Grade: Pre-School
Subject: other

#1091. Teaching the Musical Concept of Tempo

, level: Pre-School
Posted Tue May 18 09:25:04 PDT 1999 by Jeremy Maynard (
Marshall University, Huntington, West Virginia
Materials Required: music recording, "Childrens fav. songs"
Activity Time: 20 min
Concepts Taught: Tempo

Jeremy Maynard

Teaching the Musical Concept of Tempo

Class: Autism, (developmentally age 3-5)

Concept: The musical concept of tempo.

Objectives: The students will be able to express and communicate their feelings about fast and slow through activities and make the connections with the musical concept of tempo. Improve listening skills. Improve motor skills.

Materials Needed: tape/CD player, Childrens Favorite Songs, (recording), toy bus.

(Biographical Roundup): "Has anyone ever been on a trip or vacation?" Some students will raise hands. How did you get there? Most students will say by car. Tell students that you once took a trip by train. "Has anyone else been on a train?" Maybe some student has, maybe not. If there is a student who has been on a train, ask the student if the train went fast or slow. If no student has been on a train, tell them your story of how your train was very slow and that it took a long time to get where you were going. Some students might say that there are some very fast trains or you could interject that not all trains are slow and give examples such as the Eurotrains. Reply that there are some very fast trains, but on my vacation the train was slow.

(Activity 1) Have students pretend they were your train. Ask students to show you what a slow moving train looks like. Students should show you some type of movement with arms and legs. If students do not show you type of movement, model for them. Now tell students you have a song about this slow train that eventually did get faster. Explain to students that they should pay close attention to lyrics in song and notice why the train got faster. Play sound recording from Children's Favorite Songs, song #2, "I've Been Working on the Railroad." Ask students when they thought the train got faster when it was going up the mountain or over the mountain. Play sound recording again this time have students pretend they were the train. Have students form train line. Remind students of safety factors and that their shoes should be tied. Students train should go slowly and pick up speed with change of speed in song.

(Activity 2) Explain to students that not all cultures use our modes of transportation. Some cultures use animals, different types of boats and some people only walk to where they need to go. Ask students to stand up and form marching lines. Tell students that they are going to pretend that they were marching through Antarctica. Ask them what the weather is like in Antarctica. Tell students that the snow is very deep so we will be marching very slow. Tell them that you have a call-and-response song about our marching.

Call-and- Response

I don't know what you've been told
Antarctica is mighty cold
We took a boat to make it there
Froze our clothes to our underwear

Next time we go we'll pack more things
When that cold wind blows it really stings

Have students pick a place that is hot. And tell them that you are going to march in the heat very fast to get where you are going. Use another call and response song.

Call- and-Response

I don't know what you've been taught
(Blank) is very hot
We ran real fast to get out of there
We almost melt our underwear

Next time we go we'll stay out of the heat
Next time we go we'll wear shoes on our feet.

(Activity 3) Ask students how they got to school today. Many students will be dropped off by parent in cars, but some students probably have taken the but to school. Sing students story about a bus. Use piggy back song, "The Bus At Our School".

"The Bus At Our School"

Verse One: (sing slow)
The Bus At Our School Goes Very Slow
Very Slow, Very Slow
The Bus At Our School Goes Very Slow
Early in the Morning

Verse Two: (sing faster than verse one)
The Bus At Our School Picked Up (name of student who rides bus)
Picked up (name), Picked up (name)
The Bus At Our School Picked Up (name)
Early In The Morning

Verse Three: (sing faster than verse two)
Same as Verse Two only add other students name

Verse Four: (go back to singing slow)
The Bus At Our School Takes Us Home
Takes Us Home, Takes Us Home
The Bus At Our School Takes Us Home
At Three O'CLOCK

Next, organize children in circle sitting down. Have children sing "The Bus At Our School", while passing a toy bus around the circle. Children should pass toy bus slowly in first and last verses and fast in the second and third.

(Closure) Ask students what types of transportation are fast/slow? What parts of the music we listened and sang were fast/slow. Explain term (concept of tempo). "Tempo is the speed of music." "Tempo can be fast or slow."

Evaluation: Students will be evaluated on their listening skills, through closure questions, and observation of connections.