The Instruments Say… Part 2

The children learn to distinguish the different timbres of string and wind instruments by playing a musical version of the game Simon Says.

Musical concept : Timbre  Wind / Strings


Priority areas of development

Secondary areas of development

  • Physical and motor : Uses gross motor skills


  • Cognitive : Uses own imagination
  • Emotional : Regulates own emotions


  • Language : Demonstrates


  • Social  : Regulates own behaviour


Prerequisites : None

Necessary material

  • An interactive whiteboard, a computer, a tablet or a smartphone


  • Printed pictures of the different instruments (see appendix)


  • Install the Mazaam app and open the World of Eagles (timbre)


Music to listen to online or to download

String instrument family

Georges Bizet: Carmen, performed by Angèle Dubeau & La Pietà

Johann Sebastian Bach : Suite No. 1 in G Major, BWV 1007, Prelude, performed by Sergei Istomin

Johann Sebastian Bach: Partita No.1 in B Minor, BWV 1002, VII. Tempo di Borea, performed by James Ehnes

Wind instrument family

Victor Ewald: Brass Quintet No. 3 in D-flat Major, Op. 7: IV. In Vivo, performed by Buzz Brass

Astor Piazzolla: Milonga del Angel, performed by Buzz Brass

Matthew Locke : Suite in D Minor: V. Galliard, performed by Les Voix Baroques

Lesson plan

Setting the scene

1. Introduce the activity

“Today, we’re going to play a musical version of Simon Says.”

2. Ask the children to name the two families of musical instruments (winds and strings)

they learned about in the previous module, The instruments say… Part 1.

3. Have the children listen to a musical excerpt featuring each family.


1. Review the basic rules of Simon Says with the children

the children should do the action in question only if the person giving the instructions says “Simon says…”

2. Adapt the game to the instrument families: “The strings say...” or “The winds say...”:

  • Play a musical excerpt featuring wind or string instruments. 


  • Give instructions, for example: “The strings say ‘Move your hands’,” or “The winds say… ‘Jump on one foot’.”


  • The children should only follow the instructions that correspond to the timbre (strings or winds) of the music they are listening to. If they don’t, they should stay still and not move.

To go further

Look for objects in the classroom that have similar timbres, in the sense that they can produce a similar sound (e.g., wooden objects, plastic objects, metal objects, etc.).

Make up new families of objects that make similar sounds in terms of their timbres. Play Simon Says again with the new acoustic families that have been created.

Play the first game in the Mazaam app’s World of Eagles with the children.