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Classical Kids Music Lessons: Piano and forte, the dynamics duo

  Alasdair Elmes/Unsplash

Need ideas for easy and fun at-home music learning? Here's our daily Classical Kids Music Lesson.

Target age range: Grades K-3

1. Music can be loud, soft or somewhere in between. Musicians use the word "dynamics" to describe the volume level of music. Practice saying the word "dynamics" a few times. Today we will talk about two dynamic levels: forte and piano.

2. For loud music, musicians use the word forte (for-TAY.) Forte is the Italian word for loud. A fancy letter f tells musicians to play loudly, or at a forte dynamic level.

3. Listen to some forte music, like this music by Russian composer Dmitri Shostakovich (Symphony No. 10 in E minor, Op. 93, II. Allegro)

4. Make a flashcard with a forte symbol.

Forte dynamic mark flashcard Wikimedia Commons

5. Practice saying the word forte three times in a forte voice.

6. For quiet music, musicians use the word piano (pe-Ah-no). Piano means soft in Italian. A fancy letter p tells musicians to play quietly, or at a piano dynamic level.

7. Listen to some piano music, like this music by Hungarian composer Bela Bartok (Romanian Folk Dances, Sz. 56: III. Andante)

8. Make a flashcard with a piano symbol. Practice saying the word piano three times in a piano voice.

Piano dynamic mark flashcard Wikimedia Commons

9. Test your flashcards with some music that switches back and forth between piano and forte. Every time it gets quiet, flash your p card, and when it's loud, flash the f. Use your new cards anytime you are listening to music.

LISTEN Orpheus in the Underworld: Can-Can
Jacques Offenbach

Have a question or suggestion? Contact Katie Condon, music education specialist.

More: View all of our daily Classical Kids Music Lessons

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