Thursday, July 10, 2014

Montessori Sound Boxes: Refining the auditory perception of volume in the primary class (Ages 3.5 - 4)

There are three aspects to the sounds that a person can receive: volume, pitch, and timbre. There are specific Montessori materials for isolating volume and pitch, beginning with the Sound Boxes. The aspect of Practical Life which was previously discussed as criteria of perfection is now called control of error in these presentations, because there is no inbuilt finishing point in the Sensorial Materials.

The control of error in the Sound Boxes is the child's auditory discrimination. They go through each set of sound shakers, segregated into color groups, and tests each one until they find a match. Even if it is not correct when they initially explore, there is no sense of correctness. The guide allows the child a degree of freedom to make mistakes as they have increasing perception. That understanding can only come through the child's own experience, not instruction in the degrees of sounds.

The direct aim is the refinement of auditory perception of volume, without an indirect aim

The age is 3 1/2 to 4 years old.

For the presentation, you prepare the boxes and then invite the child.

Materials make loose, matched pairs. The cylinders must be held on the side with the pincer grasp at a distance, so that the sound resonates most accurately.

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