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July 17, 2015

Montessori Music: DIY Xylophone with Printable

One of the most beautiful things about Montessori, in my opinion, is that it allows children to discover the world and its mysteries and its joy at their own pace. This applies to every area of life, not just to academics. 

DIY xylophone for kids

When it comes to music, I try to offer the same chances for concrete exploration as I do with any other area of our home. Henry has access to a radio for when he wants to listen to music. He also has a variety of real instruments to explore. 

This is an area where I naturally struggle, but Henry naturally excels. He has a sense of innate rhythm that I very much lack. So, thank goodness, I get to follow him and his interests! Henry loves to play our piano, but I wanted to get him interested in other types of instruments too. So, I found this book Music Everywhere. It perfectly combined Henry's interest in geography and music by showing children from around playing traditional instruments.

From here, I created a DIY Xylophone work for him so he could play his own instrument. Here, he would get the chance to combine math, practical life skills and music to create his own instrument. Plus, a opportunity to follow "written" directions which is a great pre-reading skill. 

If you would like to do this work, you'll need:

  • 6 glasses -- should be the same 
  • Water 
  • Food coloring -- primary colors
  • Direction cards -- these are written so that non-readers can understand what they need. As long as a child knows their numbers and colors, they should be able to use the work once shown! 

montessori child, music theme, xylophone, printable

Henry was measuring, pouring, adding coloring and mixing in no time. To measure the water we used a water bottle with markings on it, but any container will do. You can see that the amounts were not exactly perfect, but it was close enough for the xylophone to work. 

Also, for the purple, we discovered it was too dark just to add the food coloring to 4 ounces of water, so we added to the pitcher than poured 4 oz out. I also laminated the direction cards with the hope that he could repeat this work for a few days, but the water ruined them. So, don't go through the trouble of laminating -- I just printed/cut another set. 

music, DIY, practical life, rainbow

When the xylophone was completed, Henry let loose! He loved the different sounds and exploring each glass. We talked about which glass sounded high and which was low. Then, we pulled out a "real" xylophone to see if the same was true with it. And, we just had some fun making up songs! See the xylophone in action on Instagram! 

I have a feeling this won't be the last of the musical instruments we make in our house! For now, I follow his interests and enjoy the intense concentration and discovery that comes with that! Do you have a musical child? How do you foster that interest? 

Montessori music for preschool

12 Months of Montessori Learning!

This post is part of the 12 Months of Montessori Learning series. This month's Montessori and Montessori-inspired posts are music themed! Check out these amazing blogs for more music inspired ideas! 

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Every Star Is Different
I LOVE the idea of having the kiddos create the xylophone activity, practicing their pouring, measuring and following directions! What a genius idea. My kiddos would go nuts over that!
Elaine said…
I LOVE LOVE LOVE this activity! This is both fun and educational for kids. Oh, I so have to do this when we get more glasses :) Thanks!!!
Unknown said…
THIS IS AWESOME!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Jae (Pinay Homeschooler)
So creative! I love all the colors and Henry seems to really enjoy creating the sounds! Love it!
Bess Wuertz
Bess Wuertz said…
What a fantastic idea! I must try it here. My kids will love it.
Unknown said…
Beautiful, as always! He looks so happy working with this DIY xylophone. And the printables are going to come in handy for a couple other ideas I have for my kids. Thank you!
Unknown said…
Oh, wow! Wonderful activity and beautiful pictures! It was fun reading through! ;)
Vanessa Thiel
Vanessa Thiel said…
Your photos are just gorgeous! I love this beautiful rainbow xylophone and I can't wait to do this activity with Little Bee. :)
Jennifer said…
Oh my I love this - will be linking to your great printables since we essentially did the same activity, but that addition makes all the difference.
Justin L. Brown
Justin L. Brown said…
In case you're searching for an extraordinary percussion instrument, then a wooden xylophone is an instrument you should consider Over the years the xylophone has developed to look and sound in an unexpected way. It changed shape and size as its development changed. Once in a while its made out of wood, pipe, bone or even fiberglass! The xylophone likewise made ready for its harsher sounding metal cousins; the glockenspiels and vibraphones. in xylophone
Eva said…
The purpose of the Montessori musical program is to develop the children’s nonverbal affective communication, to increase their understanding and enjoyment of music within our culture, and to enhance their ability to express themselves through music.