The perception of the Montessori approach to education is often fraught with misconceptions. It is stereotyped as an unstructured place of freedom where undisciplined children run amok and do whatever they want with little thought to academic subjects. This description could not be further from the truth! When I first walked into a local Montessori center as its music specialist I was transported into a school setting unlike any with which I had previously been acquainted. I met students who were very disciplined and very well-behaved. Their individualized curricula were both organized and structured motivating a freedom to learn and empowering them with individual responsibility for that learning. Music is an integral component of the philosophy of Maria Montessori.
The idea that every child has musical potential and all children are able to learn and express themselves musically permeates the Montessori method. Music activities are respected at the same level as any other form of learning. Teachers are supportive and encouraging of the child’s musical endeavors. Children learn with music, learn about music, and learn by music. Music is incorporated into the Montessori curriculum in the daily classroom environment as well as through music classes and private lessons.
Music classes, taught by a music specialist, take place in multi-aged, group settings while private lessons in piano and other instruments are offered to the children starting with the second level. Time to practice for these lessons is a part of the children’s daily schedule.
The music curriculum embraces the pedagogies of Orff, Kodály, and Dalcroze with an emphasis on music literacy, singing, movement, listening, and the playing of instruments. Ear training is developed beginning in early childhood through sound exploration with Montessori bells.
The Maria Montessori Center puts a lot of emphasis on Band. Education in Music is important as it gives ways to the Student to connect with each other. Children in general are very social, hence its is important to encourage them to participate and build relationships, by sharing their experiences with each other. Since our students are involved in rigorous academic study, all students are required in participate in Band from 4th grade onwards. Research study shows that Students who participate in Music courses, exercise more of their brain power, than in any other course that they take in school. Taking Music reinforces cooperation skills among the students, which is a highly valued trait in the word outside.
At The Maria Montessori Center all Students are provided a choice of their musical instruments, which helps them tremendously for them to pursue a course in Fine Arts.