This is an excellent student-led orchestra activity that is guided by the handout that you download. It is editable. This activity has it all: Higher order thinking, Common Core Tier 3 Domain Specific Vocabulary (Musical expression, phrases, shaping, vibrato, dynamics, crescendo, balance etc.), small group-work, group-discussion, writing, analyzing, expressing and performing!
I did this activity in a regular orchestra rehearsal (we meet twice a week for 40 minutes each). It spanned over 2 classes. It made our concert music much more understood by each player and allowed the kids to take ownership of their music-making.
Print 1-2 copies per ensemble. Break your orchestra into 2-3 small chamber groups and have them form those groups in the orchestra rehearsal space. One person in each chamber group can be titled "Task Manager" and is responsible for writing the ensemble's answers on this form.
Students are asked to identify 4 phrases within one of their concert pieces and then figure out, as a team, how they want to effectively create musical expression within a phrase. They use their musical toolbox to make their performances more convincing and relatable. My kids loved this and they learned so much. Identify phrases and ways to add expression (dynamics, vibrato, etc.).
After completing the activity and the handout, each group performed for one another at the end of the second rehearsals! I used this with 7th grade string players, but I will continue to use with my other groups, which span 6th-12th grade.