An authentic Montessori preschool classroom has much to gain from music and movement activities. Interactive activities of this type address a wide range of early developmental skills, promote better speech, improve vocabulary, and more. Some activities even incorporate math concepts or other academic information to round out the benefits completely.
Motor Skill Development
Fine motor skills are used for manipulating small objects and gross motor skills are used for running, climbing, jumping, and other physical movements. Montessori preschools use a variety of participatory activities to hone these skill sets, including music and movement activities that encourage using them.
Language and Vocabulary
Through song and dance, children add new words to the ones they already know and learn to pronounce words correctly. Music and song are also useful in teaching children different languages and often provide them with side-by-side lyrics to further illustrate how languages vary but convey similar messages.
Just as singing helps children develop a strong vocabulary, reading along with favorite songs encourages preschool children to read more. Through song, children learn the different sounds available for vowel and consonant combinations and have the opportunity to try out new combinations. Cadence and timing are learned through children’s songs that incorporate special timing or pronunciation into the song.
Culture and Heritage
Song and dance teach culture and history. Directly and indirectly, children learn about the origins of common things, discover how their ancestors viewed the world, and absorb critical lessons about courtesy, geography, and more. The kids begin to learn about history through songs, develop important interactive skills, and build their ability to think critically about what they are singing and what it means.
From counting to learning where animals live or what they eat, music and movement are useful in conveying important lessons in an enjoyable format. Rhythm and rhyme follow fairly strict academic guidelines that not only show math and science in action but encourage children to use math skills subconsciously in the process of keeping in tune and learning to interact in unison.
Music and movement have been used by different cultures of the world to enhance communication or share information with those who speak different languages for thousands of years. Maria Montessori recognized the intrinsic value of music and movement and made it a fundamental part of the Montessori Method. In an educational system that is focused on total-child development, music and movement make an excellent tool that can be applied in numerous ways.