Exploring a pipe organ with CATO



The rationale for the worksheets is two fold:

1. To provide reminders of the experiences children had during the workshop

2. To offer follow-up activities which can enrich the curriculum in school

Clearly there are strong links with the music curriculum, but we have also sought to point out links with other subjects, for example with mathematics, science, art and design.

The contents of the worksheets are available in two forms; as pdf files which may be printed as required and as PowerPoint files for use with whole class presentations.  The latter contain slightly more material than the worksheets, audio samples and include answers to questions and additional notes for teachers in the ‘ notes’ pages.  The answers to questions on the worksheets together with a commentary for teachers are provided in a separate file.  The topics are complemented by the audio CD tracks which give examples of organ sounds.

High and Low - Long and short

16, 8, 4, 2 ranks

5 octaves from bottom to top


What’s an octave?

Feet, inches, centimetres

Organ tones - Bright or mellow

Ranks of different character

Parallels with orchestral instruments

Loud and grand

Soft and mysterious

Soft and sweet

Sharp and bright

Pipe Families - What’s in a name?

Families of organ stops






Loud and soft

Single ranks with different loudness

Multiple ranks

Swell pedal

Acoustics of the building

Hands and Feet

Organ/piano: similarities and differences

Reaching for the pedals - heel and toe

Hands and feet - coordination

Changing the stops

Coupling the manuals

Organ design

Pipework arrangements

Divisions: Great, Swell, Choir, Pedals

Case design

Display pipes – arranged alternately

Carving and painting

Levers and bellows (In preparation)





Blower, motor

Materials (In preparation)

Wood for pipes

Wood for levers, sliders, console,

Metal, spotted metal, lead+tin


Ivory (plastics)


Music and rhythm (In preparation)

Music for different moods (listen to excerpts from the CD)

Tempo and rhythm

Choosing registration

Solo and accompaniment

Glossary – ‘Organ words’

Console Manual

Keys Rank

Stops Swell, Great

Bellows Pressure

Reeds Thumb pistons

Pitch Octave


Children and the Organ Project sponsored by Derby & District Organists’ Association with support from the Incorporated Association of Organists. Worksheets by Laurence Rogers.  

Draft version 5. May 2013.

© 2013 Derby & District Organists’ Association

The worksheets and accompanying PowerPoint presentations are licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 3.0 Licence.  The work may be copied by not-for-profit organisations for educational use, provided due attribution to the copyright owner is given.  Commercial use of the materials is prohibited.  To view a copy of the licence, visit: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/3.0/

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