Stories of Discovery

Silent Journey- Music at the Elementary Level

Categories: Faculty insight, Learning through discovery, Student life
Date posted: October 19, 2012

Below is an answer to another question from North Star’s Silent Journey, parent education evening.  Stay tuned for more…

How do you teach music?  Do you let them experiment first?   Or do you demonstrate, and then let them try afterwards?  What benefits are associated with each approach?

We like to consider music as another form of expression.  It’s a voice that uses notes, instead of words.  With that in mind, we strongly encourage exploration and experimentation.

 With the exception of the Tone Bars, the children are free to use any of the instruments.  Because the Tone Bars are Montessori-inspired, they first require a demonstration.  It’s similar to a keyboard, but isolates the notes and scales to allow for a clearer understanding.   Once they grasp some basic concepts such as the notes, they can duplicate what they’ve learned on a real instrument, and even compose music.    

 It’s commonplace now, that children take individual music lessons after school.  In our classroom, almost all of the students play an instrument.  This is a fortunate opportunity, because these children have a level of expertise that they like to share and exchange.  

 To further complement the appreciation of the program, the children are exposed to music history and its different genres.  It would also be delightful to hear their singing travel down the hallway.  I’m working on it.  

 With the exception of the Tone Bars, the children are free to use any of the instruments (A variety are available at both the Lower  and Upper Elementary levels).  Because the Tone Bars are Montessori-inspired, they first require a demonstration.  The Tone Bars are similar to a keyboard, but isolate the notes and scales to allow for a clearer understanding.   Once children grasp some basic concepts such as the notes, they can duplicate what they’ve learned on a real instrument, and even compose music. Most children have the experience with the Montessori Bells at the Casa level and therefore are already familiar with the notes- some even playing music on them before entering the Elementary level.   

 It’s commonplace, although not mandatory from the school’s perspective, that children take individual music lessons after school.  In our classroom, almost all of the students play an instrument.  This is a fortunate, because it gives these children an opportunity to share & exchange their  level of expertise on these instruments with their peers.

To further complement their appreciation of the music program, the children are exposed to music history and its different genres.  The children view music as something that is fun and it is available to them anytime- like math or language materials are.


 

 

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