Why is Music important?
Music is essential part of a child’s development. According to study made on Music Interventions and Child Development by the National Institute of Health,
Music may play an important role in meeting a child’s educational needs as it provides a means of self-expression, giving the child an outlet for feelings and emotions. Music, aside from being a source of enjoyment, is also a means of communication with others(Suthers and Niland, 2007)
What is the Music Curriculum in a Montessori Classroom?
Music in a Montessori classroom is not just listening but also capturing the moments of complete nothingness or SILENCE. The silence game is a time when children quietly sit for a few seconds. Then with their eyes closed, they instill awareness of their own breathing. It will be quite difficult in the beginning but slowly you lengthen it till it becomes second nature.
I often use silence every time I end my community line. Its my way of re-centering the child and calming them down for the next transition.
What are the materials used in Music?
The two sensorial materials used to enhanced the Music curriculum are the sound cylinders and the Montessori bells.
For the sound cylinders, the child focuses and concentrate which pair of cylinders are the loudest. While the Montessori bells however, focuses on the pitch, determining the faintest and smoothest sound of the bell. All of these are happening during work time.
At the end of a work period, the children gets to hear classical music being played at the background. They gather around. Then, with a music instructor, children learn musical scale and rhythmic melodies with rhythm sticks or shakers
At the same time, perceptual motor development activities happen during the line, The children sing, dance, skip or move with the music. All of these movement and much lightens up the room and elevates the children’s mood.
Besides the refinement of the senses, Maria Montessori believes that only in “nothingness” does one appreciates the sounds of the environment. All these sensorial experiences stresses the value of SILENCE, as she adds,
Soon they were aware of drops of water falling outside in the courtyard, and of the song of a bird in a distant tree,”Maria Montessori
Lastly, music in a Montessori classroom is more than singing the finger plays and rhymes. It is about learning songs that connects people. Just like classical music and folk music. Children listen to classical music almost on a daily basis while folk music is sang when a parent shares their culture. Having classical music connects the child to the past, while folk music connect the child to a tradition passed through generations.
Such connections make the cultural lessons in geography a worthwhile experience strengthened through music. Music is what brings the children and parents sing the same melody of oneness during the Celebration of Light. It’s the authenticity and sense of community that only music in a Montessori classroom can provide, and it’s what sets in apart from the traditional nursery songs and finger plays.