As children come to learn more and more about how music is put together, they will begin to have new ears to hear any music. They add critical thinking skills to their musical experiences and will enjoy many kinds of music. They also come to understand and love music as they have hands on experiences creating their own music. They can have that experience through private lessons or by just doing some of the fun lessons that I will share.

The lessons will center on the Elements of Music: Beat, Rhythm, Style, Melody, Expression, Form, Timbre, Harmony, and Texture. You can watch as children become confidant at discussing these elements and hearing them in the music they listen to each day. They will enjoy using these elements to create their own music.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

In the Hall of the Mountain King - Lesson 2

In lesson one, we got acquainted with this wonderful piece of music.  Now we will have some fun as we examine the elements that helped create the piece: rhythm, tempo and dynamics.  The picture you see is a graphic illustration of this music - a music map.  You'll need to print out the three pages. The task now is to first focus on how this music repeats over and over a very simple rhythmic pattern. Ti-ti ti-ti ti-ti ta, ti-ti ta, ti-ti ta, Ti-ti ti-ti ti-ti ti-ti ti-ti ti-ti ta.  The task for this lesson is to be able to "follow the dots" on the chart until Peer Gynt finds himself safely out of the mountain. By the time you have done this enough to be able to touch each dot without getting so excited by the music that you get silly about it, you will know that rhythmic pattern well.  Remember, you MUST touch each dot along the way, hopping from dot to dot, not just sliding your finger along the path!

IMPORTANT NOTE:  Pages 1 and 2 repeat THREE times before you do the final page.  I prefer this version without the vocals as you do this exercise.  The beginning is really soft so you have to listen carefully.


Now, that you have accomplished this first part, it is time to discuss this question:  How could this composer keep repeating the same pattern over and over and yet we were never bored?  If I was talking to you and I keep saying the same thing, over and over and over, you would die of boredom.  But this piece is exciting.  Why?

This will lead to a discussion of tempo (the speed of the music) and dynamics (how softly or loudly the music is played)  The children will figure those two things out without your help.  It is so obvious.  It is your job to introduce them to the correct musical terms.  You may enjoy printing out the rhythm,  tempo and dynamics posters for future reference.


  1. fabulous Loretta. thank you so much. I will use both lessons on Hall of the Mountain King.

  2. Hi Loretta,

    Did you create these wonderful music posters? I teach music to grades 3-8 and would love to use the Dynamics poster in my classroom.

    1. I am delighted that someone can use them. You spend many years developing lessons and then you retire and wonder "How can I share what I learned?"

  3. what a kind thing to do Lynn. Music....fantastic subject to teach and enjoy.

  4. I love your Dynamics, Rhythm and Tempo Posters! Is there any way you could please post them as a PDF or send them to me as PDF.
    Thank you in advance

    1. Susan, I haven't been on the blog for a while so just now saw your comment. Blogger won't let me post a PDF file therefore I post as a jpg all my pictures. If you'd like to give me an email address I will gladly send you the PDFs. I have added a "Contact Me" link at the top left of the blog so that you can send your info directly to my email and not post personal information on the blog itself.

  5. Just found your blog! What a treasure trove of ideas and lesson helps! Thank you so much for sharing!