Saturday, February 13, 2010

Music and Montessori

What is the Montessori Music program?
To a parent this might be a confusing question
based on the various approaches taking place
in Montessori schools in America. Many schools
create their own cirriculum or hire teachers
trained in a specific method like Orff, Kodaly,
Kindermusik, Dalcroze or such.  Sometimes
it is a combination of several methods or something
learned in an ECE program or Montessori
training program. But, is there an official
music cirriculum that is authentic to the
Montessori Method?? The answer is yes...
but I do not believe many schools have invested
in the proper training or materials for their school.
The complete set of materials is available
through three companies that I am aware of:
Nienhuis, Gonzagarredi (Juliana Group) and Kaybee.
Kaybee Montessori carries the full line of materials
plus the training (the only training I can find in
the US).  I was introduced to the Montessori
bells through my European Montessori trainer and
was fascinated to learn more. Both materials
and training are expensive, however the
books and support materials I think are
rather affordable. Here are the links: (online demo of bells)

The book describing Montessori's approach to music:

"Primary teachers need to remember that the bells are an essential piece of material designed to take advantage of the child's sensitive period for pitch (2 1/2 - 3 1/2) years of age," said Perez. "Teachers need to focus on the sensorial work with the bells first, which should be a part of everyone's training. The wonderful bonus is that all of this sensorial work leads directly into symbols/notation, reading and writing of music. All the history, listening, singing, movement and science experiments flow from this essential sensorial work."

From Jola Publications

Note: A company in Canada also sells the bell material.

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