Beacon Lesson Plan Library

Fiddlin' Around

Sandra Rosengren


In this lesson students learn to play open strings on the violin, viola, cello, and bass using proper bow technique while playing "Twelve Bar Blues" in the key of D.


The student independently performs melodies and patterns with various rhythmic, melodic, and harmonic classroom instruments (e.g., recorders, keyboards, barred instruments, and autoharps), with appropriate instrumental techniques.


-Silver Burdette Ginn Third Grade Page 133, CD5-9
-Hoe-Down from Rodeo Ballet by Aaron Copland
-Song: Twelve Bar Blues in D


1. Display Violins, Viola, Cello,
2. Tune instruments
3. Place CD in player
4. Write Twelve Bar Blues notes on the board


1. As students enter the music room, play the recording of "Hoe-Down".

2. Demonstrate how to hold the bow and how to hold each instrument.

3. Divide students into four or more instrument groups (depending the number of string instruments available) and take turns playing the violin, viola, cello, or bass. Rotate students to each group until all students have played each of the four instruments.

4. Teacher demonstrates to all students how to play open strings on their instrument. Students take turns within their groups, assisting each other to hold the bow correctly and to play correct string.

5. Students take turns playing their instrument on the song, "Twelve Bar Blues", reading the open strings changes from the board.


Students should receive a SUPERIOR rating if they hold the bow correctly and play the open strings on the song, "Twelve Bar Blues". An EXCELLENT rating should be given if the student demonstrates the ability to hold the bow correctly and plays at least half of the song correctly on open strings. A student should receive a POOR rating if the student is unable to hold the bow correctly and is unable to play less than half of the song correctly on open strings. Students earning a Poor rating could be given two weeks to practice, then retake the playing test. If the student still fails to satisfactorily complete the assessment, but is willing to learn, he could be given a practice partner and a period of no longer than two weeks to try again.


Students may attend orchestra concerts in the community, see orchestras perform on the Arts Television Network, take private lessons on violin, viola, cello, or bass, or join an orchestra.

Attached Files

Notation for "Twelve Bar Blues"     File Extension: pdf

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