Organ Lesson Plan

Instructor: Sharon Linde

Sharon has a Masters of Science in Mathematics

Many students are familiar with the organ, but do they know its history and characteristics? This lesson plan uses a video lesson to explain these concepts, then provides application activities for students to do to increase retention of concepts.

Learning Objectives

After this lesson, students will be able to:

  • explain the organ's influence on Baroque period music
  • describe the characteristics of organs
  • identify the four forms of organ music used in the Baroque period


1 - 1.5 hours

Curriculum Standards

  • CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RH.6-8.3

Identify key steps in a text's description of a process related to history/social studies (e.g., how a bill becomes law, how interest rates are raised or lowered).

  • CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RH.6-8.4

Determine the meaning of words and phrases as they are used in a text, including vocabulary specific to domains related to history/social studies.

  • CCSS.ELA-Literacy.SL.8.1

Engage effectively in a range of collaborative discussions (one-on-one, in groups, and teacher-led) with diverse partners on grade 8 topics, texts, and issues, building on others' ideas and expressing their own clearly.


Key Vocabulary

  • Baroque period
  • Renaissance period
  • Polyphony
  • Counterpoint
  • Prelude
  • Fugue
  • Toccata
  • Fantasia
  • Harpsichord
  • Clavichord
  • Bartolomeo Cristofori

Warm-Up and Preparation

  • Play an audio sample of organ music and ask students to listen closely. What tones do they hear? Are they able to identify different pitches being played at the same time?
  • Ask students to guess the instrument being played, then let them know it is the organ.
  • Allow students to share prior experiences and knowledge of the instrument and preview vocabulary.

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