Make musicality fun

Featured on Sunday 04 October, 2015

Expressions poster

Music theory doesn't have to be dry and dusty. Instead, make musicality the best part of the lesson with these tips. (Tip #1 Resources marked FREE below are for a limited time only).

Engage them with dynamics

This year I have had such fun with my classes practising dynamics. Preparation is in 3 easy steps.

  1. Choose a really silly song with verses. I have had great success with my tough-to-please year fives and sixes with Oh Ye Cannae Shove Your Granny off a Bus.

  2. Grab a set of dynamics flash cards (FREE) or write dynamics up on a board in a random order.

  3. Sing the song while showing which dynamic your students are to sing the song, changing once or twice each verse – or as quickly as your class can keep up!

Riotously good fun – but you can always calm the class down by returning to ‘pp’! Other songs you might like to try are:

More fun teaching ideas for dynamic flashcards can be found at

Get moving in music while practising tempi!

You can use songs, dances or games to practise tempo. Simply call out a tempo and have students sing or move at that speed. An easy guide is:

Adagio = slow motion
Andante = easy walking pace
Moderato = fast walk
Allegretto = jogging
Allegro = running

You can download our tempi poster here

Here are some suggested songs and games that work well at different tempi.

For an extra challenge – have students sing softer as they get faster!!

Express yourself

To practise expression symbols, you can also call out terms while students are singing or hold up a picture of the symbol. Classes love to change from sliding like snakes for 'legato' to jumping like grasshoppers for staccato. And there’s never a shortage of snapping crabs as soon as 'accent' is called out! (You may like to hand out some castanets to reinforce the accent). You can either have them move to the rhythm or the beat.

Songs that work well for this activity include: