In addition to the rich Montessori curriculum provided in the Primary classroom, students have the opportunity to study art, foreign language and music in the course of their day. Recess and lunch are specially designed to further develop children’s sense of curiosity and love of independence.
In the Primary classroom, students learn to use their voices, participate in singing games, and generally enjoy the area of music. They also learn basic rudiments of music theory such as rhythm vs. beat, loud vs. soft and fast vs. slow. By the kindergarten year, students are learning the basic rhythmic units such as half, quarter and eighth notes. In addition, they have the opportunity to apply their musical knowledge as they learn to play the school’s Orff Instruments. These beautiful wooden instruments are designed to isolate difficulty, and assist students in playing simple or complex pieces in an ensemble. Kindergarten students present a choral performance and Orff concert each spring.
The French curriculum at the Montessori School of Syracuse carefully follows students’ developmental windows. Most research on foreign language acquisition shows that the best time to learn a foreign language is from 0 – 6 years of age. The Montessori French program mirrors much of the regular classroom instruction, but in French. Working with a teacher who speaks French throughout the lesson, students are introduced to colors, parts of the body, numbers, and basic phrases. Games, exercise and songs also bring French to life in the classroom.
Art is ever-present in the Montessori classroom. Beginning with the classic prints that decorate the walls, children are exposed to an environment that invites them to develop an aesthetic sense of the beautiful. Watercolor, tempera paint, cutting, gluing, and pasting are all part of the daily offering of activities in the classroom. Students will often study a specific artist, such as Van Gogh, Picasso or Kahlo, learning about the artist’s style and life.