Kathleen Derbyshire

July 17, 2005

Music Technology

Lesson Plan



Tuning the Violin



This lesson is geared towards elementary string students and can be used in a private or group lesson setting. 


Objective:                             TSWBAT identify whether their ³A² string is flat or sharp in comparison to a given pitch.  TSWBAT use their fine tuners to adjust their ³A² string to a given pitch. TSWBAT use the computer software program Aurelia to practice pitch-matching skills.


Purpose:                                 To introduce students to tuning their own instruments.


Materials:                              Instrument, Aurelia software


Anticipatory Set:             Have students write down the answer to the following 2 questions:

1.       What is the first thing an orchestra does when they come on stage?

2.       Why do you think they need to do this?


Procedure:                            1. Discuss answers to the above questions and determine that the answer that the class will focus on has to do with tuning.

2.       Have everyone sit in a circle with their violins and one at a time pluck their ³A² strings.

3.       Ask the questions, ³Does everyone¹s ³A² string sound the same? How can we adjust our strings so that everyone¹s sounds the same?²

4.       Have students use their ³A² fine tuner to determine which way they need to turn it in order to make their string sound higher or lower.

5.       Have each student pass their violin to the person on their right and that student will use the fine tuner to lower or raise the ³A² string on their classmate¹s instrument so that it is out of tune.

6.       Set violins aside and have students go to a computer station where Aurelia ³Tuning² is set up.

7.       Have students practice matching pitches for approximately 10 minutes with headphones on.  Tell them to keep score of how many they get right.

8.       Have students come back to the circle and take their own violin.

9.       Walk around the circle playing an ³A² while the students try to match their ³A² string to the given pitch using the fine tuner.

10.  After an appropriate amount of time (determined by the teacher) have each student pluck their ³A² string individually to gauge their progress.

11.  If ³A² strings are still out of tune, tune those students¹ strings.


Checking for

Understanding:                 Periodically, throughout the lesson, question the students and ask them to demonstrate needed skills for the task.


Closure:                                  Ask students the following questions:

1.       What did we work on today?

2.       Why is tuning an important skill to know?

3.       Which tuning part of your instrument should you first start out using?

4.       If you want to make your string higher, what do you need to do?

5.       Who got the highest score when we were using Aurelia? (give out little prize)


Extensions:                          1. This lesson could be extended to the other strings.

2.       Once students become comfortable with matching pitches, introduce students to tuning 5th intervals.

3.       Students can practice getting 5ths in tune using Aurelia and then apply to tuning their strings together on their actual instrument.