What child doesn’t love the challenge of trying to do something faster and faster? This fun yet simple lesson plan engages young minds in a race to sing faster and sit in a chair faster, all the while teaching them four basic music tempos. What could be more fun than that?
To begin, all you will need are some very basic materials:
- CD or MP3 Player
- 4 Songs of Different Tempos
- The Students’ Chairs
Teaching Tempo Activity
- Tell your students that music can be played in over twenty-five different speeds. Since the students are only in Kindergarten, let them know you are going to introduce them to four of those twenty-five speeds. The speed of the music is called the music’s tempo.
- The slowest of the four speeds is called Adagio. Write the word Adagio on the chalk board at the bottom. Place an upward arrow above the word Adagio.
- Above Adagio write the word Moderato. Moderato means moderate or not too fast and not too slow. It is just about right. Again place an upward arrow above the word Moderato.
- Above Moderator write the word Allegro. Allegro means fast. Place a final upward arrow above the word Allegro.
- Write Presto on the top. Presto means super fast. Show the children how the music starts out slow with Adagio and ends up super fast with Presto.
- Pick a song like “Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star” and help the student to start out singing it Adagio. Have them sing a bit faster when you say “Moderato”. Wait a little longer and then use the word “Allegro” so the children can sing faster. Finally, have them sing as fast as they can when you shout out “Presto”.
- Once the children understand the speeds get ready to play musical chairs. Have one chair less than you have students. Have four song selections ready. Each song should be a representation of one of the music speeds you just taught. Each round you will play a different speed which determines how fast or slow the students move around the chairs.
- After you stop the music the students will scramble for a chair, but one student will not have one. That student is out.
- This continues until only one student is remaining.
Play an episode of the “Little Einsteins” cartoon. They go over the music speeds in a fun way. You can watch an episode anytime online so you could set up your computer to play the episode for your students.