Maria Montessori and music were never separate ideas. Since the very beginning of her philosophy, which started around 1907 with her first Children’s home in Rome, Maria Montessori valued music highly. A natural innovator and educator, Montessori focused on teaching children through a method that accompanies their natural learning progress.
Music, according to Maria, is vital in a child’s daily life as they develop their nonverbal affective communication, as well as their understanding and enjoyment of music, and learn to express themselves through music.
A few benefits of exposing children to music at an early age are:
Now, according to Carey Youngblood, an experienced Montessori music teacher, in her “The Montessori Philosophy in the Music Together Classroom” paper (2005), Maria Montessori had a concept called the absorbent mind. This was due to how Montessori used the scientific method to study children’s natural learning processes.
She found that whatever children are exposed to is internalized by the children and (…) imprinted on his or her soul. Therefore, “if a child is surrounded with music, the child will be a musical person. If a child hears their parents singing, the child will sing. If a child sees their parents dancing, the child will dance.”
That is why parent cooperation, and repetition are so important when it comes to Montessori education. Maria Montessori once said, “A child is an eager observer and is particularly attracted by the actions of the adults and wants to imitate them. In this regard an adult can have a kind of mission. He can be an inspiration for the child’s actions, a kind of open book wherein a child can learn how to direct his own movements.”
What Maria Montessori means to say here, is that children are very god at absorbing what his or her parents like or dislike. Children have this amazing “Absorbent Mind” we are talking about, that is very different than adult minds. Kids take in everything that surrounds them as a way to survive. “So therefore, the parent’s love for music and dancing and moving and shaking is essential for the child’s musical growth.”
That is also why it is very important for children in a Montessori education to be exposed to different aspects of diverse cultures, especially in the music aspect. As a child is exposed to rhythms and modes from around the world, the child learns to accept all types of music as they grow.