicians ages 9 to 18.

Sample the Sounds Sample the Sounds includes 22 tracks with short instrumental selections and clips from interviews with musicians featured on From the Top's NPR radio show.  Inspired by an elementary school music teacher's comment, "my students have the option to play these instruments, but they don't even know what they all sound like," Sample the Sounds shares the fun, discipline and musicianship of From the Top's talented young musicians while highlighting the sound and versatility of each instrument.
Suggested Activities:
Use this CD to introduce your students to the various instruments in an orchestra.  After playing tracks from Sample the Sounds, use the following questions or activities to further engage students. 

Elementary and Middle Grades:

  • Ask your students what family the instrument belongs to.
  • Which instruments and performers stood out to them.  Why?
  • Create a class poster following the model of the CD booklet with the instruments that your students play, their personal information and a short quote describing a favorite thing about playing music.  

Elementary Grades:

  • Have students suggest which animals each instrument sounds like.  What is it about the instrument and music that makes it sound like that animal?

Middle Grades:

  • Have students discuss the difference between how various instruments sound.  Think about timbre, range, dynamics and mood.  What do you think makes those changes?  Take into account the instrument's construction and how it is played.