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Can You Name All the Instruments of the Orchestra?

Updated: Mar 20

If not, Benjamin Britton's " Young Person's Guide to the Orchestra" is for you, whether or not you are a young person. Like many adults, you are not alone if you can't name all the instruments of the orchestra. What better way to learn about musical instruments than attend a live performance!

Yesterday at 3 pm, the Marin Symphony performed a Family Concert at the Marin Civic Center. The Finale was a narration by David Latulippe of Benjamin Britton's "Young Person's Guide to the Orchestra." This intergenerational family event reminds me of when I escorted assisted living community elders to the San Francisco Symphony and SF Public Library Opera films, accompanied by live symphonic performances. It was a high point of the year for the elders who attended the live performances.

After attending a live performance of Young Person's Guide to the Orchestra, or if you can't visit a live performance, you can practice identifying musical instruments played in an orchestra by viewing a performance narrated on YouTube, such as the following:

  • New Jersey Symphony,

  • Royal Philharmonic presents Young People's Guide to the Orchestra,

  • Young Persons Gude To the Orchestra, Michael Tilson Thomas Conducting,

Next, identify the instruments without subtitles or narration:guides:

More Activities based on Young Person's Guide to the Orchestra

Oregon Symphony: "The Young Person's Guide to the Orchestra: Young People's Concert Teacher's Guide: Grades 3-8,"

Atlanta Symphony: A Young Person's Guide to the Orchestra,

Tasmanian Symphony Orchestra A Young Person's Guide to the Orchestra Teacher Resource Book Prepared by Maxine Antolli,

Erie Philharmonic, A Young Person's Guide to the Orchestra,

Baltimore Symphony Orchestra, 2018 - 2019 Midweek Concerts Teacher's Activity Guide: A Young Person's Guide to the Orchestra,

St Louis Symphony Orchestra, Young Person's Guide to the Orchestra,

Are you interested in a specific instrument's sound in different compositions? If so, for sample trumpet sounds, view:

Wouldn't it make sense to create an "Intergenerational Guide to the Orchestra" or "Young Person at Heart's Guide to the Orchestra?"

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