EXTRA OFF for YOU with 2TREES Charity
The Montessori Approach to Music

The Montessori Approach to Music

"We tend to think that the realm of music is a privileged sphere for a few fortunate ones. However, experience has taught us that if the right education is offered from early childhood, everyone is capable of entering the realm of music. Not everyone may have the talent to pursue music at an artistic level or to create new works, but everyone can reach a level where they can enjoy it."

Maria Montessori

Maria Montessori once wrote: “Have you seen how children react to the music around them? Children notice the music.” She combined her approach with the experience of musician and talented teacher Anna Maccheroni, detailing it in the book "Approach to Music." In this work, she reveals why teaching music from an early age is so important for overall development. Specifically, musical experiences influence the development of senses, speech, memory, hearing, and even vision. And while not every student will become a talented musician who creates new masterpieces and impresses the world, music permeates practically every sphere of life, helping children master other skills.

Later, other researchers confirmed these ideas. In particular, in a study conducted with a group of kids on the autism spectrum, it was noted that music therapy enhanced communication skills, social activity, and attention. Similar research with infants has led to the conclusion that periods of calmness increase as a result of listening to pleasant melodies. It has been proven that music can even contribute to the release of chemicals that enhance feelings of pleasure, alleviate anxiety, and mitigate reactions to stress.

All You Need to Know About The Montessori Approach to Music

Montessori music lessons were not separate from the overall learning process but were closely intertwined with other activities and disciplines that received attention. In particular, learning rhythm allowed children to move more confidently. Mastering the basics of music through rhythm and movement turned out to be the simplest and most effective solution. Singing songs was also incorporated into language development sessions, helping children learn new vocabulary and memorize it. Musical tasks in math classes also facilitated the assimilation of complex concepts that could be better memorized through songs and rhythms. The same approach was practiced in other lessons, yielding many positive results.

Main benefits of the Montessori approach to music

  • Improves memory, accelerates cognitive development, and mastery of new skills.
  • Kids find it easier to perform various exercises to music, so they move more.
  • Music lessons in groups improve communication skills and teach ecological rules of social interaction.
  • Montessori musical instruments allow children from an early age to explore a variety of sounds and instruments and practice playing each of them. Furthermore, each of the musical instruments, in one way or another, contributes to the development of fine motor skills when pressing keys, using bells, sticks, strings, etc.
  • Understanding rhythm and its use during sessions of thematic and simple songs facilitates the mastery of mathematical concepts.
  • When kids try to match what they hear with what they heard before, learn notes, and try to play scales, they become more attentive and concentrated.

Moreover, music is a means of non-verbal communication and can evoke various emotions. By creating an environment with many pleasant and positive emotions, including through musical accompaniment or using music during activities, parents or educators have the opportunity to instill in the kids a sincere love of learning or any task they perform.

The Montessori approach to music aims to dispel the notion that children are divided into those who have talent and those who did not receive such a gift from nature. Indeed, as Montessori emphasized, everyone can learn music, just like reading. Understanding notes is practically the same as understanding letters printed in a book. And the benefit of a child hearing music more often, singing, trying to play musical instruments, dancing, or moving to music is priceless.

What Can You Do at Home Right Now?

The Montessori approach to music using musical instruments is quite understandable within the framework of her proposed curriculum. But let's delve deeper into what Montessori and music mean in the context of the home environment, where kids spend most of their time. Here are some simple yet effective ways parents can incorporate the Montessori approach to music into their home environment:

  • Offer a variety of child-friendly musical instruments such as drums, xylophones, shakers, and tambourines. Allow children to explore the sounds and textures of different instruments at their own pace.
  • Create opportunities for active listening by playing a diverse selection of music genres, including classical, folk, jazz, and world music. Encourage kids to express their thoughts and feelings about the music they hear.
  • Engage children in hands-on music-making activities such as singing, clapping rhythms, and creating homemade instruments using everyday household items. Encourage experimentation and improvisation to spark creativity.
  • Incorporate music into daily routines such as singing songs during transitions, playing background music during playtime or mealtime, and incorporating rhythmic activities into chores or outdoor play.
  • Include physical movement into music time by doing simple exercises or dances to music. Songs like "Head, Shoulders, Knees, and Toes" are excellent for encouraging kids to mimic movements and practice language skills.
  • Play games where children respond to changes in music dynamics. For example, suggest a "freeze dance" where kids move when the music plays and freeze when it stops. Alternatively, vary the tempo or volume of the music, prompting little ones to adjust their movements accordingly.
  • Create musical storytelling sessions where children can act out stories or scenes based on the mood or tempo of the music. Use instrumental pieces or songs with descriptive lyrics to inspire imaginative play and creativity.

By embracing the Montessori approach to music at home, parents can nurture a child's natural musical abilities, encourage self-expression, and create a supportive environment.

Typical musical instruments and toys used in the Montessori environment

  • Xylophone is a wooden instrument with different tones that kids can play with using sticks. The xylophone helps children develop hand-eye coordination, motor skills, and musical abilities.
  • Tambourine is a circular instrument with metal disks or a wooden frame that can be tapped with hands. Kids can create rhythmic sounds using the tambourine, which helps develop auditory perception and rhythmic skills.
  • Shakers are instruments filled with various materials, such as grains or different types of beads, creating interesting sounds when shaken. Shakers contribute to learning rhythm and motor skill development.
  • Musical Cubes. These are toys containing various musical elements, such as instrument sounds or rhythmic melodies. Children can stack these cubes together to create their own music and experiment with sounds.
  • Wooden musical instruments like wooden drums, flutes, maracas, and others help kids explore different textures and learn about various sounds.

These Montessori musical instruments and toys help kids develop musical and rhythmic skills, stimulate creativity, and contribute to overall child development. They also help children understand and appreciate music as an important part of the world around them. Choose a few of these instruments. This way, you can offer kids different experiences. For example, you can play games by asking the child to guess which instrument you just played. Or try to replicate the same rhythm that was just played in the melody. There can be countless games, and they are all equally beneficial.

Occasionally, you can also play pleasant background music when doing tasks together with kids: watering plants, cleaning at home, or cooking in the kitchen. This creates a pleasant atmosphere, and all tasks are performed faster and easier. Make music your friend, helper, teacher, and an integral part of life because music is a fundamental spiritual need, an indispensable assistant, and perhaps the most accessible joy of life.

Older Post
Newer Post