The bells are an important material in the Children’s House. They offer the child exploration of pitch, volume, music, composing, singing and many other aspects. Incorporating music in our environments could be by singing, fingerplays, bells, listening to music, or playing music while walking on the line. Singing in small groups, collectively, and individually should occur every day. Another way to have music daily in the Children’s House is through the bells. The children should freely choose the bells. We give children the keys to open the door for discoveries of pitch and the C major scale. Children have the opportunity to explore music in new ways. They are also an important preparation for the tone bars that are introduced in elementary.
Dr. Maria Montessori knew the importance of introducing children to music. The bells were a great discovery as a key to music instead of making the children feel like they were being put through a musical process. Dr. Montessori herself was not a musician but she deeply cared for music. In collaboration with Anna Maria Maccheroni, Dr. Montessori developed the bells.
The purpose of the bells is to provide the opportunity for musical experience, refinement of the auditory senses, and discrimination of auditory sounds. The bells are also used for walking on the line, teaching songs, and sensorial exploration. As the children work with the bells, they begin to see music as a universal language. Children can be introduced to the therapeutic and healing aspects of music. Children can discover the mathematical patterns throughout music. The isolation of pitch is also a major purpose of the bells. The bells are a beautiful material that should be incorporated and used every day.