By Erin Farney
Picture a group of children singing together and it will most likely bring on a smile. Singing songs is typically a fun and joyful experience, but it offers much more value than only being for pleasure. Children in Montessori are trained to listen, hear, move, sing, and produce music. Hearing and listening, important in all language skills, are the most important steps. Materials in all areas of the classroom promote practice in these areas. Your child, as a result of their time spent at Step By Step, most likely can sing songs about counting, letter sounds, the continents, friendship, and much more. Our schools are all equipped with amazing music specialists who come and help foster this love of music.
Repeating songs and rhythms not only gives children the repetition they crave, but provides time to learn and practice. Books, CDs, instruments, and movement/activity related materials, such as bean bags or scarves, are perfect ways to add music to a classroom. Through these, a child can have hands-on, sensory experiences, which are so crucial in a Montessori education.
Music is a form of self-expression and music is also a way to link many different areas of the classroom: a study on Australia may introduce a digeridoo, or a study on Africa may be the perfect time to listen to some African drumming. Maracas, hand bells, tambourines, and rhythm sticks are instruments that can be easily played by a child. “Every human group loves music. Each creates its own music, just as it does its own language” (Montessori, 1998, p. 108).
Singing, rhyming, finger plays, and clapping games are also activities which may be easily implemented. Music can even be played during work times or nap times as another easy way of adding more music into the classroom. Teaching music appreciation can be an effective tool for teaching diversity and inclusiveness. There are many kinds of music, just as there are many kinds of people throughout the world. Each is unique and special in its own way.
Montessori, Maria, (1998). The Absorbent Mind (The Clio Montessori Series). ABC-Clio-Ltd