Shady Oaks Montessori

Shady Oaks Montessori Music

“Our aim is not merely to make the child understand, and still less to force him to memorize, but to touch his imagination as to enthuse him to his innermost core.” – Dr. Maria Montessori

“Shady Oaks has blown our minds. Our girls are THRIVING. Their creativity, love of learning, belief in themselves, and interest and confidence in researching and problem-solving is off the charts. They are able to learn at their own pace, as well as teach others, and there’s no cap on their exploration and intermingling of subjects. We’re also recognizing that the shared values of this Montessori community are really preserving their innocence and, in a way, extending their childhood.”
– B.C. (Parent of an 8 and 10 year old)

PRIMARY MUSIC (ages 3-6)

(ages 3-6)

3 – 6 year old children experience music from around the world using resources from FiddleFox specifically designed for Primary Montessori children.

Other musical concepts built upon over the year:

  • Singing ‘Hello’ individually (following a pitch with the rainbow ball)
  • Can your feet find the beat? (lollipop drum) & listening for the mystery rhythm
  • Bodies following the pitch of my glockenspiel or slide whistle (gross motor)
  • Beating on their knees while saying a rhyme
  • Gross motor movement using their space bubble
  • Circle songs
  • Fun finger rhymes for fine motor development 
  • Playing the beat on different percussion instruments (while singing) 
  • Finding their high voice and and singing in tune together (listening)
  • Musical stories creating sound effects using instruments
  • Weekly introduction to a new instrument and its culture
  • Scarves and movement (and then folding the scarf)
  • And….. their FAVORITE musical game “The Money and the Key!”


(ages 6-12)

Music for 6-12 year old children builds upon the foundation of Primary music. Children have Montessori Tone Bars in their environment to use anytime once they have received a lesson. Children can ask for extension music lessons during the week or to incorporate music in their presentations as a ‘follow up’ work related to study in the elementary curriculum.

Elementary music is developmental and sequential incorporating all musical elements:

  • Singing – pitch, melody, harmony, choir
  • Beat and rhythm – using body percussion and untuned percussion instruments
  • Playing instruments – ORFF percussion, hand drums, keyboard (upper elementary), 
  • Montessori Tone Bars – scale degree numbers and scales/modes/circle of 5ths/reading music 
  • Movement – folk dances, choreographed and free movement
  • Creating – composition, choreography, songwriting, combined arts activities
  • Music Theory – Music Mind Games and Montessori Tone Bars
Elementary Music combines the arts (drawing, painting, craft), drama, poetry and cultural study to give children an integrated music experience. Elementary children experience live concerts through guests at Shady Oaks, the Cascade Theatre and other relevant productions in Redding, CA. ALL elementary children participate in a child-led Winter Show every December.
Rebekah Van Tinteren, Music Guide

My music approach is based on Suzuki Philosophy and I also incorporate principles of ORFF-Schulwerk. Suzuki Philosophy is based on introducing music in the same way babies acquire spoken language naturally in their home environment.  Here are 3 key Suzuki concepts- although there are many!

  1. EVERY child is born with the musical seeds of ability and in a properly prepared environment, they will grow! 
  2. New skills develop sequentially, but focus is always on refining already acquired skills.
  3. Children learn from each other. 

Rebekah holds a degree in Education from Flinders University (South Australia) majoring in Elementary Music with minors in Special Needs and Japanese. She studied Violin Performance at Elder Conservatorium, Adelaide University (South Australia) and also holds a Diploma of Suzuki Education (Aus). 

Rebekah has previously run her own Suzuki Music Studio for children including classes for parents with new born babies, toddlers, preschool and also beginner Suzuki violin through to preparing for violin students for university. As a violinist, she has played and toured in Australia, Asia, Europe, the South Pacific and the United States. As a songwriter/composer, she has released 4 albums of original instrumentals and songs – ‘This, Your Song’, ‘Rather Have You Wild’, ‘Being.’ and ‘Notes to Nurture’.

Amy Sholdt, Upper Elementary Guide

Amy grew up in a military family and moved around living in Colorado, Virginia, Florida and even Ethiopia. After getting her Masters in Teaching, she worked in the public education system for 23 years. During those 23 years she taught in Georgia, Colorado and Malaysia, teaching Kindergarten, 2nd grade, 3rd grade, 5th grade, 6th grade, and as the elementary and the middle/high school librarian. Amy received her AMI Elementary Diploma from the Montessori Institute of Atlanta in 2019. During this training, she experienced many mind transforming revelations about this educational approach. “If only I had found this years ago!”

Why Montessori? “Montessori was something I knew nothing about, even when I said yes to first working as an assistant at Shady Oaks. As I went through training and began working with the kids at school, I fell in love with the approach. Not just because it resonated in me with how children at this age learned but also due to the joy and peace I see in the children each day.”

Miss Amy is assisted by Sara Potard.

Elementary Program Hours:

Monday – Friday 7:45am – 3:00pm

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