A first series of bells representing whole tones and semitones of the octave from 'middle C'. The bells are on black and white cases and correspond to the black and white notes of the piano.
A second series of bells identical in sound to set 1, but all the bases are natural wood color.
- A wooden staff board (for teaching the child to read music at an appropriate age).
- A striker.
- A dampener.
This can be an individual exercise or a group exercise to be carried out in the floor on the floor mat (Note: work cycle to be observed)
- Set 1 is placed on the wooden board in the correct order.
- The Directress sits beside the child and shows the child how to strike the first bell on the board with the striker by hitting the bell at the side.
- Then she shows the child how to use the dampener to dampen the sound made.
- Allow the child to try.
- The Directress then starts the pairing exercise by taking three contrasting bells from Set 1.
- First, she strikes the bell from Set 1 and then encourages the child to find the matching bell from Set 2.
- Place the matching bells together.
- Continue in this matter until all the bells are matched.
- Exercise 1:
When the child understands the object of the exercise he can work alone pairing the bells. To start with, the Directress can give the child only two contrasting bells to match, then only the white notes and finally the complete octave with tones and semitones.
- Exercise 2:
A later step is for the child to distinguish differences and to grade the bells. Using Set 2, the bells are scattered randomly on the table. The child strikes one bell and then another placing the lowest to the left and the highest to the right. He continues until the octave is in the correct order.
Control Of Error
Set 1 (black and white set) acts as a control of error for Set 2 (natural wood set).
Points Of Interest
The names of the notes and how to write them are taught later and the material available for this will be dealt with in the Primary course.
- Provide matching and grading exercises in pitch in order to refine the sense of pitch.
- Develop the child's auditory memory.
- Stimulate the child's interest in music.
- Introduce the child to the basic scale on C.
- Prepare the child for reading music at a later stage.
May use glasses of different height of water to create this Montessori bells.