from the Lesson Zone
Students learn about four dynamic levels (p-f) and then enjoy an Easter egg hunt guided by clues from the class. In a twist on the hot-cold game, students perform piano (soft) sounds if they're far from the egg and forte (loud) sounds if they're close to it.
Tell students, "Before we get started you will need to learn a few things about dynamics. Dynamics is a big word for all the loud and soft sounds we hear in music.
There are four basic levels of dynamics in music:
Music composers typically use Italian words to express how loud or soft they want the music to be played. The Italian words for these dynamic levels are:
Mezzo Piano (Medium Soft)
Mezzo Forte (Medium Loud)
Tell students, "I'm going to play a few sounds on the piano. Then I would like you to guess how loud I was playing using the Italian terms that you just learned."
Play two staccato chords. Ask students to evaluate the sounds and assign a dynamic symbol. It is common for students to mistake piano for mezzo piano, mezzo piano for mezzo forte, or mezzo forte for forte. If they are struggling to discern piano from forte more practice may be necessary.
Tell students, "Awesome! Now I'm going to pass out a few percussion instruments, and give you a chance to show me what you have learned about dynamics. When you receive you instrument I would like for you to place it on the floor in front of you. Anyone playing their instrument before they are asked to will lose it."
Each student should receive one percussion instrument.
Tell students, "I'm going to play a few chords on the piano as you heard me play them before. This time I would like for you to echo what I play. If I play chords that are at a forte dynamic level I would like for you to play them forte as well. If I play chords that are at a mezzo piano dynamic level I would like for you to play them mezzo piano as well."
Practice until students are performing their part correctly.
Tell students, "It's time for our Easter egg hunt. This musical Easter egg hunt is like a hot-cold game. You are cold if you are far from the Easter egg, and hot if you are very close to the Easter egg. The clues that we will provide will be in the form of musical sounds. Piano (soft) sounds will tell the student that is searching for the Easter egg that they are far from it. Forte (loud) sounds will tell the student that is searching for the Easter egg that they are very close to it."
Select one student to hide the Easter egg, and one student to find the Easter egg. Send the student that will be finding the Easter egg out of the room. Place a piece of candy in the Easter egg and then ask the student selected to hide the Easter egg to find the perfect spot. Ask the finder to come back in and begin searching for the Easter egg. Provide hot-cold clues.
If the fibbed finds the egg they receive the candy. If the finder was not able to locate the Easter egg within 60 to 90 seconds, the prize goes to the hider.
Repeat until the instruction time ends.