Teaching children about music can be a multi-sensory and fun experience for them, and lessons can be easily tailored to incorporate the many aspects of music, such as dynamics, which refer to how loud or soft a musical passage should be played. Just explaining what dynamics are and teaching the different symbols and abbreviations, including hands-on activities that demonstrate how dynamics are used or achieved in music will enhance students’ knowledge and appreciation of music.
Teaching the symbols for dynamics like the letter “p” is for piano, which means soft, and “f” is for forte, which means loud. Also introduce “mf” for mezzo forte (medium loud) and “mp” for mezzo piano (medium soft). More advanced students can also learn “pp” for pianissimo, or really soft, and “ff” for fortissimo, or very loud.
Listening to some classical works with varying dynamics. Giving each student a set of flashcards with the dynamics symbols written on them, have students hold up the flash card for the dynamic they think they are hearing in the music.
Play the conductor game. Hand out rhythm instruments to each child, and have one student be the conductor. The “conductor” raises and lowers his arms to indicate to the rest of the students to play loudly or softly, respectively.
Hold up a flashcard of a dynamic marking and ask your students to play the rhythm instruments at the dynamic level shown on the car
Show the markings for crescendos — gradually getting louder — and decrescendos, or diminuendos, which mean to gradually get softer. Play crescendos and diminuendos on drums by gradually getting louder or softer.
Dynamics in music means how loud or quiet the music is. Dynamic levels are not something that can be measured exactly. Sounds, including music, can be barely audible, or loud enough to hurt your ears, or anywhere in between. When they want to talk about the loudness of a sound, scientists and engineers talk about amplitude. Musicians talk about dynamics. The amplitude of a sound is a particular number, usually measured in decibels, but dynamics are relative; an orchestra playing fortissimo sounds much louder than a single violin playing fortissimo.