“We tend to think that the realm of music is the privileged area of some happy few. Experience has taught us, however, that if offered the right kind of education from a very early age onwards, anyone is capable of entering the realm of music. Not everyone has the talent to practise music at an artistic level, or create new work, but everyone can reach a stage where they can enjoy it.” ~ Maria Montessori, The Montessori Approach to Music

The Benefits of Music 🎶

Maria Montessori observed that the child’s sensitive period for music takes place between the ages of two and six years. During this period, the child is most sensitive to developing basic music skills, like singing and rhythmic movement. Most importantly, Dr. Montessori discovered that the child’s experience must involve more than just listening. It’s through hands-on experiences and movement that the child benefits most and develops an appreciation for music. These benefits lead to strengthened pattern recognition, math, language, spatial reasoning, writing and reading skills.

Songs for Starters 🎤

There are many ways to bring music into your day at home or in the classroom and many songs that relate to the child’s daily activities. As 🎶examples:

🌎 While they are working on the World Map puzzle, we might sing a popular Montessori classroom song about the seven continents.*

🧼When washing their hands, singing a song like, “Row, row, row your boat …” accompanies the hand movements (and ensures they are clean 😉).

🚶🏻As we walk to the playground and add exaggerated movements.

🧹At clean-up time, we sing a clean-up song: “Clean-up, clean-up, everybody, everywhere; Clean-up, clean-up, everybody do your share!” 

Introduce Instruments 🥁🎻🎹

Instruments are wonderful for incorporating music too. A xylophone offers learning fun for all ages. Adding a box of instruments with bells, rhythm sticks and clackers to a shelf can become the perfect invitation for movement songs and games. And homemade sound shakers are another good option. Fill glass jars with different beans, pasta and coins and close each with lids. Sealed tightly, they especially delight the youngest children as they shake along with most any music. 🪘🎺🧂

*Commonly called The Continent Song and/or The Seven Continents Song

“Why do we teach music? Not because we expect you to major in music. Not because we expect you to play and sing all your life. Not so you can relax. But so you will be human. So you will recognise beauty. So you will be sensitive. So you will have something to cling to. So you will have more love, compassion, more gentleness, more good, in short, more life. Of what value will it be to make a prosperous living unless you know how to live? That is why we teach music.” Unknown

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