Italy: Musica e Arte

Italy is home to some of the most famous works of art- The David, The Last Supper fresco, The Birth of Venus, the Trevi Fountain, and The Sistine Chapel.

Photo by Chait Goli on

When Michelangelo painted the Sistine chapel in the Vatican he not only painted the walls but the ceiling as well. That is where you find the famous image of The Creation of Adam. In order to paint the ceiling Michelangelo had scaffolding put up and he would lay on his back and paint the ceiling!

Bananas I know, imagine how tired your arm would get!

Martin has a small desk in our living room and so we recreated the working conditions of the Sistine Chapel. I taped a coloring page under his desk and gave him a box of crayons and he went to town!

He had fun practicing how to say “Michelangelo” and did a great job explaining what we did to my husband when he got home from work- the ultimate test of retainment!

Art done, on to music!

As you may or may not know, Italy was home to some of the most important musical composers of the world- Vivaldi, Puccini, Rossini, and Verdi, to name a few of my favorites.

You have probably heard their music for years though you may not realize it. Here is some Rossini:

Some Puccini:


Italian composers were influential in their time as many musical terms are in Italian. Specifically the way we describe how fast or slow music is, is in Italian.

Largo means slow, Moderato means at a walking pace, Presto is at a running pace and then Molto Presto is at a very fast running pace. So when you look at a piece of music it might have one of those words at the beginning of the song, and without even hearing it you would know how fast or slow it is.

Introducing the Tempo Mini Game!

I developed a game for Martin that accomplished so many things! It worked on Martin’s letter and word recognition, his understanding of these new words and best of all it got him tired!

I wrote largo, moderato, presto, and molto presto on small pieces of paper and put them in a little bucket. Martin would draw one, tell me what it said and then we would run, dance, or walk around our kitchen to whatever speed the paper told us to go. Once we went through all the papers, we would put them back in and repeat. We both had a lot of fun and best of all he had a great nap!

Play the game at home:

Photo by Lorenzo Pacifico on

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