The purpose of this study was to investigate the types of musical activities carried out in preschools for children aged 3–6 years in two contrasting cultural settings: Spain, a Mediterranean European country, and Hong Kong, a special administrative region in China. Participants were 398 teachers in preschools, 199 in each location. We administered a survey in which we asked how often they carried out 19 musical activities. In our analysis, we considered these activities independently and clustered by content (based on the type of musical practice involved) and nature (based on the potential of the activity to foster creativity). Participants in Hong Kong reported carrying out eight activities most often while participants in Spain reported carrying out four activities most often. Regarding content, Singing and Voice activities were provided most often in Hong Kong, whereas Rhythmic Movement activities were provided most often in Spain. Regarding nature, Reproductive activities were carried out more often than Creative activities in both locations. Contrary to our expectations, Creative activities were carried out more often in Hong Kong than Spain. We conclude that there are mismatches between the curriculum for music and actual practices in both cultures, with repetitive musical practices being the most prevalent. Implications are discussed for curriculum designers, teacher educators, and teachers themselves. Copyright © 2023 The Author(s).