Orlando, Florida – Founder and Executive Director of Dream A World Education, Inc Bunny Hull and Stephanie Pelly, Montessori Peace Educator conducted a teacher training workshop for Montessori Teachers at the American Montessori Conference which wrapped up last week.
There was standing room only as Hull and Pelly, who co-created the Young Masters Little Wisdom Curriculum for Montessori and other educational centers, greeted teachers from around the U.S., including some who traveled around the world to learn some of the resources they both use to teach children 4-8. The workshop titled, Building Classroom Community and Character Though Music, focused on using music, chants, call and response and other techniques to imprint important universal principles in the minds and hearts of children at their most impressionable ages.
“I believe that music is a great communicator,” said Hull, “and you don’t have to be an accomplished musician to use music in your classroom. If you can count to four or press play on a CD, you can use song, rhythm instruments and other musical tools to create a lasting impression on a child.” One of the methods used was to take familiar nursery rhymes and songs and rewrite the lyrics, employing messages you wish to convey. An example given was “Are You Sleeping Brother John”, altered to say “I am peaceful, I am peaceful, yes I am, yes I am. Participants helped to explore how many different themes could be addressed just by changing one word. There were additional rhymes and songs explored. These are songs everyone knows and that are easy to sing.
Hull also shared the resources used in Dream A World Education’s “Secret of the Heart” residency programs and how music and arts are utilized to explore important universal themes such as friendship, kindness, imagination and gratitude.
One participant, Donna Rowe Leffler, a Montessori teacher at Montessori Children’s House in Des Moines, Iowa, who later purchased music from Dream A World reported, “This was one of the best workshops I have been to. Thank you for sharing your talents with us. My class loves the new CD’s that I came home with.”
Stephanie Pelly shared her “Peaceable Being” project for children, which teaches them to identify the qualities that make them who they are: What values do they employ? What talents and ablities?
Accompanied by a Power Point presentation created by Pelly, which included images, lyrics, art activities and additional outside resources which were supplied, teachers were taught songs, techniques, chants, call and response games and ideas which they could take home and immediately implement in their classes. Resources for this workshop can be found by visiting this link. http://dreamaworld.com/2013/03/resources-from-building-classroom-community-and-character-through-music/
“Stephanie Pelly is a valuable member of the Dream A World Education team,” said Hull, “And I love working with her to achieve the good that we can bring to teachers and children everywhere.” This was Dream A World’s second year at AMS and this was a presentation that was practical and applicable to the classrooms of Montessori Teachers and an opportunity to take Dream A World Education’s standards to a new and important setting.