In The Montessori Music Room We're Matching World Instruments to the Continents!


Above photo by the artists at Dollar Photo Club

During the past months, our Montessori music classes have been exploring the music, dance and cultural celebrations from around the world. 

We started with music from Australia to celebrate Australia Day in January. 

Next, we "traveled" to the continent of Africa to create our musical story about carrying water and then we learned a call and response welcoming song. 

In February, we celebrated the Chinese New Year with ribbon dancing and the "Listening to the Gong" game. 

We had an exciting Carnival celebration with music and samba dance from the continent of South America with "Carnaval" music from Brazil. 

Our musical travels took us to Europe with music from Brahms and Tchaikovsky.
Here are those posts:

The children really enjoyed celebrating the colors of Spring with our amazing celebration of Holi from India and the continent of Asia.

We couldn't leave out the Native American pow wow celebration! We begin with a "round dance" and then 4 children played the pow wow drum while the rest of us sang a Cherokee cleaning up song. 

We spent the next 3 weeks reviewing songs and instruments for 2 continents at a time.

In the photo below, you can see how I set this activity up with 2 instruments from Africa wrapped up in a green scarf and 2 instruments from Asia wrapped up in a yellow scarf. 

The children had played these instruments a few weeks before, and they were excited to pass them around the circle and have another opportunity to explore making music from around the world.

Finally, we held our classroom"World Music Concert" with our little kids' band playing instruments from each of the 6 continents we've been exploring over the past months!

Our lesson began with one of our favorite movement activities from the past months. The children's favorites were "I Traveled Round Australia" and the "African Dance Story of Getting Water at the River." (see above mentioned posts)

Next, we sang the Montessori "Continents Song" along with the visual I made of the Montessori continents map. 

Montessori Continents Map from Amazon
Then, the children brought 2 rugs to the middle of the circle and we created our "stage". Many of the children had been to a music concert and so they were excited to have a stage for the "band" to perform.

Next, I brought out the instruments one by one from each of the six continents. (Sorry, no instruments from Antarctica!) 

I made this into a dramatic presentation, by wrapping each of the 6 instruments in scarves that matched the colors of the various continents on the Montessori puzzle map. As I unwrapped each, I laid them out on the "stage."

North America: Orange
South America: Pink
Europe: Red
Asia: Yellow
Africa: Green
Australia: Brown

When the instruments were all laid out on the "stage", 6 children were given a color coded card that coordinated with each continent and so each child took their place on the "stage." We called this band our world music band and we all helped the band warm up by clapping "Ti-ti Ta" while they played their instruments.

The instruments the world music band played are as follows. You can click on the link to see where each instrument can be purchased.

North American Buffalo Drum

South American Latin Cowbells

European Spanish Castanets

Asian Gong

African Mbira (thumb piano)

Australian-style "Didgi-tube"

Next, the child with the castanets got to choose the song for the band to play while we all sang along. 

We continued in this manner until all the children had a turn to be in the "World Music Band."

The children greatly enjoyed this activity...I could see from the big smiles on their faces!

Don't forget to check out the Link up at Living Montessori Now. My post is part of it! Montessori Monday.

I am busy preparing some new digital downloads for My TpT Store that are Lesson Plan Activity packs for each of the continents. They will be on sale during the Teacher's Appreciation TpT Site Wide Sale coming up soon. You'll be the first to know if you are one of my email subscribers!

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