Skip to Content
chevron-left chevron-right chevron-up chevron-right chevron-left arrow-back star phone quote checkbox-checked search wrench info shield play connection mobile coin-dollar spoon-knife ticket pushpin location gift fire feed bubbles home heart calendar price-tag credit-card clock envelop facebook instagram twitter youtube pinterest yelp google reddit linkedin envelope bbb pinterest homeadvisor angies

The Sounds of Old North in Your Classroom

Music has played (and still plays!) an important role at Old North Church. Our site is home to some unique instruments including a restored 1759 organ and eight change-ringing bells dating back to 1740. While these instruments have a lot of history and can teach us about history, they also present an opportunity to learn through other disciplines.


Below are three lessons that explore these instruments through subjects beyond history including art, music, and science. These resources were created by teachers and are available free of charge.

Old North Church Bell Ringing (K1- Grade 2)

Written by Clare Vadala-Clark, Boston Public Schools

In this lesson, students explore patterns through both color and sound. They begin by learning about Old North’s change ringing bells and listening to the patterns they play. The students then color their own set of change ringing bells using primary and secondary colors and create their own change ringing pattern. Download the lesson.  

The Organ of the Old North Church (Grades 3-5)

Written by Jennifer Li, Boston Public Schools

This lesson, designed for students in grades 3 through 5, explores the organ of the Old North Church from a music/arts and science perspective. Students will discover the different sounds that the organ can make and learn how an organ is able to produce those different sounds. Download the lesson. 

Sound Waves in the Old North Church (Grade 9-12)

Written by Talia Clark, Boston Public Schools

In this lesson, students will make connections between hands-on experimentation with sound; observations of the bells and organ at Old North Church; and the physics concepts of frequency, wavelength, and velocity of sound waves. They will apply their understanding of these concepts to design, build, and tune their own musical instruments. Download the lesson. 

The pipe organ and carved angels in the gallery of the Old North Church.If you have questions or would like to learn more about these classroom resources, please email Emily Spence at

Click the link below to learn more about the Old North’s organ and change-ringing bells!

Purchase Tickets To Visit Old North Church & Historic Site