All About the Instruments – String and Woodwind Families



Instrument Families

Orchestra instruments are grouped into four main families: the string family, the woodwind family, the brass family, and the percussion family. Today, we will learn about the string and woodwind families.


The String Family

String family instruments are any instruments that use vibrating strings to create their sound. In an orchestra, the most common string family instruments are the violin, viola, cello, bass, and harp.


The Woodwind Family

The woodwind family instruments make sound when a musician’s air or a reed vibrates. The main woodwind family instruments in an orchestra are the flute, oboe, clarinet or bassoon. Other somewhat common woodwind instruments are the piccolo, english horn, and bass clarinet.


Explore the Orchestra

Click on each instrument below to hear it play. Once you’ve explored, take our fun quiz to see if you can match the instrument with its sound – or save the quiz for another day and keep listening to your heart’s content!


Take it Further

Enrichment Packet for late elementary and middle school age children


String and Woodwind Family Playlists

Now that you’ve learned all about the string and woodwind families of the orchestra, check out our Spotify playlists for each family.