Skip to content Skip to navigation Skip to collection information

OpenStax_CNX

You are here: Home » Content » The Basic Elements of Music » A Tempo Activity

Navigation

Lenses

What is a lens?

Definition of a lens

Lenses

A lens is a custom view of the content in the repository. You can think of it as a fancy kind of list that will let you see content through the eyes of organizations and people you trust.

What is in a lens?

Lens makers point to materials (modules and collections), creating a guide that includes their own comments and descriptive tags about the content.

Who can create a lens?

Any individual member, a community, or a respected organization.

What are tags? tag icon

Tags are descriptors added by lens makers to help label content, attaching a vocabulary that is meaningful in the context of the lens.

This content is ...

Affiliated with (What does "Affiliated with" mean?)

This content is either by members of the organizations listed or about topics related to the organizations listed. Click each link to see a list of all content affiliated with the organization.
  • OrangeGrove display tagshide tags

    This collection is included inLens: Florida Orange Grove Textbooks
    By: Florida Orange Grove

    Click the "OrangeGrove" link to see all content affiliated with them.

    Click the tag icon tag icon to display tags associated with this content.

  • Bookshare

    This collection is included inLens: Bookshare's Lens
    By: Bookshare - A Benetech Initiative

    Comments:

    "Accessible versions of this collection are available at Bookshare. DAISY and BRF provided."

    Click the "Bookshare" link to see all content affiliated with them.

Also in these lenses

  • Evowl display tagshide tags

    This collection is included inLens: Rice LMS's Lens
    By: Rice LMS

    Comments:

    "testing"

    Click the "Evowl" link to see all content selected in this lens.

    Click the tag icon tag icon to display tags associated with this content.

  • TEC Music Theory Resources display tagshide tags

    This module is included inLens: TEC Music Theory resources
    By: Cynthia FaisstAs a part of collection: "Noisy Learning: Loud but Fun Music Education Activities"

    Click the "TEC Music Theory Resources" link to see all content selected in this lens.

    Click the tag icon tag icon to display tags associated with this content.

  • musicBasics

    This collection is included inLens: Music Basics
    By: Chinwei Hu

    Click the "musicBasics" link to see all content selected in this lens.

  • crowe display tagshide tags

    This collection is included in aLens by: Chris Rowe

    Click the "crowe" link to see all content selected in this lens.

    Click the tag icon tag icon to display tags associated with this content.

  • bkl display tagshide tags

    This collection is included inLens: Billion Kids Library
    By: Open Learning Exchange (OLE)

    Click the "bkl" link to see all content selected in this lens.

    Click the tag icon tag icon to display tags associated with this content.

Recently Viewed

This feature requires Javascript to be enabled.

Tags

(What is a tag?)

These tags come from the endorsement, affiliation, and other lenses that include this content.
Download
x

Download collection as:

  • PDF
  • EPUB (what's this?)

    What is an EPUB file?

    EPUB is an electronic book format that can be read on a variety of mobile devices.

    Downloading to a reading device

    For detailed instructions on how to download this content's EPUB to your specific device, click the "(what's this?)" link.

  • More downloads ...

Download module as:

  • PDF
  • EPUB (what's this?)

    What is an EPUB file?

    EPUB is an electronic book format that can be read on a variety of mobile devices.

    Downloading to a reading device

    For detailed instructions on how to download this content's EPUB to your specific device, click the "(what's this?)" link.

  • More downloads ...
Reuse / Edit
x

Collection:

Module:

Add to a lens
x

Add collection to:

Add module to:

Add to Favorites
x

Add collection to:

Add module to:

 

A Tempo Activity

Module by: Catherine Schmidt-Jones. E-mail the author

Summary: A lesson plan for a classroom activity that introduces the musical concept of tempo.

An introduction to the concept of tempo, and lists of terms, can be found in Tempo. To introduce the concept and some common tempo indications to younger students, try the following activity.

Goals and Standards

  • Goals - The student will become familiar with the most common tempo terms and respond appropriately when asked to perform at a specific tempo indication, or to name a tempo indication for a performance just given or heard.
  • Grade Level - The activity is designed for grades 3-8, but may be adapted for older or younger students as appropriate.
  • Student Prerequisites - Whether singing, singing with gestures, dancing, or playing instruments, students should be able to perform the piece(s) adequately before doing this activity. Choose pieces and performance modes that are comfortable, so that the students can concentrate on tempo.
  • Teacher Expertise - Teacher expertise in music is not necessary to present this activity. The teacher should be familiar and comfortable with the terms and concepts regarding tempo, and should be comfortable leading the performance at various tempos.
  • Time Requirements - If you wish to spend an entire class period on the activity, make certain you have enough pieces and tempos, and include the discussion of metronomes. A short demonstration of tempos will only take 15-20 minutes, or you can use the activity as a very short (just one piece, one or two tempos, each time) 5-minute warm-up to music class or active break from desk work.
  • Music Standards Addressed - National Standards for Music Education standards 1 (singing, alone and with others, a varied repertoire of music) or 2 (performing on instruments, alone and with others, a varied repertoire of music), and 6 (listening to, analyzing, and describing music).
  • Other Subjects Addressed - The activity also addresses National Dance Standards standard 1 (identifying and demonstrating movement elements and skills in performing dance).
  • Objectives - The students will learn the meaning of the common tempo indications chosen by the teacher. As a group, the students will perform at least one piece (singing, singing with gestures, dancing, or playing instruments) at different tempos that are appropriate for the tempo markings they are learning. Given a piece and a tempo, the student will choose an appropriate tempo marking to describe it.
  • Evaluation - Assess students on ability to maintain a steady beat at different tempos and on knowledge of tempo terms. To test knowledge following the activity, either ask individual students to indicate (by clapping a beat, for example), what speed they would choose given a certain tempo marking, or ask them to name an appropriate tempo while they listen to a recorded piece of music.
  • Follow-up - Help commit this lesson to long-term memory, by continuing to ask, through the rest of the school year, "what tempo term would you use to describe the song we just sang?" and similar questions.

Materials and Preparation

  • Decide which tempo indications (see Tempo) you would like the students to learn.
  • Choose a simple song, song with gestures and dance steps, or dance, or a piece of instrumental music. (Or you may wish to choose more than one.) Choose pieces the students already know, or teach them the one(s) you have chosen before doing this activity.
  • If you are going to discuss metronome markings, bring a metronome to class.
  • If you are going to test the students following the activity using recordings, choose a variety of recordings.

Procedure

  • Write your chosen terms and their meanings on the board, or give the students a handout with the terms, and go over them with the students.
  • Have them sing, play, or dance the chosen piece(s) at different tempos (allegro, largo, vivo, etc.). Include variations in the tempo, such as accelerando if you like.
  • If you are using more than one piece for this activity, try each piece at several different tempos. You may choose a "tempo marking", or have students take turns suggesting them. Have the students vote, or reach a consensus on, an appropriate actual tempo for each tempo indication suggested (with direction from you as necessary), and after trying several, have them vote on the best tempo marking for each piece.
  • Most children love to play with metronomes. If there is one available, you may also want to discuss metronome markings. Try each chosen piece at several different metronome markings suggested by the students, and then ask them to choose a metronome marking for each piece. Discuss which tempo marking (allegro, largo, vivo, andante, etc.) they would assign that metronome marking for that piece. They may also enjoy trying to guess at which number the metronome was set.

Activity Extensions for Advanced Students

  • Have the students learn a variety of the less common tempo terms.
  • Help them explore what it means for a piece to feel fast or slow. Find recordings of (or have the students perform) different pieces that have the same tempo marking but noticeably different actual tempos. (Use a metronome to determine actual tempos.) Discuss the possible reasons for the differences. Are they cultural or historical? Are they affected by the style or genre of the music, the rhythms or the number of notes per beat?

Collection Navigation

Content actions

Download:

Collection as:

PDF | EPUB (?)

What is an EPUB file?

EPUB is an electronic book format that can be read on a variety of mobile devices.

Downloading to a reading device

For detailed instructions on how to download this content's EPUB to your specific device, click the "(?)" link.

| More downloads ...

Module as:

PDF | EPUB (?)

What is an EPUB file?

EPUB is an electronic book format that can be read on a variety of mobile devices.

Downloading to a reading device

For detailed instructions on how to download this content's EPUB to your specific device, click the "(?)" link.

| More downloads ...

Add:

Collection to:

My Favorites (?)

'My Favorites' is a special kind of lens which you can use to bookmark modules and collections. 'My Favorites' can only be seen by you, and collections saved in 'My Favorites' can remember the last module you were on. You need an account to use 'My Favorites'.

| A lens I own (?)

Definition of a lens

Lenses

A lens is a custom view of the content in the repository. You can think of it as a fancy kind of list that will let you see content through the eyes of organizations and people you trust.

What is in a lens?

Lens makers point to materials (modules and collections), creating a guide that includes their own comments and descriptive tags about the content.

Who can create a lens?

Any individual member, a community, or a respected organization.

What are tags? tag icon

Tags are descriptors added by lens makers to help label content, attaching a vocabulary that is meaningful in the context of the lens.

| External bookmarks

Module to:

My Favorites (?)

'My Favorites' is a special kind of lens which you can use to bookmark modules and collections. 'My Favorites' can only be seen by you, and collections saved in 'My Favorites' can remember the last module you were on. You need an account to use 'My Favorites'.

| A lens I own (?)

Definition of a lens

Lenses

A lens is a custom view of the content in the repository. You can think of it as a fancy kind of list that will let you see content through the eyes of organizations and people you trust.

What is in a lens?

Lens makers point to materials (modules and collections), creating a guide that includes their own comments and descriptive tags about the content.

Who can create a lens?

Any individual member, a community, or a respected organization.

What are tags? tag icon

Tags are descriptors added by lens makers to help label content, attaching a vocabulary that is meaningful in the context of the lens.

| External bookmarks

Reuse / Edit:

Reuse or edit collection (?)

Check out and edit

If you have permission to edit this content, using the "Reuse / Edit" action will allow you to check the content out into your Personal Workspace or a shared Workgroup and then make your edits.

Derive a copy

If you don't have permission to edit the content, you can still use "Reuse / Edit" to adapt the content by creating a derived copy of it and then editing and publishing the copy.

| Reuse or edit module (?)

Check out and edit

If you have permission to edit this content, using the "Reuse / Edit" action will allow you to check the content out into your Personal Workspace or a shared Workgroup and then make your edits.

Derive a copy

If you don't have permission to edit the content, you can still use "Reuse / Edit" to adapt the content by creating a derived copy of it and then editing and publishing the copy.