Big-Time Band

Big-Time Band lesson plan

Which instruments are played in a marching band? Concert band? Jazz band? Create and decorate detailed, life-size replicas of your favorite instruments.

  • 1.

    Explore the various instruments used in different types of bands (such as concert, marching, mariachi, polka, or jazz). Ask a music teacher or other musician to demonstrate or show pictures of the instruments.

  • 2.

    Each instrument makes a distinct sound. To find out about these sounds, listen to each one play, either live or recorded. Listen to different types of band music, too. Pick out your favorite instrument.

  • 3.

    Take a close look at that instrument. Notice its shape, and the valves, holes, slides, reeds, and other devices used to make sounds.

  • 4.

    On poster board, use Crayola® Washable Markers to outline the instrument you chose. Make sure that your instrument is large, preferably life size, so you will be able to pretend to play it.

  • 5.

    Cover a table with recycled newspaper. Use Crayola Washable Kid's Paint and Paint Brushes to paint your instrument. Start with the outline, then fill in the areas that you drew. Dry.

  • 6.

    Add details with Crayola Glitter Glue. Dry.

  • 7.

    Cut out your finished instrument with Crayola Scissors. Use your voice to imitate the sounds the instrument would make. Join with your classmates to create a Big-Time Band!


  • Children recognize the various instruments used in different types of bands and examine the musical instruments closely.
  • Children listen to music produced by specific instruments.
  • Students create a cardboard instrument and use it as a prop to imitate the music they studied.


  • Listen to a live band concert. Play recordings while creating instruments.
  • Collaborate with instrumental music teachers to offer this learning experience when children are selecting instruments or first learning to play them. Make either band or orchestra instruments to support children's choices.
  • Research the different types of instruments used in bands, orchestras, chamber music ensembles, and other groups. Compare and contrast the sounds of the music that each group makes.
  • Create life-size replicas of instruments that are commonly played in another country. Or research instruments that are rarely played today, such as the viola da gamba, and their history.
  • Find out about the four families of musical instruments: aerophones, idiophones, chordophones, and membranophones.