‘The Planets’ | Music Appreciation Kit

Give students a deeper appreciation and understanding of music, and its story-telling power! This teaching kit will take your students on a journey to the stars. Make music appreciation engaging, relevant and enjoyable!

The Slideshow Presentation includes:

  • A musical story telling of ‘Journey to the Stars’, by Marshall Cavendish, and based on four movements from Gustav Holst’s ‘The Planets’ – Mars, Venus, Mercury and Jupiter.
  • The slideshow covers background information about ‘The Planets’ orchestral suite itself. It presents the distinctive musical features of each of the four movements included above. Then it presents some information about the life of Gustav Holst, along with a vocabulary list for this music appreciation topic. (Slideshow presentation instructions are included for teachers ease of use.)
  • ‘Click the Button’ links to 5 different video performances of movements from Holst’s ‘The Planets’. The first four links bring up each of the four movements (above) from ‘The Planets’ suite. Each of these is performed by the BBC Symphony Orchestra, at Royal Albert Hall, London. And the fifth link goes to a very exciting ‘flash mob’ of Royal College of Music students – playing ‘Mars’ and Jupiter’, at the Science Museum in London.
  • Engaging extension ideas, with ‘click links’ to two more engaging videos – creating further opportunity for learning around this topic, and its ongoing cultural relevance. One is to a short video about the background of ‘The Planets’ suite, and the second is to an interesting video comparison of ‘Mars’ and the ‘Star Wars’ theme!

The printable Activity Kit includes:

  • A set of activity sheets: Including a listening activity sheet for each of the four planets, Mars, Venus, Mercury, and Jupiter. These music appreciation activity sheets are based on the elements of music. There is also an activity sheet for students to research and record information about the life of Gustav Holst, and his musical career.
  • A ‘mini-dictionary’ page covering all the elements of music used here, for those new to this concept. This provides students with easy-to-use definitions. There is also a helpful sheet of describing words which can be used for each of these Elements of Music.
  • Vocabulary work sheet, to match the elements of music definitions list. This helps students understand and process what is meant by each term, and how to use it.
  • Quality graphics and design throughout, making this music appreciation unit study interesting and engaging.

This Music Appreciation Set is suitable for a wide range of students – from late elementary to advanced.  There is plenty of information included, but you can choose how much you want to present, and which materials to use, depending on the level of the students.

Take a look through the slideshow:

  • music appreciation

The slideshow is built in Google Slides, making it easy to use on any of your devices or computer. And all slides are printable, in case you wish to have a paper copy for review, or for your own notes.

Use this interactive presentation and activity kit to inspire students. With over 50 hours of research, preparation, layout and design all ready done, you can relax and enjoy teaching music appreciation and general knowledge!

music composition, music appreciation

Looking for an extension activity, to give students hands-on composition experience? Check out our companion ‘Outer Space Adventure’ composition & improvisation kit!

General Information:

All our materials are available immediately, by digital download, from your customer account dashboard.  And don‘t forget, we maintain all your ’88 Musical Keys’ resources, in your own private, Customer Dashboard…for free. Purchase once, and you can download, print and use it ANY time – including any file upgrades we add!

LicensingFor great value, this set includes a ‘Single Teacher Studio License’:

With our ‘Single Teacher Studio License’ you may print 88 Musical Keys resources for all the students you teach directly and personally, for your lifetime! This includes our bundles, kits, activities, games, music, flashcards, music practice resources, and posters. (Music schools with multiple teachers will need to purchase a copy for each teacher using this material, of course. Please contact us if you need a ‘multiple teacher’ license.) 

How to Download:

We recommend downloading these resources using a computer, rather than a phone or other device. This makes it quicker and easier, and a hard-wired internet connection will make it faster, of course.  Print it yourself, or take it to a print shop.  Printing and playing instructions for all resources are included! 


All our download files are in PDF format, ready to save, print and use. When printing, we recommend using either Adobe Acrobat Reader (free) PDF, or ‘Nitro PRO’, to open & print our PDF resources.  You can also open our PDF files using Google Chrome, and print directly from there.  (Other PDF software may or may not print as reliably as these 3 options for our files.)

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‘Online & On-Device’ teaching resources:

Our ‘online’ and ‘on-device’ teaching resources will be saved directly to your Google Drive, ready for you to use whenever needed. This includes our tutorials, slideshows, digital music sight reading flashcards, and online/digital games.

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