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

Overview and benefit

This activity is about using the instruments to demonstrate the difference between loud and soft and to encourage children to play their instruments in both a loud and then a quiet way.

Equipment required

  • Instruments
  • Chosen song

Link to resources


Up to six weeks

How it works

The songs guide the children to play their instruments in a particular way. Either load, soft or fast or slow.

What to do in the class

Allow the children to choose an instrument from the box and explain they are going to learn to play in a loud and soft way. As you explain this to the children, demonstrate what loud sounds like and what soft sounds like with your own instrument and get the children to join in with you. Point out that if they want the sound to be loud, they need to hit/shake their instrument hard, while when they are trying to play softly they need to hit/shake gently. Emphasis this with your voice as you speak.

Dynamics is something that needs to be demonstrated with large contrasts as if you are too subtle children can find it difficult to distinguish the difference in volume. Try to use the words ‘loud’ and ‘quiet’ rather than ‘soft; as children often associate this term with textures and it can be confusing. Also whenever you use those terms, reinforce the concept by saying them in a load or quiet voice.

Now play one of the songs below, with the children playing along with you.

  • In My Band
  • Instrument Time Song – loud and quiet

Training Videos

Instrument Time

Instrument Time2-1 from MAD Academy on Vimeo.

In my Band

Adaptations for older/younger children

None required

What to do in a nursery setting

No adaptation necessary