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Let's Build a Band!

An At-Home STEM Lesson Plan Crafted by BGCHarlem STEM Specialist Chaelee Dalton

Photo: Getty Images


Happy National Music Month! This week marks our last week learning about sound and music.

We will take all we have learned about sound, pitch, volume/loudness, and rhythm, to explore the various kinds of musical instruments and how these different kinds of musical instruments work to make sound and music.

We will finish by designing prototypes for our own musical instruments, and creating our own instruments made from household materials!

If your child cannot read, read the text aloud to them. Ask them the questions and have them respond and/ or solve on a separate sheet of paper.

If your child can read, simply give them the second page of this handout and have them read the text aloud or in their head.

ANNOUNCEMENT: We’re going live on Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Fridays! Click here if you want your child to participate in our virtual after school program. Materials: Blank paper, pen or pencil, Internet access/YouTube

Addresses Common Core Standards:

K-2-ETS1-2 1-PS4-4

3-5-ETS1-1 4-PS3-2


(You may click here to print the lesson or the student may view the lesson online and write his/her answers on a separate piece of paper)


Let's Build a Band?

What do we use to make music?

Let’s start by experimenting with making music with Incredibox, a simulation of an a cappella band. Drag the different outfits at the bottom to dress each person. Then, each person will make a sound.

You can hear the individual sounds by clicking on a single person and the headphones icon. Try combining various colors, beats, and sounds.

Incredibox simulates the a cappella style of music. In a cappella music, people use only their voices to create a band and use no other musical instruments. However, most bands and orchestras use multiple musical instruments.

On a separate piece of paper or below, write as many different musical instruments as you can!









If you need help thinking of musical instruments, watch the music video below.

  • How many different musical instruments are shown in the music video? _____

  • How many musical instruments can you name from this video? ______

We divide musical instruments into categories called musical families. These musical families help group together many different musical instruments!

The main musical families are percussion, strings, woodwind, brass, and keyboards.

Percussion instruments are instruments that are hit, struck, or shaken. Sometimes, they have different pitches, but they are mostly used for creating rhythm.

The drums are one example of a percussion instrument.

Can you think of another percussion instrument? Write below:

Strings instruments make sounds using vibrating strings. Sometimes, strings are played with a bow, and sometimes they are plucked using fingers. The pitch depends on the tightness of the strings.

The cello is one example of a strings instrument.

Can you think of another strings instrument? Write below:

Often, instruments like both woodwinds and brass instruments are made by blowing air into different tubes. However, these instruments differ in material and sound.

Woodwinds instruments are played by blowing air into a typically wooden tube. On the mouthpiece, there is usually a piece of wood called a reed, which vibrates and creates sound. Woodwinds vary their pitch with holes at different lengths.

The recorder is one example of a woodwinds instrument.

Can you think of another woodwinds instrument? Write below:

Brass instruments are metal tubes that are blown into, which makes the instruments vibrate. The pitch is varied by different valves, which direct air out of different parts of the instrument.

The tuba is one example of a brass instrument.

Can you think of another brass instrument? Write below:


Special thanks to our #STEMMondays partners:

Follow BGCHarlem social media channels for daily updates. And students, we would love to see your work!

Be sure to upload a picture of yourself with your completed lessons using the hashtag #BGCHarlem.  




View our additional 'Resources For Students & Parents for Dealing with COVID-19' HERE

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