When children have developed their ability to distinguish between fine differences in sound, and they can organize a group of sound cylinders in a sequence from loud to soft or soft to loud, and understand the concepts of loud, louder, loudest, and soft, softer, and softess, they are ready to begin to distinguish between differences in pitch.
The bells are a beautiful material designed to help children explore the attribute of sound referred to as pitch. The bells are designed to look alike. They are all the same height and appear to be the same size. In reality, they vary in thickness which gives them each a different pitch. Each bell represents the sound of a note of the musical scale.
To begin, children learn to ring each bell and listen to its beautiful tone.
Another set of materials which provides an opportunity for children to explore pitch are the tone bars. As children listen to the pitch made by the bells or the bars, they can pair them by placing units together that make the same pitch, and later they can sequence them and make a musical scale.
Music Listening Station
In addition to having materials with which children can interact to explore the nature of sound, it is important to provide them opportunities to purposely listen to music. For this purpose, headphones in a listening station are provided along with a music library from which children can choose selections of music to which they would like to listen. Since young children have not yet formed opinions about music, it is important to expose them to a variety of musical styles and music from different periods. The adults should select music which represents the very best of each style.
Music is more than an auditory experience. It is an emotional experience and a language of expression. It is a way to relax and enjoy oneself either individually or socially. It has always been an integral part of social occasions, traditions, and rituals. In recent years research has shown that music can serve as a valuable stress reducer, therapy, and also can work as an important building block and organizer of the central nervous system. Thus, it is very important that children have an opportunity to develop their ear and their musical intelligence. This is only accomplished through activity. The above materials help provide activities which help lay part of the foundation. However, children also need to engage in singing, dancing, and rhythm activities. They need to experiment with playing various instruments and even learn to make each of the basic types of musical instruments.
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