Babies Walkers to 2 2s to 3s 3s to 4s

Overview and benefit

Learning to listen and react to tempo changes in music is an essential part of a child’s musical skills.

Equipment required

  • Bean bags or instruments

Training Videos

classical Tempo from MAD Academy on Vimeo.


Up to six weeks

How it works

Use classical music of your choice at varying speeds either play a game of pass the bean bag, passing it slowly to slow music and speeding up on the fast music, or give the children instruments such as shakers or castanets and listen and play along to the tempo of the music together.

What to do in the class

Suggest pieces are as follows but you can use what pieces you like and know. Pick two contrasting pieces to work with each week.


  • Horn Concerto No. 4 in E-Flat – Mozart
  • Symphony No. 4 in A Major Op. 90 “Italian” – Mendelssohn
  • Mandolin Concerto in C Major Op. 134 1st Movement
  • La Danza Tarantella – Rossini
  • Country Gardens – Percy Grainger
  • Tritsch Tratsch Polka – Johann Strauss II
  • Flight of the Bumblebee – Rimsky-Korsakov
  • Piano Sonata in A Major: 3rd Movement (Rondo Alla Turka) AKA “Turkish Rondo” – Mozart
  • Rodeo: Hoedown – Aaron Copland


  • Nocturne in E-Flat Major – Chopin
  • Porgy and Bess: Summertime – Gerschwin
  • Madame Butterfly: Humming Chorus – Puccini
  • Memories of the Alhambra – Tarrega
  • Carnival of the Animals: The Swan – Saint-Saens
  • Gymnopedie No. 3 – Erik Satie
  • Nabucco: Chorus of the Hebrew Slaves (Va, Pensiero) – Verdi
  • Symphony No. 3 in F Major – Brahms
  • Moonlight Sonata – Beethoven
  • Pelleas et Melissande – Gabriel Faure-Sicilienne
  • Petite Suite: En Bateau (In a Boat) – Beethoven

If using the beanbag option sit in a circle and explain to the group that when the music is slow you need to pass the bags slowly and when it fast you need to pass them as quickly as you can. If several bean bags are used this will mean the children will not have wait so long to be involved in the passing.

If using instruments, give out the instruments, play the music, ask them if they think it is fast or slow, then plan along with it together guiding the children to listen and respond to the tempo of each piece.

Adaptations for older/younger children

None required

What to do in a nursery setting

No adaptation necessary