What We Did In The Montessori Music Room That The Children Really Love!

3 THINGS THAT ARE A BIG HIT IN MONTESSORI MUSIC CLASS:  RHYTHM STICKS FINGER EXERCISES, THE HIGH & LOW SOUNDS GAME, AND "MR POOCH"!



Photo by Jeri-Jo Idarius for Magical Movement Company

I can't say enough about the many great uses of rhythm sticks for the exploration of music with young children! These lovely sticks make a variety of nice woody sounds and they are fabulous for helping children develop the muscles in the fingers and hands needed for playing just about any instrument. 
You can learn many of my secrets for a successful music circle and even train with me in my eCourse, "Musically Montessori: First Twelve Weeks." 

Click HERE for more information including a course description and enrollment information.

SCROLL DOWN to enter my eCourse Launch GIVEAWAY: A $100. Gift Certificate from West Music. (contest dates: 7/20-8/13, 2016)
Okay! Back to the lesson... We always begin instrument exploration by "playing our favorite way..." It's important that the children have some time at the beginning of each lesson for simply exploring all the ways they can think of for playing their instruments. 
I have gotten so many new ideas for playing these from children over the years!

Thing #1: Rhythm Sticks Finger Exercises

When the little children are getting warmed up for playing some rhythms & songs with their rhythm sticks, we start with finger exercise activities. 
This idea came from Tamara O'Brien and her music curriculum, We're Orff. 



> First we make "bunny ears" with the sticks held on top of our heads straight up like a bunny's ears.

> Next we make "bird wings" holding the sticks next to our cheeks and waving them gently up and down.

> Then we make "butterfly wings" with the sticks held at the shoulders and "flapped" quickly like the wings of a butterfly.
We tap our knees gently and then tap the floor.

> Finally, I ask the children to make 2 straight tall "trees" with their sticks. I remind them that the trees aren't moving! 

> Then, I invite the little ones to pretend that their fingers are caterpillars crawling up and then down their "rhythm stick trees."

The older groups are challenged to "flip" their trees over and then eventually to have one set of fingers crawl UP one of the sticks at the same time the other set of fingers crawls DOWN the other stick.

Needless to say, these little exercises are fun for the children and excellent for 3-7 yr olds to strengthen those small muscles of the hand.

You can see my demo video and more about rhythm sticks in my workshop featured in the Trillium Montessori Summer Summit 2016. 

Here's the link: Musically Montessori: Using the Montessori Method to Create Successful Music Experiences with Young Children.

Thing #2: The High and Low Sounds Game

In every one of my Preschool Montessori music lessons, we have a moment or two of focused listening. I ask the children to prepare their ears for listening by rubbing them gently around the edges (like giving the ear a massage!) This helps sensitize their ears and also gives the children a physical aid in listening carefully.


Photo by the artists at Dollar Photo Club

For this activity, I have put together (on my iPod) a collection of sounds that are either high sounds or low sounds: cat meowing, cow mooing, bird chirping, frog croaking, siren blowing, and finally a tuba and then a piccolo. I downloaded various sound effects from iTunes.

I tell the children,  "We will be hearing some sounds. Not all of them will be music sounds. Some of the sounds are from nature and the neighborhood around us."

When I tell them that some of the sounds will be high sounds ( I say this in my high voice) I show them how to move their hands up high to show that they think the sound is a high sound.

Then, I show them how to move their hands down low and touch the floor when they hear a sound they think is low.
I am always surprised at how challenging this activity can be for the younger three and four year olds. 

Of course, they can watch for my motions/cues while listening to the sounds and then I offer this activity again at another time in the near future. That way they will be familiar with the sounds and will be more experienced at distinguishing high and low sounds.

Photo by the artists at Dollar Photo Club




Photo by the artists at Dollar Photo Club

Thing #3: "Mr Pooch"

My groups of preschoolers and first graders all love "Mr Pooch!" This little tennis ball-turned-puppet is part of the materials in the music curriculum called the Toy Box Singing Fundamentals Kit.

I just found a similar puppet at this site: Fancy Decor, Tennis Ball Helper.




When the little children meet "Mr Pooch" for the first time, I explain that he used to be a tennis ball and now he has 2 eyes and a mouth...so he's like a puppet. 

Then I show them the mouth when it is closed. We discover that we can't really sing with our mouths closed, but we can make a pretty humming sound.

Next, I "pooch" little Mr Pooch's "mouth" open and invite the children to pooch their mouths open and see if they can make a pretty singing sound: "Ah-h-h-h..."

With the older groups, I eventually introduce the puppet as  "Ms Pooch" (female) and see if they can sing the "Ah" sound in their high singing voices. Then, I ask them to sing in their low voices for "Mr Pooch" (male).

When it is time for our vocal warm-ups, I remind the children to take a long inhale through their "Mr Pooch mouths" (open and rounded) before singing. 

Later, in this lesson, we play our rhythm sticks along to some piano music from my favorite music curriculum, Music Room from Bushfire Press. When the music is high the children tapped their sticks together up in the air to make a high sound and when the music is low we play the sticks on the floor like a drum to make a low sound.


Photo by Jeri-Jo Idarius for Magical Movement Company

Thank you for visiting my Blog and I hope you found some useful ideas here. I love to hear from you so please feel welcome to leave a comment or two!

Would you like to win a $100 Gift coupon from West Music?
I am in the middle of launching my upcoming eCourse, and I wanted to celebrate by offering a GIVEAWAY!
THIS 2016 GIVEAWAY HAS EXPIRED.




HOW TO ENTER:

  1. Leave a comment at the end of this article describing why you would like to win the Gift card from West Music
  2. Check my FaceBook Page on August 14th to see who the winner is (I would LOVE it if you would "LIKE" my page, too!)
  3. If you are the winner, I will contact you on the 14th to let you know that I am sending you your gift card!





Advertising Disclosure: Magical Movement Company may be compensated in exchange for featured placement of certain sponsored products and services, or your clicking on links posted on this website. Thanks for your support!
Next Post Newer Post Previous Post Older Post Home

51 comments :

  1. Hello! I stumbled upon your blog through the blog Racheous. I watched a few of the videos you have available and I absolutely love them! Thank you for sharing your ideas and classroom management techniques. I absolutely love the idea of taking a bow as a way to end the movement activity. I started my Montessori career in southern California where we had plenty of outdoor space and beautiful weather year round so my students had plenty of opportunities to move and play. I have since relocated to NYC where classrooms are much smaller and the weather doesn't always allow for us to go out and play for long periods of time. I love the idea of having a movement minute before sitting down for circle time! I am going to try this out come September. If I were to win this this gift card to West Music, I would use it to buy some of the many wonderful instruments and music cd's available on the site!
    Thank you!
    Melina
    (melina.m.juarez@gmail.com)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Melina, I love your enthusiasm for the Montessori way of enjoying the arts and outdoors! So happy to have you join the Giveaway! Beautiful comment! Thanks!

      Delete
  2. Hi Carolyn! I am a stay at home mom who learned about Montessori when my first child was around 8 months old. Since then, I have been reading books about the Montessori method, following blogs, doing ecourses... I live in a small town, so my Montessori training opportunities are somewhat limited. I am so thankful, though, for the learning opportunities that so many Montessorians offer through the internet. It has been through the Summer Summit from Trillium Montessori that I learned about you and all your great resources. I have enjoyed your workshops and I am excited to implement all this new knowledge with my children. I am planning on homeschooling my kids the Montessori way once they turn 3 years old because there are no Montessori schools in our area. Right now we implement Montessori principles at home and live the Montessori life as much as we can and know how to. If I were to win this giveaway, I would use it to buy instruments for our homeschool environment. My oldest child is very musical and I want to encourage that in him as much as I can. I would feel honored and extremely thankful for winning if that were the case. Before saying goodbye, I would like to thank you for doing what you do! Thanks for all the resources and techniques you share with us.

    Barbara
    (barbara.acosta.rozo@gmail.com)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Barbara, I'm so glad to hear from you and happy that you have made good use of the Summer Summit. Your children are so fortunate to have all that you are offering them! Thank you fro such a lovely comment.

      Delete
  3. Hello! Fantastic video from the Trillium Summit 2016! Loved it! I was a homeschooling mama to my twins, but this year I will begin my first year in a classroom as a newly trained Montessori teacher. My background is in the arts, and I am trying to figure how to include music into the classroom to teach the children. It is probably my weakest area though I am determined to improve that and incorporate music into our environment. I love that you have the sandpaper notes and visuals; as a strong visual learner, I think that is a helpful way to teach the notes and how it relates to music. I would go through the West site to look at getting instruments to set up a lovely music area in the classroom with a range of instruments in baskets to lean key concepts (sand blocks, tambourine, rhythm sticks, etc), movement props like scarves, and music by famous composers and/or world music to introduce them to music specific to continents/cultures. I can see how putting that altogether as the teacher gives the gift of music to many classrooms of children thereafter - more hearts singing is what the world needs!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Lenore, I am so happy you enjoyed the Summer Summit and it was great to "see" you there! You are going to have such a fun upcoming year in the Montessori classroom and your Arts background will be so appreciated by the children and your co-workers. Lovely comment. Thanks!

      Delete
  4. Hi Carolyn
    I thoroughly enjoyed your lecture at the Summer Summit! Many of your exercises remind me of my music lessons as a child - fun, engaging and simple :) I loved music so much throughout school and went on to play in many bands and ensembles. Now I am a homeschool Mum to a 4 year old and have been struggling to think back to what was most helpful in childhood lessons. This is why I am most thankful to find you, and I'm inspired not only to teach my daughter, but to start montessori music workshops for children here in Singapore. A voucher for your shop would go a long way in getting it going, but mostly I'd be humbled to have you as a mentor. Thanks for sharing your knowledge.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Organic Life,
      Just a very heartfelt comment and I always love hearing about childhood music experiences. Early music really does last a lifetime, just like Montessori! So glad to hear you got a lot out of the workshop. Thanks for you sweet comment.

      Delete
  5. Hi Carolyn! I think I may be enjoying reading these comments as much as you (well, maybe not quite as much). I am opening a new school this fall, which is a thrill, so I would use the certificate to get instruments that will be needed. Thank you for the offer!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Lynne, That is always a great reason to buy a few musical instruments! I am enjoying reading the comments, pleasant surprise for me. Best of luck on your new program and thanks for the sweet comment.

      Delete
  6. Hello Carolyn,
    I got received my Montessori training 3 years ago and I felt that I was missing the Music curriculum - how to introduce it to the children and what to do. Since its my least area of expertise, I always wondered how I will be able to learn to be able to teach the children. Incidentally, I was able to listen to Frank Leto at the AMS conference in Chicago. I bought a few of his music CD's, and the children enjoy it. 2 months later, I was privileged to listen to Mr. Sanford Jones music presentation. He was just awesome and I was sure that as a novice I could do music with the children if I learned it. I was looking forward to working with the Montessori Bells. But the school that I am presently at doesn't have the Montessori Bells. I was certainly disappointed, but surely did not lose hope. Sure enough, Seemi shortly announced about Musically Montessori and Carolyn Lucento. It was like God-sent. Ever since I saw that you will be presenting at Seemi's - Trillium Montessori's Summer Summit, I was looking forward to listening to you. As I was trying to login into your presentation, I was unable to do so at that time. I watched it a little later and learned so many new ideas. I am indebted to you to what I have learned. I have already watched your presentation 3 times, and prepared some notes. I will listen to them again to learn some of the songs. Thank you so much for kindly taking the time to share your knowledge and time to us novices. They are much appreciated than you can imagine! I have downloaded the Musically Montessori Bundle: Three Beginning Concepts and The Forte and Piano Game with the discount you so kindly offered. I will plan to register for Musically Montessori: The first 12 weeks, sooner than later. Is there a deadline by when I should be registering for the same?

    On Thursday when we had circle time, I was able to keep the children's attention with your ideas. The children wanted more music at the end of circle time - It was just an amazing feeling!! I just closed my eyes for a quick second and said "Thank you Miss Carolyn." One of the children noticed me and asked me why I smiled and closed my eyes at the end of circle later in the day. I just told her that I found a music teacher, Miss Carolyn, who helped me with some ideas to who I was sending positive thoughts and Thank you. She closed her eyes, and said, "Thank you God for giving Miss Hetal Miss Carolyn as a music teacher" and continued with her work. That felt truly touching!

    I would love to use the gift card to purchase the beautiful materials and help the children in my classroom today and for years to come.

    Thank you for taking the time to read the long post! Your time and knowledge shared is much appreciated.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Heat, what an amazing story! Music is just one of those universal languages and your children showed you how much they love it. Isn't it great when they want MORE! There is no deadline for joining the eCourse as it is self-paced. However, if you want to be with the first group signing up, then you would need to enroll before August 28th. I recommend the sooner the better so that you can be gathering resources and reading my latest suggestions at the Musically Montessori eCourse FB page. Thanks for your nice comment!

      Delete
  7. Hi, i found your blog through trillium montessori,i have two boys and i try to give them my best.your blog seems interesting and valuable,thanks for sharing ;)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks for your comment, Sigiste, and I hope you find the information helpful.

      Delete
  8. It's been a while since I have taken my Montessori training and I really like your enthusiasm in the world of music. This was a great refresher course for me! Thank you for your hard work!!!!

    Lore

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Lore, Great to hear that! Enthusiasm gets the children going! Thanks for your comment.

      Delete
  9. Wow - as an early childhood music educator (in both Montessori and non-Montessori environments) I LOVE West Music! There are several music books I would love to add to my collection, plus scarves and some new drums and rhythm sticks and percussion instruments...it would be so hard to choose!!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi LC,
      I don't know how I missed your comment! Isn't West Music just great? I'm so glad to hear that you are giving so much music to your group. Thanks for your comment!

      Delete
  10. Hi Carolyn-I have used a few of your ideas already in my Montessori classroom. So enjoyed your webinar at Trillium Montessori's Summit! I especially liked the rhythm stick lessons. If I won the Gift Certificate I would purchase the ribbed rhythm sticks for all members of the class as the ones we have now are too long (and dangerous!) and the original sticks we have are cracking because they are so old! Like me! haha Then I would add to the rest of the instruments so more children could enjoy them at the same time. Thanks so much for all you do for kids and Montessori and music! Judi Cofrin

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Judi, Great to "see" you here! I am delighted to hear that you got some useful information from the webinar and I know your children will be enjoying music in your group this year. I really do like those combination rhythm sticks. Thanks for your thoughtful comment!

      Delete
  11. I think it would be really fun to get a ukelele! We have guitars (electric and acoustic) but they are too large for the younger kids to play.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes! Ukuleles are smaller and fun to play! One day our Lower Elementary group brought in their own instruments and half the class brought in ukuleles! Thanks for your nice comment!

      Delete
  12. I would use the gift card to purchase materials for my Montessori Catholic school that I teach part time at. It is k-8.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Cathy, Isn't it great to have new instruments for your groups! Thanks for your comment.

      Delete
  13. I am a director at a Montessori preschool in California. Some of my staff love to sing and bring lots of singing and movements into the classroom. Other staff struggle with the confidence and so limit their introduction of music and movement. I would love to win the gift certificate to purchase instruments and music to help all of my staff incorporate more music & movement, especially those who struggle. It is freeing, encouraging, and exciting when you can bring instruments into the classroom - for both the teacher and the child. I would purchase rhythm sticks for each classroom as well as add some of your lesson materials. If there were funds left I would add a few more instruments and music.
    Thank you for encouraging teachers and directors with your materials, ideas, and lessons. I am looking forward to your e-course.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I forgot to share my profile when I published my comment. My name is Jackie, the director of the Montessori preschool in California.

      Delete
    2. Hi Jackie, Thanks for including your profile and also for such a sweet comment. Looking forward!

      Delete
    3. Aslo, Jackie, I am so happy to hear that you are encouraging your teachers to bring more music and movement to the classroom. They are all lucky to have you!

      Delete
  14. I have been following you now for a long time and have put many of your wonderful ideas into my music time. If I had the $100.00 I would put it towards your e course to learn more....I was so inspired by your webinair in trillian Thank you!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Kerry, it's great to hear that you are enjoying my blog! And, I love that you got to see the webinar at the Trillium Montessori Summer Summit. The $100 gift certificate to West Music is a great way to get rhythm instruments for your group and works well with the lessons we will cover in my upcoming eCourse. Thanks for you comment!

      Delete
  15. I was so excited to find out about you through the summer summit. You really seem to love music and children equally. I had no music ability and struggled through the bell work with children my first year. I find the area of the classroom 'dry' and 'lacking'. I also saw that children were not using the area. So I have been slowly learning about music and young children. I was happy to find someone who had it all put together in one place. I hope to save up enough to buy your new ebook. In the meantime, your blog is a great help.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Tre Renee, I am so happy to hear that you are blossoming in your music skills with your little ones! You can get my eBook as a complimentary gift when you sign up for my mailing list. All you have to do is go to the sidebar on this blog and sign up where it says: JOIN OUR MAILING LIST. Thanks for your interesting comment!

      Delete
    2. Carolyn,
      I have signed up. Thank you so much for letting me know. I have read through it twice and am really excited about setting up my music shelf!
      Tracy

      Delete
    3. Great to hear that, Tracy, I know your group will be so happy to have a music shelf! Love your comments.

      Delete
  16. This comment has been removed by the author.

    ReplyDelete
  17. Hi Carolyn! I am also a Carolyn but unfortunately written Caroline so people mis-pronounce my name! To save embarrassment I go by the name of Carri!
    For the lsat couple of years I have been training Montessori teachers in the Ukraine. The Ukraine is a poor country under siege and it is a joy to bring something of value to the next generation. I studied Music and Drama at teacher training in the UK and am in the mean time getting on for 70yrs! It is encouraging to see what you are doing and it's great to gather as many tools as I can to take back to the UA when return March 2017.
    The GIFT CERTIFICATE would be put towards instruments and props from 'West Music' to take back to the Ukraine in order to introduce your Music Lessons. This will add colour, joy and excitement to what has been a very dull Kindergarten life in the country for far too long.
    Many thanks for offering this encouragement online!
    Carri

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Carri, I like that nickname and I love what you are doing with the children in the Ukraine! Thanks for your lovely comment.

      Delete
  18. Hi Carolyn, Thanks for responding. It makes one feel noticed and proves that you do actually read all the comments!!! :o) I am looking forward to the start of the course!
    Blessings to you,
    Carri

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Carri, Congratulations! My husband helped me pick the winner of the $100. Gift Certificate and you won! Can you confirm your email so that I can send you the gift certificate? When I contact West Music they will need your full name and email address. Please write me at my email: carolyn@magicalmovementcompany.com. Thanks!

      Delete
  19. Hi Carolyn,
    I came here through the Trillium Summer Summit website: I've been a teacher by profession in public schools in Spain for nearly 10 years and, since I had my daughter and moved to the US, I became interested in everything related to Montessori teaching. I've always liked music in every form (I did 2 years at public music school here in Spain), but I don't feel ready to teach anything to my 3-year-old. My love for Maria Montessori's approach, the importance Music has (or should have!), the interest of my little one in Music, and the fact that I'll be a mom again in the upcoming weeks are making me consider to enroll in your eCourse (I just don't know if I'll make the best out of it, since I'll be very busy with the baby).
    Regarding the gift card, I would definitely spend it on musical instruments for the baby! We don't have anything for babies at home, and it would be great to add some to our small collection. Of course, my daughter would definitely get something (I think she would like some props, heh.)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I forgot to mention I took the EC program with NACM (I know it's not AMI or AMS certified) last year :)

      Delete
    2. Amanda, Your comment is lovely, and I know that your children are getting a lot from your love of music. It definitely influences them! I would love to have you join the eCourse, and you can do that anytime in the future whenever you are ready. The course will be available for the next twelve months!

      Delete
  20. Hi Carolyn,
    I am a 0-3 Montessori teacher and I would love to bring some new instruments into the classroom. Music time is always a big hit in the classroom.
    Karrie

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Karrie, I think the infant/toddler group should have the nicest instruments of all! Thanks for your comment and keep the notifications on for this comment in case you happen to win!

      Delete
  21. Hello Carolyn! I am a Montessori guide in a Children's House and I am a HUGE believer in introducing music to all children and doing so in all different genres! I have recently moved into a new classroom where the children have very high energy. Music has been what I have turned to to bring that energy down. It is incredible to witness a child go from very busy and wiggly to calm and participating! I would use the gift card to purchase more music and instruments to use in my class! Thank you for all of your insights and support...I also loved your seminar at the Summer Summit!
    Warm regards,
    Melissa :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Melissa, I can just feel your enthusiasm and I know the children do too! I am so happy to hear that you benefited from my music workshop at the summer summit. Thanks fro your warm comment and keep your notifications on for this comment in case you are the winner of the gift certificate!

      Delete
  22. Oh my gosh! I'm an elementary music teacher and am very familiar with West Music... and I have a very musical almost-5-year-old. NO IDEA where I'd go first!!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes, Heat, the West Music site has so many things for creating a great music curriculum. Thanks for your comment and keep your notifications on, in case you happen to win!

      Delete
  23. Hi, with so many options, I think musical instruments and a curriculum guide would be great!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Beverlie, I agree...such a difficult decision. I wish for you to have everything you want from that store! Thanks for your comment and keep your notifications on in case you happen to win!

      Delete

BLOGGER TEMPLATES BY pipdig