Beginning Dynamics Lesson

For this lesson, you will want to have rhythm sticks, wooden spoons, or another available “instrument”.

Tell your child:

“Sometimes a sound is played softly.” (Play soft.)

“Sometimes a sound is played loudly.” (Play loud.)

“Sometimes a sound begins soft and gradually gets loud.” (Demonstrate.)

Tell your child to: “Listen carefully while I play and move to the sounds that you hear. When I play a soft sound, hold your hands together in front of you.”

(Demonstrate with your palms facing each other about six inches apart. It should look like you are getting ready to clap your hands.)

Then say, “When I play a loud sound, hold your arms straight out to your sides.”

(Demonstrate. With your arms in the correct position, you will look like the letter “t”. Hold your arms straight out as far as comfortably possible at shoulder height.)

Say, “When I play a sound that gets gradually louder, move your hands out gradually.” (Demonstrate and explain, if necessary.)

Now you will play a variety of dynamics (loud or soft sounds) and your child will move their arms accordingly. After your child succeeds at this, you can change it up a little by getting louder or softer at different speeds. Tell your child to pay attention to the speed that you change from soft to loud, etc. If you are slowly getting softer, their hands will slowly get closer together. The child usually enjoys it when you try to stump them by going quickly from loud to soft, etc.

Now, have your child play the instrument as you follow his/her directions.

Tell your child:

“Let’s listen to the finale of Cesar Franck’s Sonata for Violin and Piano in A Major. Pay attention to how the violin and piano begin sweetly and softly and then slowly get louder and firmer.”

This becomes even clearer at about 2 minutes into the video.


Here is a violin.

Here is a picture of a piano.



This is a picture of Cesar Franck.



Please note: We will learn about the terms related to dynamics in a later lesson: Review Dynamics and Steady Beat.

If you are new to the Music Adventures Lessons, please click on the graphic below for an introduction and more information.

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