Why Music and Movement are Vital for Children:
Peanut butter and jelly, socks and shoes, bats and balls, hide and seek, and music—are all elements of childhood. Children are naturally interested in music, and music is naturally good for children. Why is music so attractive to children and why is music so well suited to children?
Music is a language, and children are oriented toward learning language.
Music evokes movement, and children delight in and require movement for their development and growth.
Music engages the brain while stimulating neural pathways associated with such higher forms of intelligence as abstract thinking, empathy, and mathematics.
Music’s melodic and rhythmic patterns provide exercise for the brain and help develop memory. Who among us learned the ABC’s without the ABC song?
Music is an aural art and young children are aural learners. Since ears are fully mature before birth, infants begin learning from the sounds of their environment before birth.
Music is perfectly designed for training children’s listening skills. Good listening skills and school achievement go hand in hand.
Developmentally appropriate music activities involve the whole child—the child’s desire for language, the body’s urge to move, the brain’s attention to patterns, the ear’s lead in initiating communication, the voice’s response to sounds, as well as the eye-hand coordination associated with playing musical instruments.
Music is a creative experience which involves expression of feelings. Children often do not have the words to express themselves and need positive ways to release their emotions.
Music transmits culture and is an avenue by which beloved songs, rhymes, and dances can be passed down from one generation to another.
Music is a social activity which involves family and community participation. Children love to sing and dance at home, school, and at church.
Q. Where did Montessori come from?
A. Montessori (pronounced MON-tuh-SORE-ee) education was founded in 1907 by Dr. Maria Montessori, the first woman in Italy to become a physician. She based her educational methods on scientific observation of children’s learning processes. Guided by her discovery that children teach themselves, Dr. Montessori designed a “prepared environment” in which children could freely choose from a number of developmentally appropriate activities. Now, nearly a century after Maria Montessori’s first casa dei bambini (children’s house) in Rome, Montessori education is found all over the world, spanning ages from birth to adolescence.
Q. What is the Montessori method?
A. The Montessori Method of education is named after its founder, Dr. Maria Montessori (1870-1952). As a Neurologist, she worked to understand the development of the young brain. By working with, and scientifically observing children, she brought about a new form of education. She respected each child as an individual with unlimited potential and provided an environment that allowed the natural unfolding and education of that child within the limits of respect for oneself, the environment and others.
Q. What is the difference between Montessori and traditional education?
A. Montessori emphasizes learning through all five senses, not just through listening, watching, or reading. Children in Montessori classes learn at their own, individual pace and according to their own choice of activities from hundreds of possibilities. Learning is an exciting process of discovery, leading to concentration, motivation, self-discipline, and a love of learning. Montessori classes place children in three-year age groups (3-6, 6-9, 9-12, and so on), forming communities in which the older children spontaneously share their knowledge with the younger ones. Montessori represents an entirely different approach to education.
Reference: A Parent’s Guide to the Montessori Classroom by Aline D. Wolf