Me Too and Kal-El have been studying Suzuki violin since June. They know how to count a few rhythms by now, most prominently: tiri tiri ti ti, and ti tiri ti tiri. A couple of weeks ago Kal-El pulled an ornament off of our Christmas tree, brought it to me and told me he found "notes." He asked me what kind of notes they were. It was a pair of sixteenth notes so I told them they were "tiri." (The kids are learning some kind of Kodaly counting at this age. They will learn how to count "properly" later. Yeah, yeah...I know some of you think Kodaly counting is proper counting. Let's not bicker.) He asked me what "ti ti" would look like and I told him the pair would have one beam instead of two.
I was cooking dinner and forgot all about him for a while. I looked up some time later when he exclaimed "Look Mom! I made 'tiri tiri ti ti'!" He had made several trips to the Christmas tree and had brought back a motley assortment of sixteenth notes and icicles. He had laid them out on the kitchen counter to look like this.
See how he tried to use the icicles to make his eight notes? I left him to his own devices and he worked out several rhythms and counted them. (If you are musically literate please note that I realize all of his 16th note pairs needed to be flipped over.) Here is a photo of his "ti tiri ti tiri" (strawberry strawberry, or as I would count it "1-&-a, 2-&-a"):
Wait! There is a proper Montessori material for this (almost) and I suppose this was the unequivocal sign that he is ready!
Sooo...I placed my first ever order from Nienhuis. I felt very hoity toity afterward too :) None of the other Montessori suppliers actually carry the notation materials. What I wanted was THIS:
For once, the Neinhuis prices were somewhat proportional to what I felt I was getting. The only similar material I found elsewhere was this one from Music in Motion (a super-fun catalog to peruse by the way); the MIM material was surprisingly much more expensive. Since the MIM version was felt and velcro rather than wood, more expensive, and didn't suit the activities quite as well I went with then Nienhuis version.
I planned to make my own staff boards from construction paper. However, the wood ones from Nienhuis were also almost reasonable so I splurged on a set. They turned out to be on backorder so I wound up making my own anyway.
I also ordered Jean K. Miller's book "Montessori Music Sensorial Exploration and Notation With the Bells. The Gettman book has enough presentations given for the bells. It does not provide any notation presentations. This is likely because the bells are not considered "music education" in the Montessori curriculum, but rather a sensorial material for auditory discrimination. I'll post more about Miller's album and some other music album options later this week.
Nienhuis offers a few other music materials that I wanted but were strangely unreasonably priced. I made most of those myself as well and you will see them later this week as well.
The Nienhuis "music signs and notes" material is oddly inconsistent about the rhythmic materials it includes. I had to DIY some additions to our set to make it all work for us. This post is already rather long so I will let you know what I added, how I did it, and show you some pictures of the boys using the material tomorrow!
If you are looking for the rest of my series on Montessori Music, there is a tab at the top of my blog under the header, or they can be found here!