Camille Saint-Saëns composed a collection of pieces called Carnival of the Animals.  Listen to and compare “The Swan” and “Fossils.”  Which piece do you think will use mostly long sounds?  Why do you think the composer made that choice?

Click in the right corner of the videos above to play them full screen.

This site is best viewed on a computer rather than mobile device.

  • Long And Short Dance1:54
  • Staccato Legato3:01


Here's another great book full of DOTS!


Short & Long Sounds

PLAYING Short and Long Sounds

Click on the line/dot to see some patterns. Clap your hands for the dots and say “sh” for the lines in the patterns below. Choose a pattern and let someone in your family guess which one you’re performing. Use crayons to create your own dot and line patterns for you and your family to play.

Instruments make long and short sounds too!  You don’t need to have a triangle or a woodblock to make music.  Find something in your house to make short sounds and long sounds to play these same patterns. 

The site has been created for the educational purpose of providing caregivers with musical activities they can share with their children.  


You can learn a bit about each of these creatures by watching these videos!

MOVING: Long and Short Dance

Pretend you are a painter. Hold your palette in one hand and your paintbrush in the other.  Imagine a blank canvas in front of you.  When the music has long sounds, paint long flowing lines.  When the music is mostly short sounds paint short quick dots.

Play Linda Worsley's composition again with YOU as the paintbrush & the floor as your canvas!

MOVING: Staccato Legato

Musicians use the word staccato for playing very short sounds and legato when the music is very smooth.  Dance to this music letting your body show when you hear staccato and legato! 

Assign staccato to one dancer and legato to the other.  Each dancer moves only on "their" music.


Here’s a story about a little girl who’s art teacher encourages her to be proud of her work!  Read this book by Peter H. Reynolds or have the story read to you by watching video below.  (Click on the book to link to Amazon.)


Use this traditional fingerplay to explore vocal sounds and play games with your family.

Click on the hand for ideas.