Sunday, October 28, 2012

Music Vocabulary for Preschool: Crescendo and Dimminuendo

If you want your child to have an early music vocabulary, two important words for them to understand are Crescendo and Diminuendo.  These words describe a swell in volume and the opposing decrescendo or reduction in volume.

Start by making sure your child is already very comfortable with identifying Loud and Soft.

After you are sure your child can distinguish between even subtly differing notes in regard to loud and soft, you can introduce the concept of a Crescendo.  Crescendo is a word that describes when music gets progressively louder.  In a diminuendo the music starts loud and gets softer.  To watch this music teacher, Nehama Patkin Teach a group of kids about crescendo and diminuendo click here.  Ask your child to join in with you as you participate with the music teacher.

"Dance" to a number of songs with the instruction that as a crescendo is performed, you get gradually taller and taller as the music gets louder and shorter when it gets softer. 

You can also have your child "draw the music with you by making bands of color that are wide during louder parts and thin during soft parts.  The band of course would then get progressively thicker during a crescendo and progressively thinner during a diminuendo.

Musical Notation for Crescendo

Here is a list of songs you may find helpful.  A couple of these songs have lyrics with themes you may not wish to introduce to your child depending on their age, sensitivities and lyrical awareness.  If you are not already familiar with a song, as always, I suggest previewing lyrics before sharing with your child.

Listen to the movement "Mars" from "The Planets" by Holst for a nice, slowly building crescendo.
The 1812 Overture by Tchaikovsky also builds very nicely and truly ends with a bang.
Ravel's Bolero builds in a crescendo throughout the entire song.  It is a perfect example that highlights many different instruments as well.

A Day in the Life by the Beatles also contains a great example.

Stairway to Heaven is an obvious rock song with a slowly building crescendo.

Shout as performed by Otis Day and the Knights will be super fun for you little one - go wild (though maybe not Animal House Wild) after the crescendo and giggle your heads off.

Little April Showers by Frank Churchill is entirely structured around subtler crescendos and diminuendos and gives the piece a rolling, watery kind of movement.

If you've enjoyed this article, you might also like,

Musical Skills for Toddlers: skill one, skill two, skill three, Fairytale Musical Classics, Animal Action Classic, and Classics for Kids to Know - Flight of the Bumblebee and Dance of the Hours

No comments:

Post a Comment

Thanks for your comments!