All About Tempo

All About Tempo

From the Activity Guide: Tempo and Rhythm – Let’s Jam!

Tempo is the speed of music – how fast or slow the music is. Let’s learn about tempo.

Tempo Video

Babies through Middle School

Listen as Conductor Dan talks about two common tempos in music – andante and allegro. Clap along with him!

Tempo Activities

Preschool and Elementary School


Conductor Dan taught us about andante and allegro, now let’s learn about two more: moderato and presto. Here is a helpful way to imagine four different tempos as animal speeds.


Step One: Try acting each animal moves while you listen to these four pieces in this playlist:

Feel how each animal has a different tempo. The music is in order of slow to fast:

  • Andante: slow and steady like a turtle
  • Moderato: prancing around like a cat
  • Allegro: galloping like a horse
  • Presto: all-out like a cheetah

Step Two: Once your child has a grasp of each tempo, write down each one on a slip of paper and put them in a pile. Create another pile of papers that have different movements on them. Take turns choosing a tempo card and a movement card and do that movement in the tempo you choose. Movements could include:

  • Walking/running
  • Tapping your head
  • Blinking your eyes
  • Shaking your head
  • Rubbing your belly

Find activities about rhythm in the full Activity Guide: Tempo and Rhythm – Let’s Jam!

Find other educational videos here.

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