Monday, December 21, 2009

Music for Montessori and Johnette Downing

Music for Montessori and Johnette Downing by Liz Hannan

Please check out Johnette Downing’s CD collection for great songs to use
in your Montessori circles. The melodies are delightful and her recordings are pure.
She always includes the lyrics on the jacket. Yeah!!!
Everyone will be able to sing along with ease.
You will discover that her songs connect with your units
and they are also great for part cards.
The language is rich and will expand everyone’s vocabulary.

I am excited to share with everyone how Johnette Downing has enriched my music circles in 11
Montessori schools within the San Francisco Bay Area.

BTW: I lined my tray with peel and stick felt.
This keeps the noise down as instruments get passed around the circle.

The first instrument I introduce for passing is the egg shaker.
It is the easiest for their small hands and it is a no fail manipulation.
I have it in a small, egg shaped box and present it as teachers present all
Montessori materials.

Heads up…I place the egg in the box but leave the lid on my work rug.
Otherwise each child will return the lid to the box and every other child has to remove it.
Great exercise for other circles but too much time for music since
I have other instruments I want to pass.

From her CD, Fins and Grins, we sing Johnette’s The Aquarium.
I shake the egg on the word, “strange”.
I do the first 3 verses and then pass the egg on my tray.
When it is returned to me we all sing the refrain one last time.

Johnette’s Circle of Life is classic for any unit on fish and/or the sea.
It includes graduated sizes of fish as well as the food chain.
The movements are fun and easy.
When the children have really learned the song well I
do the hand movements but do not sing the names of the fish.
The children love this challenge.

You must check out Johnette’s Second Line CD for songs with scarves.
The songs are easy, darling and great for movement.
I was so excited to do these songs.
I bought small, bright colored scarves which were great for floating.

Here is what happened to my circle.
Being Montessori children they all began to fold the scarves into squares and triangles.
I did not have the heart to stop that activity but it took the rest of my circle time.
Not to be out done and miss out on great songs…I changed to hands.
Ta Da !!! Hands up, 2-3-4-5-6-7 and 8. Hands down, 2-3-4-5-6-7- and 8. Etc.

Have fun with Johnette Downing in your Montessori schools.

Liz Hannan
Music for Montessori
Music Together
Children’s Music Network

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