Introduction to the Elements of Music: Presto and Largo!


The musical continuum of "Largo" all the way to "Presto" is a very fun concept for children to explore.
"Presto" is the music term for fast and refers to how quickly the beat is moving in the music. The term for slow is "Largo",  and then there are so many variations in between these two ends of the musical spectrum!

                                              Photos by Jeri-Jo Idairus (from Carolyn's Magical Movement Archive)
                                                   Moving "Presto" like a bumble bee...

                                                      or a fast running cheetah!

                                         Moving "Slowly, Slowly," like a sloth...

                                         or like an elephant at a "Largo" pace!
                                                        (Photos by Jeri-Jo Idarius from Carolyn's archive)

In music classes all over the globe, children are having fun MOVING in an endless variety of ways while, all along, there are little seeds of rhythmical memory growing happily in each child's brain.
You probably already know how much young children enjoy moving FAST---! But, the challenge of moving very s-l-o-w-l-y can sometimes be even more fun for a child. And the secret benefit of playing with these opposites (Presto and Largo) is the child's growing ability of "inhibitory control."

I found this wonderful place on the web where you can interact with an on-line metronome. Check it out!  You can play some fun games with your child.

Set the metronome to a Largo beat and sing "Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star" to match the beat you have set. Then change the setting to a Presto beat and try singing the song again to match this new beat. And of course, any kind of fun movement activities set to match the metronome beat will be fun and probably end up filling the room with lots of giggles.

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