I teach this in Preschool, Kindergarten and 1st grade.

It’s important for them to feel, hear, and see visual representations of long and short. So, I over-exaggerate examples on the keyboard when I play one or the other. When students listen, they either make a long movement (usually with their hands starting at their bodies and moving toward the center of the circle) or a short movement (which could be a clap or a patsch)


  • Make long and short sounds with your body
    • long = say “ooooooooo,” “shhhhhhhh,” etc.
    • short = pat, clap, say “t,” “k,” etc.
  • Make long and short sounds with instruments
    • long = triangle, finger cymbals, glockenspiel, etc.
    • short = wood block, claves, etc.
    • long or short = guiro, ratchet, etc.
  • Make long and short locomotor movements with your body
    • long = sway, move arms slowly in big arcs around your body, etc.
    • short = march, skip, etc.


Long & Short Visuals

See also

Extras for Plus Members

  • Long & Short Printable Visuals

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2 thoughts on “Long & Short Sounds”

    on thursday (writing this on wednesday) i start an internship (my first job!!!) as a music teacher substitute. even though i am a musician, this is not my graduation and i’m just patching a hole so the kids can still be exposed to music for around a month. i was in such a hurry to figure out how to do a short x long sounds activity/dynamic and YOU HAVE SAVED ME. I’M SO, SO THANKFUL FOR THIS PAGE AND FOR YOU. THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU SO MUCH! YOUR PAGE IS A BLESSING ON THIS PLANET AND I WILL FOREVER BE GRATEFUL THANK YOU

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