Resources › For Educators Musical Instruments Printables Worksheets and Coloring Pages for Learning about Music Share Flipboard Email Print Trodler/Getty Images For Educators Homeschooling Spelling Geography Becoming A Teacher Assessments & Tests Elementary Education Secondary Education Special Education Teaching By Beverly Hernandez Homeschooling Expert Beverly Hernandez is a veteran homeschooler and the former administrator of a large independent study program. our editorial process Beverly Hernandez Updated January 21, 2020 Music seems to have always been a part of human existence. Some instruments date back to the dawn of time—an early flute-like instrument is one of the earliest recorded pieces of musical equipment. Today, music is an invaluable art form. Many schools now include music education in the general curriculum and even devote classes entirely to music. Music instruction is an important part of any child's education because it improves language development and reasoning in addition to providing an artistic form of expression. Studies have shown that art improves a student's ability to absorb and retain new information. Teachers should do their best to make music a part of their students' lives. If you don't have the funding for instruments, try making your own with your students. No matter what, all students should get to experience music instruction at some point in their education. Musical Instrument Families Instruments are grouped into families determined by the material of which they are constructed and the way that their sound is produced. Teach these groups to your students to help them understand the mechanics of instrumentation and find the family that best suits them. The main instrument families are: PercussionKeyboardsWoodwindsBrassStrings When a group of instruments play together, they are called an orchestra or band—usually, a band when there are no strings and an orchestra when there are. An orchestra or band is led by a conductor, also called a director. You might choose to assume the role of a conductor if your class studies music. Percussion Percussion instruments produce sound when hit or shaken. The percussion family includes drums, bongos, maracas, triangles, marimbas, cymbals, xylophones, and much more—this is one of the biggest groups of instruments. Percussion instruments range in complexity from simple triangles to elaborate marimbas and everything in between. Drums dating as far back as 5000 BC, constructed of animal hide and bone, have been discovered. Keyboards Keyboards and pianos are often considered percussion instruments because when their keys are depressed, tiny hammers within the large instrument strike their corresponding strings, but they can also be placed into their own family. However you choose to classify keyboards and pianos is up to you, just be consistent. Woodwinds Woodwind instruments are played by blowing air into (or in the case of flutes, across) them. Woodwinds are a diverse collection of instruments that can be further grouped into flutes and reed instruments. Air is directed into reed instruments through a reed, which is a single or double strip of wood attached to the mouthpiece of an instrument, and the vibrations that result produce sound. Flutes are played by blowing air across the mouthpiece hole, vibrating air within the instrument. Woodwinds get their name because early versions of these instruments were often made of wood and their sound is produced with wind or air. Today, many woodwinds are made of metal and some are even made of plastic. Woodwind instruments include the flute, clarinet, bass clarinet, saxophone (alto, tenor, baritone, etc.), bassoon, oboe, and more. Brass Brass instruments, like woodwinds, produce sound by blowing air into them, but brass musicians must vibrate their lips on a mouthpiece to create the distinct brass sound. Most brass instruments are still made of brass or a similar metal, hence their name. These instruments can be very small like the trumpet and very large like the tuba. This more modern family includes but is not limited to the trumpet, tuba, trombone, and French horn or simply "horn". Strings String instruments are played by plucking or strumming a string. Like percussion and woodwind instruments, string instruments have been around for thousands of years. Ancient Egyptians were known to play the harp, a large upright instrument played with hand-plucked strings. String instruments also include guitars, violins, double basses, and cellos. Use the following free printables to introduce your students to musical instruments and/or complement your music instruction. 01 of 10 Types of Musical Instruments Types of Musical Instruments. Beverly Hernandez Printable PDF: Types of Musical Instruments Page Use this worksheet to introduce your students to the families of musical instruments before going into more in-depth studies. Match each term to its correct definition. Be sure to revisit these regularly, especially in the first few days of your music instruction. 02 of 10 Musical Instruments Vocabulary Musical Instruments Vocabulary. Beverly Hernandez Printable PDF: Musical Instruments Vocabulary Sheet Use this vocabulary worksheet to quiz your students about the basics of musical instruments after you have gone over the instrument families. 03 of 10 Musical Instruments Wordsearch Musical Instruments Wordsearch. Beverly Hernandez Printable PDF: Musical Instruments Word Search Encourage your children to review each musical instrument and its family as they complete this engaging word search puzzle. 04 of 10 Musical Instruments Crossword Puzzle Musical Instruments Crossword Puzzle. Beverly Hernandez Printable PDF: Musical Instruments Crossword Puzzle Use this crossword puzzle as a fun way to review the musical instruments your students have been learning about. 05 of 10 Musical Instruments Alphabet Activity Musical Instruments Worksheet. Beverly Hernandez Printable PDF: Musical Instruments Alphabet Activity Young students can review the names of 19 musical instruments and practice their alphabetizing skills with this activity. Each instrument listed in the word bank should be written in correct alphabetical order on the blank lines provided. 06 of 10 Musical Instruments Challenge Musical Instruments Worksheet. Beverly Hernandez Printable PDF: Musical Instruments Challenge Challenge your students to show how well they remember the musical instruments they've been studying with this challenge worksheet. Can your student get them all correct? 07 of 10 Woodwind Instruments Coloring Page Woodwind Instruments Coloring Page. Beverly Hernandez Printable PDF: Woodwind Instruments Coloring Page Students can color this picture of woodwind instruments to familiarize themselves with their construction or just for fun. Explain to your students that although it's made of brass, the saxophone is a woodwind instrument because its sound is produced with wind and a reed. 08 of 10 Brass Instruments Coloring Page Brass Instruments Coloring Page. Beverly Hernandez Printable PDF: Brass Instruments Coloring Page Can your students name the brass instruments depicted in this detailed coloring page? 09 of 10 Keyboard Instruments Coloring Page Keyboard Instruments Coloring Page. Beverly Hernandez Printable PDF: Keyboard Instruments Coloring Page For a simple activity, find out whether your students can remember the name of this common instrument. 10 of 10 Percussion Instruments Coloring Page Percussion Instruments Coloring Page. Beverly Hernandez Printable PDF: Percussion Instruments Coloring Page Last but not least, let your students color this drum to complete their colored bands and the final instrument family.