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Montessori Materials Spotlight - The Bells : Chromatic Scale

The Montessori method of education emphasises hands-on learning and exploration, and one of the tools used in Montessori classrooms to teach music theory is a set of bells. These bells are not only used to teach the diatonic scale, but also the chromatic scale.

Overview of chromatic scale:

The chromatic scale is a series of twelve notes that are arranged in half steps, and it includes all the notes of the diatonic scale as well as the sharps and flats that fall between them. Understanding the chromatic scale is essential for anyone who wants to learn how to play an instrument or compose music.

In Montessori classrooms, the bells are arranged in a specific order that corresponds to the chromatic scale. Each bell is a different size and colour, and they are labelled with a note name and the corresponding symbol. This helps children to associate the sound of each bell with its written representation, which is an important step in learning how to read music.

Benefits of chromatic scale bells :

The bells are also used to teach children about musical notation and intervals, which are the distances between notes. By playing the bells in different combinations and listening to the intervals between them, children can begin to develop their understanding of harmony and melody.

Like the diatonic scale bells, the chromatic scale bells are also used to develop children's listening skills and to encourage them to work together in a group. By playing the bells together, children learn how to coordinate their movements and to listen to each other's contributions.

Overall, the chromatic scale bells are a valuable tool for teaching music theory in Montessori classrooms. By providing children with a hands-on, interactive experience, the bells help to make learning about the chromatic scale and musical notation fun and engaging. They also help children to develop important skills in listening, coordination, and collaboration, which will serve them well in many areas of life.

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