Our Music and the Brain Curriculum
We have always been aware of the beauty, mystery and power of music; neuroscientists are now showing that its power may be even greater than we supposed, reaching into the very neurons with which we reason, remember and learn. - (from 42nd Street Foundation)
New York Times article
Music in early childhood is a critical aspect of a child's development. The two to six year old child as per Maria Montessori's philosophy is in the sensitive period of development and is susceptible to sensory-motor activities. An age-appropriate curriculum within the musical environment allows children to reach their inherent musical potential. In the Montessori environment singing and singing games are an essential part of the music curriculum, for they allow children to develop their inner musical ear. The voice is a natural instrument that every person possesses if cultivated at an early age. Children participating in singing games learn to absorb simple melodies through rhythm and movement. Music gives the power to children with a timid personality to express themselves confidently in a manner no one can correct. It further trains their auditory sense to become perfect listeners while developing a great sense of timing, empathy, and dedication.
Our Music curriculum is designed around a composition of international songs, including classical, folk and children's songs. Musical concepts incorporated include: rhythm, pitch, form, dynamics, notation and harmony. The ear training involves singing and rhythmic training directly related to the pieces being taught.
Classes include: Developing piano techniques, strengthening dexterity and reinforcing ear training. Children are encouraged to freely explore the keyboard and are guided into improvising, or to creating a composition. Sometimes they simply "play", and sometimes they choose to work on certain pieces in their repertoire. The children regularly perform for one another, and at least once a year, are provided the opportunity to perform at larger concerts for parents and friends.
The introduction of Music and the Brain is complementary to the Montessori Method. The period between three and six years of age is ideal for the beginning of musical education, music being a language to be learned through the natural development of the three senses: hearing, eyesight and touch. It is, therefore, naturally absorbed by the child's mind.
Montessori children often learn to read music while – if not before – learning to read text.
"The hands are the instruments of man’s intelligence." - (Dr. Maria Montessori)