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Full text of "The Discovery Of The Child"

THE BEGINNING OF MUSICAL ART            351

subject, especially with an accurate collection of musical pieces
chosen from classical music and the folk-music of every country,
agreed upon after being tried out for several years in the Model
Montessori School in Vienna.

Let us proceed now to a rapid review of the analysis and
development of the factors concerned in musical education.

RHYTHM AND RHYTHMICAL GYMNASTICS

The motor preparation for rhythmic gymnastics may be con-
sidered with reference to that exercise called 'walking on the line,'
through which little children acquire perfect assurance in equilib-
rium, and at the same time learn to control the movements of the
feet and hands.

It is during this slow, sustained walking that music may be
introduced as an aid to the effort which has to be sustained.
Having attained balance, however, education in rhythm must be
begun. Many lullabies are suitable for accompanying these slow,
uniform movements, which may be compared with the movement
of rocking. The addition of music to movement is in this case
a real accompaniment to the step which is already fixed, and it
penetrates it. In contrast with such music, there is a rhythm
which corresponds to running, and these two contrasting rhythms
are those to which small children are most responsive. As con-
trasts formed the first introduction to the education of the senses,
the same is true for rhythmic education. Besides, the steps,
slow and controlled by the difficulty of maintaining balance, and
the run are the two ways of moving preferred by children between
three and four years of age. On the contrary, the rhythmic jump
is not only a movement which follows the establishment of perfect
balance but it calls for a muscular effort to which the child is not
equal, owing to the special proportions of the child body. As for
the various steps corresponding to various rhythms, which would
correspond to the graduations in sense education, they can be
appreciated only at a later age (above five years of age).