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6 Tips When Teaching Music in a Montessori Classroom

Too often I see a question about how to incorporate music and Montessori as if they are two things that don't work together.  Today I'd like to show just how compatible music and Montessori are and provide you with 6 tips when teaching music in a Montessori classroom.  If you aren't combining the two, you are missing out on so much learning!

6 Tips When Teaching Music in a Montessori Classroom
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It is very rare to find a child who does not respond positively to music in some way.  Most children love rhythm, melody, and so many aspects of music, especially when combined with movement.  Music is a language that all can understand no matter levels of education, language, race, ethnicity, or background.  It speaks to our hearts and minds in ways that other types of communication can not.

Yes, I'm biased.  Music has been a very big part of my life.  Before my children were born and we started our Montessori journey, it was my career.  I graduated from college as a music major with an emphasis in voice.  Since high school I have taught piano and voice lessons to people of all ages.  As my children have grown it has been a major part of our daily lives.

I sincerely don't know what our lives would be like without music.  It is a huge part of my children's Montessori education in so many different ways.  Here are my best tips when teaching music in a Montessori Classroom

6 Tips When Teaching Music in a Montessori Classroom

1. Follow the child when studying musical concepts.

When considering the combination of music and Montessori it's important to identify a focus.  Music is a very broad term and includes so many different skills.  As you observe your child consider what aspects of music he likes best and start there. If you have not introduced all aspects of music, trial and error is the best way to go, knowing that some materials and activities may not be used.

Consider the following topics:

  • Theory/Composition
  • Composers
  • Conducting
  • Vocal Instruction
  • Music History
  • Orchestra
  • Band
  • Opera
  • Musicals
  • Playing an Instrument
  • Voice

The options are limitless as all of the suggestions above can be broken down even further.  Dinomite is obsessed with musicals and conducting right now.  Bulldozer is obsessed with modern day composers who write film scores.  Princess is trying out her voice singing anywhere she can.  Sunshine loves instruments and dance.  She's also very good at "Name that Tune."

2.  Incorporate music into other subject areas.

If a child loves music, it is quite easy to incorporate musical ideas into the learning of subjects such as language, math, science, history, etc.  Whether you use an instrument to help with the counting of numbers or syllables, or use songs to teach concepts in science and history, a child with a passion for music will respond in positive ways.

The Best Musical Instruments to Use in a Montessori Classroom

If you're unsure about what instruments to use, be sure to check out all of the options in my post: The Best Musical Instruments to Use in a Montessori Classroom.

Bulldozer struggles with auditory processing issues.  When I teach new concepts he often struggles.  However, if I put concepts to music with visuals, he catches on quicker than anyone else.  When I'm introducing new concepts, I always try to find a song that will go along with what he's learning.  All of our children learned a song for every number 2-9 when skip counting.  To this day they sing the songs every time they need them.

3.  Use music to introduce lessons and topics in the classroom.

Dinomite is obsessed with the clean version of the musical Hamilton right now and has been for some time. This has lead to an interest in American History, the study of past Presidents of the United States of America, a specific interest in the constitution and the desire to visit our nation's capital.

Learning Activities Inspired by Newsies the Musical

Before Hamilton he couldn't get enough of Newsies.  The musical inspired our study of the printing press, writing newspaper articles etc.  You can see all we did in the post: Learning Activities Inspired by Newsies the Musical.  Had I introduced the history of the printing press and writing newspaper articles without the musical, he would have shown no interest.

If you notice your child shows an interest in a piece of music, use the music as inspiration for learning.  It can make a world of difference and help the child remember the material and experience in ways that are otherwise not possible.

4. Incorporate music activities into Montessori-inspired thematic units.

Most often it's easy to incorporate at least one music activity when studying a topic of interest.  Some examples of this can be found in previous unit studies.

If you're struggling to come up with your own ideas know that all of my Montessori-inspired Unit Syllabuses include two music activities with links to free printables if needed.  

5.  Embrace the study of music in the classroom knowing that the child will develop skills necessary in other subject areas.

At times we come across a child who is only interested in music, and will do nothing else.  When this happens we can choose to follow the child.  Focusing academic studies on musical concepts does not mean all is lost in other subject areas.  Music is language.  It is math.  History can be taught through music.  The science of sound and how it's evolved is fascinating.  

Do not underestimate the power of music.  If you still find yourself struggling to come up with ideas the blogs below are fabulous resources!

6. Introduce the Montessori Music Curriculum

For those who are unaware, there is a Montessori music curriculum. It focuses on the use of bells and tone bars.  The materials are very pricey but can be very beneficial for a child who responds well to music.  You can purchase the Montessori Music Album with all of the curriculum at Garden of Francis.

There are also many DIY ideas out there for those who can not afford the actual materials.  Here are my favorites!

There should never be any reason to hesitate incorporating Montessori and music.  The two go hand in hand, especially when you are being led by Maria Montessori's principle of "following the child."  I can't imagine what our classroom would be without music.  It is essential to creating an environment of peace and order.

If you enjoyed this post, you may also enjoy the posts below.
 Music Curriculum Montessori-inspired Music Activities The Universe: Music and Art Activities Music Theory Activities and Printables
6 Tips When Teaching Music in a Montessori Classroom

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