Musically Montessori: 5 Ways To Explore Rhythm Instruments And My New TpT Activity Pack!

1. Introduce rhythm instruments in an orderly, sequential way.
Over my many years of working with young children and music, I have discovered that the best way to start out with playing instruments is to give all the children the same instrument at the first few music circles.

That means you will need, for example, 24 sets of rhythm sticks for a group of 24 children PLUS a set of rhythm sticks for each teacher at the music circle.

When all the children have the same instrument, you can really show them how to use it, and no one is upset about not getting the instrument they wanted to play AND, the sound is not so chaotic...but actually rather nice!

I like to start out with rhythm sticks because a) they are very versatile, b) they are inexpensive, and c) they sound nice!
The rhythm sticks I like best are the shorter ones from Basic Beat. You can find them at this link: 8-in. rhythm sticks at Amazon

It's important to decide ahead of time on the procedures you will use at your Music Circle. Things like: 
  • How to signal for the children when to "play" and when to "stop" 
  • How to give out and take up the instruments  
  • Keeping the rules of safety clear and consistent
  • Keeping activities short while moving along
  • And allowing free exploration of the instrument for a minute or two at the beginning of each lesson
You can learn more about bringing Montessori music to your classroom curriculum in my eCourse, Musically Montessori: First Twelve Weeks.  

After you have introduced rhythm sticks to the children, and they have explored them over several weeks, then you can offer them another instrument.  I like finger cymbals, also small maracas (called chiquitas) and tambourines. 

Later, you can offer other rhythm instruments, such a bells, triangles, drums, and cymbals by passing one around at circle, and then later setting our baskets at circle with a choice of 3 different instruments. 

2. Set up a rhythm instrument basket on your Montessori music shelf.

During work time, the children can explore rhythm instruments more fully by having a basket on the shelf that holds this week's featured instrument. 

Later, there can be games for children to play with a basket of instruments to match with the pictures on cards.

3. Offer focused listening experiences with recordings of various instruments.

There are some wonderful and fun recordings that feature one instrument so that a child can really hear the instrument. This also isolates the concept, which is an important component of the Montessori method. 
    I love this cd for introducing children to the various instruments of the orchestra. This cd includes a selection of the  rhythm instruments from the Percussion family, as well.


This cd/mp3 has a piece called "Introduction to the Instruments" that is perfect for children to listen to the various rhythm instruments, such as rhythm sticks, tambourine, triangle, maracas, drums, and cymbals. 

This cd/mp3 has a section with recordings of tambourine, cymbals, and other percussion instruments that are from famous pieces of music.

4.  Use the Montessori 3-Period Lesson to reinforce the names of the instruments that the children have already explored at a sensory level.

When children have explored two or three instruments, then it is time to explore the Montessori 3-period Lesson with games that reinforce the names of each instrument and the sound it makes.
You can read my post about using the 3-period lesson with rhythm sticks at this link: Age of Montessori: "Let's Play Rhythm Sticks."

5. Provide Montessori style booklet-making that features the rhythm instruments.

With my groups, I have made Montessori 3-part-cards with each of six rhythm instruments: Rhythm Sticks, Triangle, Maracas, Bells, Finger Cymbals, and Tambourine. 

From these, the children can make their own booklets of "Rhythm Instruments." 

My newest TpT Musically Montessori Activity Packet, "Exploring Rhythm Instruments" gives you 39 pages of tools for implementing the ideas I have written about here in this post, including:

  • Lesson Plans 
  • Visuals for Circle Time 
  • Printables for music games for the children
  • Templates for 3-part cards and booklet-making for the children  
  • My own mp3 music downloads for focused listening activities for your group
  • And even some bonus materials along with a coupon for 20% off my eCourse, in case you are thinking of enrolling!
Right now, this packet is on sale for $2. until June 1st! After that, the price goes up to $6.

Click here to check it out!

And, if you would like a real kick start with your Montessori Music Curriculum, then all you have to do is join my email list and you will receive a complimentary copy of my eBook,  Musically Montessori: First Lessons for the Classroom Teacher (regular price: $12.99)

FILL OUT THE FORM on the side bar of this blog and get your free eBook!

I am so happy to have you visit my Blog today and I hope you have gotten some ideas for your group to have fun with rhythm instruments...Montessori style!

Find more Montessori Music Activities on my Pinterest Page HERE:

This article is part of the Montessori Monday Link-up at Deb Chitwood's Living Montessori Now site. There you'll find a vast array of resources (some free!) for your Montessori classroom and homeschool as well.

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!

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