Teaching Dynamics to Piano Students Using Drama

Ah, dynamics. As my students would tell you, it’s one of my favourite words. (And one of my least favourite to have to say over and over!)

Teaching dynamics to piano students has the potential to be a bit dull. It takes a lot of repetitions to get those Italian words right and sort out the difference between mezzo forte and fortissimo.

But dynamics also have the potential to be a ton of fun. If we use them for their intended purpose that is.

Flipped Dynamics

Of course I have another video for you to add to your flipped music theory collection this week. This video cover the dynamics pp, p, mp, mf, f, ff, crescendo and diminuendo.

Feel free to share the video with your students, piano parents or other teachers. I hope it will save you some time during the lessons that you can use to play more games.

When students have watched this video they are ready for pages 10 and 15 of Thinking Theory Book One. See the full insides and get a feel for what the Thinking Theory books are about here.

Teaching Dynamics with Drama

One way to bring dynamics to life is using the voice to act them out. For this activity you can use any couple of lines of sentences you like.

I’ll be using a verse of an Irish folk song. It is Paddy’s day tomorrow after all.

It’s a long way to Tipperary,
It’s a long way to go.
It’s a long way to Tipperary
To the sweetest girl I know!
Goodbye, Piccadilly,
Farewell, Leicester Square!
It’s a long long way to Tipperary,
But my heart’s right there.

Have your student read through whatever you choose once to get a feel for it. Then ask them to read it out loud and while they’re reading, hold up different dynamics. The student’s task is to change the dynamics as they read. Do this several times and then swap roles!

I hope you’ll try out this simple activity in your lessons. And maybe even use an Irish song or poem too to honour the little island I live on. 🙂

More Flipped Thinking Theory

If you liked the approach of this video, you might also like these others:

What’s your favourite dynamic game or activity?

Do you have a fun way you introduce the dynamics or reinforce them? I’ve love you to share it in the comments below or in the Vibrant Music Studio Teachers group on Facebook.

Click here if you want to see the Thinking Theory series and learn about the fun activities incorporated into the books.

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