MONTESSORI AND MUSIC: HOW THEY RELATE TO TEACHING
Before we begin to explore the relationship between Montessori and music, let’s recall two principles of methodology that are the reason this blog exists: Cosmic Education and Balanced Child.
Do you remember that the school, as conceived by Maria Montessori, seeks to create a harmonious relationship between the student, nature, and the society of which he is a part? In a Montessori school, education is understood and carried out holistically, that is, we do not value only intellectual development, but also the motor, emotional, social, and personal development. This integral vision (and practice) of education results in a balanced, empathetic, and happy child.
How does music enter into this dynamic? How can you contribute to your child’s holistic development?
That’s what you’ll see below. Good reading!
MUSIC IN HUMAN HISTORY
Today, music has enormous potential to stir human emotions. It can make us happy, it can help us relax, stay awake and focus, sing, dance, and even comfort us in times of sadness. It is no wonder that all great films are accompanied by beautiful soundtracks.
Thus, we quote Stevie Wonder when stating that music “is a world unto itself, with a language we all understand!”
THE ROLE OF MUSIC IN CHILD DEVELOPMENT
Maybe you’ve already realized all of this, but still don’t understand its role in child development.
The fact is that, although our brain does not have a musical area, listening to and practicing music triggers a range of regions and interpretive abilities.
Therefore, music stimulates a broader perception of the world.
Studies prove that all the sound stimuli we receive, from an early age, impact regions of the brain linked to memorization, language, and even mathematical reasoning.
These investigations point to a significant relationship between musical stimuli and the development of spatial perception and concentration capacity.
Since gestation, musical stimuli impact the baby’s well-being and favor cognitive development. However, care must be taken when selecting the style, precisely because each rhythm and cadence can have a specific effect.
Classical and instrumental music, for example, tend to be great stimuli for relaxation and a feeling of peace and fullness.
MUSIC AS A SYMBOLIC RITUAL
Have you noticed that children concretely respond to music, unlike adults, who are more predisposed to abstractions?
It is because, for the little ones, the body is the only instrument through which to interact with the sounds of an environment. Whether crying, in the case of a baby who is troubled or dancing and even clapping; children react to music physically.
In a classroom, students will respond to music by moving around, singing along, acting, and even playing “imaginary instruments”. They concretely experience music, and through this concrete experience, they discover themselves, their interests, and their limits.
In addition, music can be used to symbolize rituals or transitions in the child’s life, as it stimulates certain behavioral patterns. For example, if you play upbeat music every morning, your child will associate this stimulus with waking up and starting the day. The same goes for relaxing sleep music; the child starts to associate a rhythm with expected behavior.
MONTESSORI AND MUSIC
Maria Montessori realized the potential that music has for learning and incorporated a range of activities and sound stimuli into her methodology.
The goal is to expand children’s perception of the world, encourage the discovery of their own body and its movements and enhance cognitive development.
If adults are capable of abstracting, as we mentioned earlier, it is because they have learned to do so. After all, their cognitive processes have matured. Sound stimuli and vocalization help in this maturation. Through the concrete experimentation of music, the child gradually develops the instruments to understand it more abstractly, and intellectually.
With the perception and response to duration, height, intensity, and timbre, the child develops his language and understands the ways of representing the world through it.
What happens with musical activities in a Montessori school is that students mature their intellect sensorially.
Therefore, listening to music, acting and singing are common activities in the daily life of a Montessori classroom. The benefits for children’s learning are tangible: perception of their breathing rhythm, the harmony between sound and movement, words and time, in addition to greater concentration capacity.
THE EXTERNALIZATION OF EMOTIONS
Later, this development provided by the interaction with sound stimuli will enable children to express their emotions.
It is in childhood that we learn to name the feelings and sensations that our body and mind encapsulate. The idea is that we learn to deal with them as we mature so that we become well-resolved adults about our internal issues. However, not everyone has had the opportunity to exercise this internal dialogue as a child, which leads to problems in adult life.
Music acts as a channel through which the little ones share what they are feeling: joy, anguish, insecurity, excitement, etc. Contact with music, whether listening or practicing, gives them the tools to externalize whatever they are feeling.
In this sense, music acts as an outlet, providing tools for children to learn to deal with what is inside them.
MUSIC IN COSMIC EDUCATION
For Maria Montessori, music opened the doors of the heart and could lift the spirit. It is no surprise, therefore, that sound stimuli are as valued in the Montessori methodology as visual ones.
Montessori and music have a close relationship, precisely because the creator of the method realized the beneficial effect that sounds had on children’s learning. Thus, we affirm that music is essential for a cosmic, holistic and natural Education, which, in turn, favors the development of a balanced and happy child.
If you want your child to experience the benefits of music in Montessori, then look no further and Contact us now to get your child enrolled in Mutendi Montessori.