‘The Planets’ | Music Appreciation Bundle

Give students a deeper appreciation and understanding of music, and its story-telling power! Including both a slideshow and an activity book, this music appreciation kit will take your students on a musical ‘journey to the stars’. Make music appreciation engaging, creative, relevant and enjoyable!

The Slideshow Presentation includes:

  • A musical story telling of ‘Journey to the Stars’ by Marshall Cavendish, and based on music from four of the movements from Gustav Holst’s ‘The Planets’: Mars, Venus, Mercury and Jupiter. Use this segment to fire up your students’ imaginations, as they experience the power of music in storytelling! Use it as an introduction to this topic, and to help them see music as a language – communicating mood, atmosphere, feelings, ideas and soundscapes.
  • 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. Use these links to let students listen to some or all of these inspiring works!
  • Engage further learning opportunities, with extra ‘click links’ to two more interesting videos – Extend students learning around this topic, and its ongoing cultural relevance. One link is to a short video about the background of ‘The Planets’ suite, and the second link is to an interesting video comparison of Holst’s ‘Mars’ and John Williams ‘Star Wars’ theme!
  • Additional creative extension idea for studio piano & instrumental teachers: The musical story-telling listening activity can also be used as a prompt to help your students come up with ideas, stories and imaginative mental pictures for the pieces they are learning.  This helps students develop the expressive qualities of their pieces, improving their playing and performing ability. It can also help them to manage their performance anxiety by focusing on ‘telling the musical story’ of a piece when they perform it. 

The printable Activity Book/Worksheets 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, to help teachers teach and/or revise this concept. This provides students with easy-to-use definitions for each of these elements. 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.
  • High Quality graphics and design throughout, making this music appreciation unit 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 your learning goals, and the level of the students. And of course, any of the ‘click links’ supplied in the slideshow can be used as part of your lesson presentation, or even simply for your own background information.

Take a look through the Slideshow & Activity Book/Worksheets:

  • 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. (Lesson plans not included – you can decide how you want to use this material, and what order you want to present it in.)

Single Teacher Licence included: You may use this resource for all the students you teach directly and personally, for your lifetime. 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. 

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music appreciation

Check out our ‘Journey to the Stars’ Party Pack – It complements ‘The Planets’ Music Appreciation bundle listed here, and also INCLUDES the ‘Outer Space’ Composition Pack linked below! Find out more about the ‘Journey to the Stars’ party pack!

Special ‘Music Camp’ Offer: Add BOTH ‘The Planets Music Appreciation Bundle’ AND the ‘Journey to the Stars’ Piano Party Kit to your cart, and use code PLANETS10 at checkout for an EXTRA 10% discount!!

music composition

Looking for an extension activity, to give students hands-on composition experience? Check out our ‘Outer Space Adventure’ composition & improvisation kit! (Note: This composition kit is included in the Party Pack above)

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.)

Unzipping’ Bundled Files:

Some files, especially our ‘bundles’ are in zipped folders to make them compact and easier to transfer.  To unzip these you can download a free program HERE

‘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.

We especially appreciate 5 star ratings, so if you purchase this product and have any concerns that may lower your rating, please contact us and we will endeavour to rectify any problem!

If you have any questions, please check the FAQ’s at the bottom of our HOME page.  If your question is not answered there, please email us at info@88musicalkeys.com  –  Thank you.

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