Musically Montessori: From India, a Celebration of Colors, Music & Dance for Children!

LET'S CELEBRATE "HOLI": COLORFUL SCARVES, CRAFT POMPOMS, TABLA DRUMMING MUSIC, AND SOME RHYTHM STICKS--- ALL YOU NEED TO CREATE A FUN CELEBRATION FROM INDIA!


All photos in this post are by the artists at Dollar Photo Club

CELEBRATING SPRING

Spring is here and the Indian celebration of Holi is a charming and fun way for young children to explore colors, music and the season. This celebration happens during the full moon in March, which marks the beginning of Spring. According to legend, Lord Krishna was a notorious prankster and one story tells of his Springtime fun of spraying colored water on his girlfriend, Radha Rani. You can see more Holi  fun in this youtube video:   



Throughout India, families join in on the colorful fun of the celebration of Holi. You can create an enjoyable music activity for your children to enjoy and learn a little more about the culture of India, too.

HERE'S MY LIST OF SUPPLIES FOR THESE ACTIVITIES:

  • Open space for movement
  • Visuals of the Indian Springtime celebration of "Holi"
  • Various colors of lightweight scarves (one for each child & teacher)
  • Collection of various colors of small craft pompoms (enough for each child to have a handful)
  • Visuals or a miniature flag of India
  • Globe or map to show the continent of Asia & country of India
  • A set of rhythm sticks for each child and teacher
  • Selections of Indian music: 
      1. "Holi Nach" (for movement)
      2. "Rag Malkaums" (for focused listening)
      3. "A B C D E F G H I Love You" (for playing instruments)
      4. "Bollywood for Children" (for playing along)

You will find the links to hear or download these songs in the text that follows.



THE COUNTRY OF INDIA

In the Montessori music room, the children often have miniature flags to identify and one of the children's favorites is the flag of India. Little ones love the colors (saffron, white & Indian green) and the "wheel" in the center (signifying the wheel of life and spiritual enlightenment.)

I like to introduce this music lesson featuring the celebration of Holi, by showing the flag to the children and pointing out the country of India and the continent of Asia on the little Montessori globe or puzzle map.


SINGING HELLO IN HINDU


When we sing our music hello song, the children echo me as I sing "Namaste", the Hindu way of saying hello.




LEARNING ABOUT THE FESTIVAL OF "HOLI"

Before our movement activity, I show some nice big photos of people celebrating Holi by spraying colors on each other as a little joke. I tell the children that the celebration of Holi is sometimes called the celebration of colors and marks the beginning of Spring.













MOVEMENT ACTIIVITIES FOR CELEBRATING HOLI

Next, I invite the children to create a little Holi celebration at our music circle! I explain that we will use colorful scarves instead of powdered colors. Each child chooses a partner and a colorful scarf. Then, I tell the children I am going to put some Indian dancing music on so that we can dance with our scarves and then throw them up in the air so they softly land on our partners' heads. 

For this part of our celebration, I like this song available as an mp3 download on Amazon: "Holi Nach" from the Album, Chalakiyan. 

Photo by J J Idarius for Magical Movement Company

After about a minute of dancing with and throwing the colorful scarves, then I give the children a handful of small colored pompoms to throw up in the air to make a dramatic ending to our dance.

After we put away the scarves and pick up all the pompoms, we all sit down and prepare to listen to some music of India. 

FOCUSED LISTENING TO THE MUSIC OF INDIA

I show the children a picture of someone playing the sitar. Then, I play a little excerpt from this music: "Rag Malkaums" from India Sound Lab. 




The children always notice the wonderful tabla drums in the music selection, and so I show them another photo of someone playing the tablas.


The children enjoy seeing other photos of Indian musicians, and they are of course fascinated by the "snake charmers" who play their flutes (called "pungi") to bring the cobras out to dance!



MAKING MUSIC WITH PARTNERS & RHYTHM STICKS

Now, it's our turn to make some music to celebrate Holi. Once again, I ask the children to choose a partner and then sit facing each other. Each child is given a set of rhythm sticks and we practice playing our own sticks, then I invite the children to tap their own sticks together, then tap the sticks of their partner's.  We alternate tapping our own sticks together, then tapping our sticks on our partner's sticks while we sing this ABC song from India: "A B C D E F G H I Love You" from Hum, Saath-Saath Hain.

Another song that is fun for the children to play along with is: "Lakdi Ki Kathi" (From "Masoom") from the album, Bollywood for Children.



Celebrating Holi with young children is great fun for welcoming Spring and a wonderful addition to your cultural studies about Asia and the country of India!

STUDY OF THE CONTINENT OF ASIA



I hope you have enjoyed your reading of this article, and I want to thank you for visiting my blog today. I am working on a Lesson Plan Activity Pack to go along with this music lesson and it will be ready soon! 

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My post here is part of the Montessori Monday Link-up at the Living Montessori Now site where you'll find amazing resources (many free!) and lots of articles by Montessori bloggers world-wide. This week, the free downloads are some beautiful Montessori style cutting strips featuring butterflies! Here's that link: Montessori Monday Link-up.


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