Age Range: Elementary
Learning Objective: Students will learn several words to describe tempo, or speed, in music.
WATCH. Watch the Class Notes Video: Fast or Slow Means Tempo. (3 min.)
DRAW. Have students draw a blank tempo spectrum chart, like the one below. List the eight tempo markings mentioned in the video from slowest to fastest. If desired, add the descriptors of “slowest, medium, super duper fast, etc” to help students understand. (If you prefer to have the chart ready for the students, download our Tempo Chart Worksheet .)
BRAINSTORM. “Underneath each tempo draw a picture of something that often moves at that speed. A snail or turtle might be at the slow end of your chart. A cheetah might be at the fast end. Vehicles, like bikes, cars and airplanes, work well too.”
PLAY. Play a game of Tempo Olympics! Create a set of tempo flashcards (or print our Tempo Flashcards.) Begin with just three: largo, moderato and presto. These represent the slow, middle and fast end of the spectrum. Invite students to pick an activity, such as push-ups or jumping jacks. Pick a flashcard and, all together, perform the designated activity at that tempo. Pick a different card and try the activity at a different tempo. Notice how largo jumping jacks feel very different than presto jumping jacks!
Younger Students: Focus on just two tempi with younger students with this silly video about presto and largo.
Older Students: Designate two sides of the room - one as largo and one as presto. Listen to Bartok’s Evening in Transylvania and ask students to change sides of the room when the tempo changes.
LISTEN. Use the playlists below to explore the various tempi (the plural of tempo). While listening, students can move, draw, or journal.
We can group instruments into four families: strings, woodwinds, brass, and percussion. Sing and play a game to learn the characteristics of each instrument family!
Making up music on the spot is called “improvisation.” Learn how musicians improvise and practice creating your own music in this hands-on lesson!
Explore the basic concept of musical harmony improvising to create simple harmonies using visual prompts! For elementary age students, but adaptable for all ages.
Music is full of patterns. Learn about the ABA pattern in music and use it to create your own composition!
How do musicians stick together without a conductor? Help students understand and practice ENSEMBLE SKILLS in this lesson.
No two voices sound exactly the same. But, all voices fall into a range. Learn about four main voice types: soprano, alto, tenor, and bass!
Opera is for everyone- including kids! Our host Victoria explains what opera is, then introduces you to three opera singers. Perfect for elementary ages.
In part two of our opera lessons, Victoria uses opera to tell two stories: one about lunch, and one about special events. Students will be able to compose their own aria at the end of the lesson.