Musically Montessori: Wouldn't Your Group Enjoy Opera Singing With "The Magic Flute?"


And, with my newest TpT product, you can offer a lovely group of lessons featuring the concept of pitch using a scene from "The Magic Flute." I'll be telling you more about that later in this article.

Photo from Adobe Stock


Over the years, I still feel a surprised delight when I see my music groups of little children enjoying  the opera singing in the scene from "The Magic Flute" that features the "Birdcatcher's Duet". This intriguing story (put to music by Mozart) is a fun and interesting piece to explore music concepts with little children and develop an appreciation of opera, too.

As a beginner's introduction to this fanciful opera, I have found that the "Birdcatcher's Duet" is enjoyable for young children because it is a relatively short segment in the opera, and the main words are "Pah...pah...pah...pah...pah...pah!" That makes it playful, too. 

Photo from Adobe Stock

 Statue of bird-catcher Papageno, character of Mozart's opera The Magic Flute, in front of Stadsschouwburg Theatre in Bruges, Belgium

In the story of "The Magic Flute", a young man called "Papageno" plays the role of a birdcatcher dressed in his colorful, feathery costume.  Papageno finally meets a young woman birdcatcher called "Papagena" and that's when they sing their duet. 

Photo from Adobe Stock


This duet is perfect for children to hear the low pitch of the man's voice and the high pitch of the woman's voice. What a fun way to explore the music concept of pitch (and "duet")! And, when you add stick puppets of "Papageno" and "Papagena" for the children to manipulate while they listen to a recording of that scene from the opera, the experience really comes to life.

Photo from Adobe Stock
Here's the activity:
  • Invite every child to hold a stick puppet in each that is Papageno, for the low pitch,  and one that is Papagena, for the high pitch. (In the opera, the man sings "Pah-pah-pah-pah-pah-pah" in a low pitch and then the woman answers in her higher pitched voice.) 
  • Then I say: "We're going to listen to 'The Birdcatcher's Duet' from Mozart's opera called 'The Magic Flute'. In this opera the singers tell the story by singing it. The boy birdcatcher, named Papageno sings in a low voice. One day Papageno meets the girl birdcatcher,  named Papagena. Papagena sings in a high voice. When they sing their song together it's called a duet. I'm going to move the boy puppet when I hear the man singing in a low voice and I'm going to move the girl puppet when I hear the woman singing in a high voice."
  • I show how to move each puppet, as I am telling the children about the activity. Then I ask the children to move their puppets along with me as I sing "Ahhh" in a high voice or a low voice. 
  • As we listen to the recording, we can move the appropriate puppet according to which birdcatcher happens to be singing.  With such simple words being sung in the opera, I find that the children (and me!) spontaneously begin singing along, changing the pitch as each birdcatcher sings.


Here are the stick puppets that my granddaughter in Japan drew for the Lesson featuring "Musical Pitch" in my Musically Montessori eCourse, "First 12 Weeks." These templates are also part of the downloads in my newest TpT product, "Pitch, Musical Scale, and Mozart".  More on this new product and my special 2 day sale later in this post!

Photo by Carolyn at Magical Movement Company

After each child has his/her own Papageno and Papagena puppets in hand, then its fun to move the puppets to "The Birdcatcher's  Duet" like a little puppet show. I like to extend the fun by singing our own versions of the birdcatcher's song with different sounds (ex: singing "Lah-lah-lah-lah" or "Mah-mah-mah-mah", etc)


Here's another fun musical pitch extension: 
  • Invite the children to play "The Conductor Game"
  • Say: "The conductor is the leader of the band. I'll be the conductor and you will be the singers in the band. I'm going to hide the puppets behind my back and then show you one. If I show you the Papageno (boy) puppet you will sing in a low voice. If I show you the Papagena (girl) puppet  you will sing in a high voice." 
  • Hide each puppet behind your back.
  • Choose a favorite song for the group to sing.
  • Show one of the puppets to guide the singers to sing in a low pitch (Papageno puppet) or in a high pitch (Papagena puppet).
  • Invite each child to have a turn to choose the song to sing and then to show a puppet that indicates to the other children whether to sing high or low.

Musically Montessori "Pitch, Musical Scale, & Mozart" 

at My TpT Shop

I just added this new product to my Magical Movement Company TpT Store at the special price of $2 for the next 48 hours

Not only is the "Papageno & Papagena Activities" included in this Packet, but also the "Sunflower Musical Scale Activity" that are both from my on-line eCourse, Musically Montessori eCourse, "First Twelve Weeks".  

You'll have what you need to delight your children with these fun music activities while they learn about an important concept in music: PITCH!

If you have already been enrolled in my "First Twelve Weeks" eCourse, then you already have these Lesson Plans, Visuals, Templates, and even my own mp3 downloads AND MORE! If you've enrolled in my eCourse then you also have access to my more than 50 instructional videos so you can see firsthand all the techniques I use to engage children in music learning...the Montessori way.

If you haven't yet enrolled in my eCourse and you happen to purchase this new TpT product then you will receive the 30 % off coupon code for a substantial discount on my "First Twelve Weeks" eCourse. 

And, for the next 2 days only, you can purchase my newest TpT Musically Montessori Lesson Plan Packet for the special price of $2. 

After March 10th, this product goes back to the regular price!

I am so happy to have you visiting my Blog today, and I hope you have gotten some ideas for fun musical activities to introduce to  your group of little musicians.

If you like this article, you might also like these:

My article here is part of the "Montessori Monday Link-up" at Living Montessori Now where you'll find literally thousands of resources from Deb Chitwood and Montessori educators from all over the world. Click here to check out the Link-up: Montessori Monday Link-up.

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 PostNewer Post Previous PostOlder Post Home