The teacher checks that the music files can be played on all the computers. The larger mp3s and wavs could be downloaded in advance and saved to a folder called Timbre if classtime is limited or if the Internet connection is unstable. But it is no harm to allow the students see how the different file formats vary in size through their download times


It is helpful, though not necessary, for students to have studied music for the Junior Cert. Students who have had no formal training in music will use the revision section in Lesson 1 as a learning session if they are not familiar with the more unusual orchestral, jazz and Irish traditional instruments.


There are 7 lessons, each lasting 60 minutes. The students are asked to go to the Student home page to find resources and assignments. Instructions for each lesson are on the Teacher home page. Study these in time to print out worksheets. Some background material and interesting links for the teacher may be read in advance and used to supplement project work.


Allow a maximum of two students per computer. A lesson consists of

  • a short discussion away from the computers,
  • a discovery session at the computer,
  • an activity based on the content and
  • a summary of information gleaned about timbre in each lesson..

Timbre relates to sound so it is important to hear some music during each lesson. The three strands - listening, composing and performing - are incorporated into different stages of the project.sp

  • Internet access.
  • At least one set of headphones is needed per computer and it would be more productive if the students did not have to share.
  • Adobe Acrobat reader for the worksheets that are in pdf format.
  • Software for listening to MIDI files, mp3 files and wave files. Go to the Downloads section and find out if the sounds are coming through.
  • An Audio Editor for manipulating wave files. Downloads section.
  • A notation reader. Downloads section.
  • A minidisc player, minidiscs and a microphone.
  • A CD player and CDs that illustrate different types of instruments.
  • Video of the film 'High Society' - available in most video rental shops.
  • Manuscript paper and possibly a blackboard/whiteboard with staves.


If the soundcards on the school computers are not of good quality please encourage those students who have Internet access at home to listen to the MIDI files again to get a better idea of the instruments.