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Musically Montessori: How To Use the Montessori 3-Period Lesson to Develop Listening Skills in Young Children

ARE YOU SEARCHING FOR WAYS TO ENCOURAGE THE DEVELOPMENT OF AUDITORY DISCRIMINATION AND THOSE ALL-IMPORTANT LISTENING SKILLS IN YOUNG CHILDREN? MUSIC CIRCLE IS A GREAT PLACE TO START!

In the process of creating my third Musically Montessori eCourse, I realized just how often I use the 3-Period Lesson and consequently how noticeably the children in my groups are developing more and more precise listening skills. You can see the Montessori 3-Period Lesson in a "nutshell" at my blog post HERE: "Have you tried the 3-Period Lesson in Your Montessori Music Circle?"


THE BENEFITS OF AN ORGANIZED MUSIC CURRICULUM FOR YOUNG CHILDREN

"Focused Listening" is always an important part of my Montessori Music Circles, and the children really enjoy this time in our Lesson.  This is also valuable practice in developing auditory discrimination skills. 

Over the months of an organized music curriculum, the children in my groups are now noticing important elements in music during our Focused Listening Activities. These little ones in music class will call out that they hear the trumpet or the violin or even that they heard that the music was "Largo" (slow) or "Presto" (fast) during our Focused Listening Activity. 

I often marvel at the listening skills these Preschoolers have been developing. These youngest of children are such a wonderful example of educated listening and appreciating music with a discerning ear! This is a huge benefit of early music experiences for young children in their cognitive development.



FOCUSED LISTENING AND 
THE MONTESSORI 3-PERIOD LESSON

Here's how I offer experiences for developing auditory discrimination skills through Focused Listening at Music Circle.


For the past several weeks, we have been exploring the four Instrument Families of the Orchestra: Brass, Strings, Woodwinds, and Percussion. (I introduce these families by using the First Period of the Montessori 3-Period Lesson)

After the children have had experience with at least two of the Instrument Families, (ex: The Brass Family and the String Family) then I begin to offer some challenging (and fun!) activities to develop the second and third periods of the Montessori 3-Period Lesson.

~ I begin by showing the children large visuals about the concept of the Lesson, including a picture of the composer, or the country the music is from, and other pictures such as a photo of the instrument being featured. 


Here is how "Focused Listening Activities" go:
1. Prepare the ears for listening:
We rub our ears gently around the edges to get them sensitive for listening

2. Play a music excerpt that illustrates the music concept of the Lesson 

3. The music excerpt should be between 30 seconds and a minute long. This gives the children enough of the music to hear the concept, yet keeping it short, keeps the children engaged. (my "one minute rule" is one of my teaching strategies)


First Period:
  • I say, "I am going to play music that features the Cello from the String Family of Instruments."
  • I show the children a picture of the Cello.
  • Next I say: "This is a picture of the Cello"
  • Then I say: "Let's all say 'Cello' together." (children repeat the word with me)
  • Finally, I play the music excerpt that features the Cello.
AN IMPORTANT NOTE HERE: I play excerpts of music in which the concept is very obvious. For example, when featuring the Cello, I play music that is only the Cello, so that the children do not get confused. This is an important part of the Montessori method, termed "isolation of difficulty." 
This link is an example of the Cello: "Yo Yo Ma and Unaccompanied Cello Suites Complete."

Second Period:
  • On another day, I tell the children: "I am going to play some music for you to listen for one of the instruments from the String Family." 
  • I play the excerpt of the Cello that I played for the children in the previous lesson a few days before. (see above)
  • Then, I ask the children: "Do you think the instrument in that music was the Trumpet or the Cello?"
  • More than likely, the children will answer: "The Cello."
  • If the child/ren don't seem to have the concept yet, then I simply go back to the first period and I say: "The instrument in this music was the Cello."

EXTENSION:
You can extend this part of the Lesson by showing two visuals, one of the Trumpet and one of the Bass.

When you ask, "Was that the Trumpet or was that the Cello?" You can show the two pictures and then point to each one and invite the child/ren to indicate which one is the Cello.

From Maria Montessori:
"This second period is the most important of all and comprises the real lesson, the real assistance to the memory and the power of association...If the teacher, however, notices at the very first that a child is not inclined to pay attention to her and makes mistakes in his answers without attempting to do well, she should, instead of correcting him and insisting upon the exercise, suspend the lesson for the time being and start it again at some later time." Discovery of the Child p. 157

Third Period: 

  • After lots of practice with the second period of this Lesson, it's time to bring in the third period of the Montessori 3-Period Lesson
  • I say: "We're going to listen to some music from the String Family of Instruments. See if you know which instrument is playing in the music."
  • Then, I play the selection of the Cello that the children are familiar with. (see above)
  • Next, I ask: "What is the name of the instrument being played in that music?" 
  • More than likely, the child/ren will answer: 'Cello.'



  • Once again, if the child/ren didn't answer correctly, then I simply say: "That was the Cello playing in the music." And, I would show the photo of the Cello.  (returning to the first period) Then, I make a mental note to offer the String Family Cello Focused Listening Lesson again on another day.



MORE RESOURCES FOR USING THE 

MONTESSORI 3-PERIOD LESSON IN YOUR 
PRESCHOOL MUSIC CURRICULUM

If you haven't downloaded my latest FREE RESOURCES from my Subscribers Freebie Collection, then you will enjoy incorporating these activities in your next Music Circle. 

AND DOWNLOAD THIS FREEBIE!



For this Activity, there are 3 FREE resources that go together so that you can use the Montessori 3-Period Lesson to explore instruments of the orchestra with young children. The Mp3 music downloads have a little narration from me to help the children listen for certain instruments. There are also Visuals for your presentation at Circle.

LOOKING FOR MORE?
My newest Activity Packet at my TpT Store is a comprehensive set of activities and Mp3 music downloads that introduces the children to all 4 Families of the Orchestra. (1st Period) Next, you can go on to play the games that go along with the Second Period of this Lesson. And, then, there are Mp3 music selections to challenge the children in the Third Period of the Lesson. 

My groups have really enjoyed these activities and I am delighted when I observe how many skills they have gained in their journey of discovering the elements of "music appreciation." 



My latest eCourse is about this very topic! 

Musically Montessori eCourse: "Instruments of the Orchestra"


PIN20
for a 20% discount on the enrollment fee 

You'll find lots and lots of resources for your Montessori curriculum at my Pinterest Site, too! 

CLICK HERE TO CHECK OUT 


Once again, I am delighted to have you here! Thank you for visiting my Blog today. I hope you found some helpful information and some fun activities to try out, too.

Photos in this post are from Adobe Stock, Depositphotos, and Magical Movement Company Archives.

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