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

Overview and benefit

This activity gets the children to consider how a piece of music makes them ‘feel’. It introduces music in major and minor keys and helps the children to notice and appreciate the change in mood that a key transition can have.

Equipment required

  • Musical contrast music
  • props for musical interpretation if using.

Link to resources

Training Video

Musical Contrasts-1 from MAD Academy on Vimeo.


  • two to three weeks

How it works

The goal is to help the children to really listen to music and interpret the way it feels and makes them feel. There are three contrasting pieces of music.

What to do in the class


Explain to the children they are going to hear some music. Tell them that some of the music is going to sound happy and some of it sad. Demonstrate how to walk in a happy way, bouncing along and smiling. Now demonstrate a sad walk, slow with head down and shoulders slumped. Now put the music on, let them listen a while and ask if this is happy or sad. If happy, we do the happy walk and sad we do the sad walk. Use scarves to wave if they are happy, or to put over their heads if they are sad.


Explain to the children they are going to hear some music. Tell them that this is the music of two different animals. The happy jumpy and bouncy Monkey, and the Sneaky Slithery Snake. Demonstrate and practice with the children how the monkey would move, jumping and bouncing to the music swinging arms and smiling. Now demonstrate how the sneaky snake would move looking sly and furtive and weaving arms in a snake like fashion in front of you as you move. Now put on the music and let the children listen for a while, then ask which animal they think the music is for. Practise doing the Monkey dance and Sneaky snake.


Explain to the children they are going to hear some music. Tell them that the music is special weather music. Parts of it will make the sun shine and parts of it will make it stormy. Give the children a prop for each hand to represent the sun and rain. Yellow and Grey ribbons and scarves would be ideal. Put the music on and listen for a while, then ask if they think the music is sunny or stormy. If sunny they have to dance waving the yellow ribbon. If stormy they use the grey.

Adaptation for older/younger children

This exercise has been designed for verbal children

What to do in a nursery setting