Matching Musical Notes
© Beverley Paine, 2005
I first saw and heard this activity when visiting a Montessori Kindergarten about two decades ago. We made up our own version, from memory, when at home, using whatever musical instruments were to hand. The aim of the activity is to prepare the child for music and to improve auditory discrimination of sound, that is, pitch.
The Montessori class used 26 bells and a wooden mallet for striking them, together with a silencer for stopping the sound as well as a chart replicating the black and white keys on a piano. We used a child's xylophone, a piano or recorder, and a piano chart that I had made, with the names of the key notes marked in the appropriate spaces. This was mostly for my own use as I was also beginning to learn to read music!
April would pick a note from the chart which I would play, and then she would experiment by hitting notes on the xlophone until the notes sounded the same - that is, they were the same pitch. This exercise is quite different from the original Montessori one, but the end result is similar, so we didn't mind.
In addition to musical skills, this activity builds maths and language skills, using comparative language such as high, low, higher, lower, highest, lowest; the names of the notes of the scale: do, re, mi, fa, sol, la, ti, do; or the name of the pitches produced by playing the instruments.
We had a box of percussion and home made musical instruments on the shelf that the children had continuous access to and was usually played with for some time after an activity like the one above.
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Beverley Paine with her children, and their home educated children, relaxing at home.
Together with the support of my family, my aim is to help parents educate their children in stress-free, nurturing environments. In addition to building and maintaing this website, I continue to create and manage local and national home educating networks, help to organise conferences and camps, as well as write for, edit and produce newsletters, resource directories and magazines. I am an active support of national, state, regional and local home education groups.
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We began educating our children in 1985, when our eldest was five. In truth, we had helped them learn what they need to learn since they were born. I am a passionate advocate of allowing children to learn unhindered by unnecessary stress and competition, meeting developmental needs in ways that suit their individual learning styles and preferences. Ours was a homeschooling, unschooling and natural learning family! There are hundreds of articles on this site to help you build confidence as a home educating family. We hope that your home educating adventure is as satisfying as ours was! Beverley Paine
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