Busy Kids Do Nutcracker


The Celesta, Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairy & Half Notes



Welcome to our final day of Busy Kids Do Nutcracker!

Today we’re going to learn about the celesta and listen to it being played in the beautiful “Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairy”. We’re also going to practice playing half note rhythms.

Let’s dive in!

  1. The celesta is a musical instrument that looks similar to a piano but sounds much different! Learn about how it works and listen to its magical sound in the video below.

2. “The Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairy” is perhaps the most well-known piece from the Nutcracker.  Read the guided listening questions below and answer them as you watch and listen.

Do you hear the celesta? How would you describe its sound?

Tchaikovsky is said to have “painted with sound.” Close your eyes. What colors do you see when you hear the music?

What words describe the picture you see of this music?

3. The note below is a half note.

It looks like a quarter note but is empty in the middle. This note receives 2 beats, so we count “1-2” when we play it.

Grab your rhythm instrument or clap along with me to play half notes in the video below!

4. Make a snowflake by folding a piece of paper into quarters and cutting designs along the border (video tutorial here if you’d like). Play the Sugar Plum Fairy music again, and this time dance to the music with your snowflake!