by Teresa Jennings

Here are two songs with but one purpose: To teach kids what crescendo and decrescendo mean. Hopefully, seeing all of those symbols strewn across the music will reinforce their recognition of them on sight as well. Then, of course, there's the interpretation. Both songs not only demonstrate these respectively, they also include them - literally - in the lyrics! So in "Crescendo," they sing about going from soft to loud while they are doing it. And in "Decrescendo," they sing about going from loud to soft while doing that. What could be simpler or more memorable?

We have deliberately created two separate pieces for these musical concepts so that you can isolate and focus on either one. But you could certainly do them back to back as well. We suggest that you begin by reviewing forte and piano. (We have a song for that, too! "Forte Piano" can be found in Music K-8, Vol. 13, No. 1.) Learn each of the tunes/melodies first without the dynamics. Then add them. Vary the songs by going from pianissimo to fortissimo and vice versa. Then you can also ask what dynamics they pass from one extreme to the other.

Text is taken from Music K-8 magazine.