Unit D03 – Tempo

More tempo terms are added in Unit D3. The following are specifically identified in the curriculum but feel free to add your own.

  • a tempo
  • ritenuto
  • allegretto
  • largo
  • lento
  • moderato

Students should also be able to manage a piece that includes two changes to tempo (for example a rit then a tempo).


  • Clap different pulses with students
    • Expand on this by changing the tempo with a rit or accelerando.
  • Encourage students to look and identify the tempo of a new piece or sight reading exercise before they start to play.
  • Play two repetitions of the same phrase at different tempos, and ask the student to spot the difference, or describe any tempo changes.
  • Encourage students to play a range of repertoire in different tempos.
  • Discuss who tempo contributes to the mood or character of a piece.