AGE3.5 years onwards
Set 1A series of bells representing the whole tones and semi- tones of one octave from middle c. the bells are on black and white bases and correspond to the black and white notes on a piano.
Set 2A second series of bells identical in sound to the above set but all on plain wooden bases and a wooden board marked into black and white spaces which are wide enough to hold one bell.
A wooden striker
DIRECT AIMTo develop the child’s discrimination of pitch.
INDIRECT AIMTo develop the child’s perception of tones
To prepare the child for music.
Introductory exerciseDemonstrate how to play the bells up and down the scale. The child can then select a single bell and isolates it from the others at the front of the stand or takes it to the table. He then strikes and mutes the bell alternately, or he strikes the bell and allows the note to die away. The child is encouraged to sing the note.
- Name the bells and show the child how to carry them. The bell should be carried in an upright position only, with one hand gripping the stem and the other hand beneath the base.
- Tell the child that we are going to pair the diatonic scale.
- Set 1 is placed on the wooden board in the correct order. The Montessori Directress shows the child how to strike the bells with the hammer provided.
- Select three white and three corresponding brown bells on the board.
- The selected three brown bells should contrast in tone (low C, F and B for e.g.) Place them together, in a mixed up order, in the centre of the space on the table in front of the board.
- Take up the striker and strike one of the white bells (diatonic scale) and listen carefully to the sound. Then strike one of the brown bells and if it does not match move it to the far right hand side of the table.
- Strike the white bell gain, and try a second brown bell. Repeat until you find a match. Invite the child to strike each bell of the matched pair.