Musically Montessori: Instruments of the Orchestra

Do you love seeing your children happy, engaged, and learning?

You and your group can enjoy twelve weeks of fun-packed music activities for the Montessori Early Childhood Environment featuring the Instrument Families of the Orchestra. 

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  • “Thanks for another great lesson this week. You really know how to make the music come alive for me and my granddaughter! As a former classroom teacher, I know how much work it takes to plan & prep a lesson and I really appreciate all the work you have put into making this course extra special.”

    — Debra Jones, eCourse student (March 2018)


 I have offered this series of lessons to young children for many years now and it is always greatly loved by the children (and me!)  

When you offer these lessons to the children in the Autumn, they are ready for the wonderful Winter Orchestral Performances that are geared to children, in particular Tchaikovsky's "Nutcracker Suite."

When you offer these lessons in the Winter months, the children may have already been to a Winter performance and so they have already had that concrete experience that makes these lessons even more meaningful, especially if the children saw a performance with a live orchestra!

When you offer these lessons in the Spring or Summer, the children will be able to really enjoy the outdoor classical music concerts for children that happen in that time of year!

In this eCourse, we will be exploring the 4 Instrument Families of the Orchestra:

~ Brass

Trumpet, Trombone, French Horn, and Tuba

~ Strings

Violin, Viola, Cello, and Upright Bass

~ Woodwinds

Flute, Oboe, Clarinet, Bassoon

~ Percussion

Snare Drum, Bass Drum, Timpani, Piano, Xylophone, Glockenspiel and various rhythm instruments.

I will be relating these topics to specific Famous Composers, as well as Basic Music Concepts, such as Tempo, Dynamics, and Pitch.    

Along with my video demonstrations, you will receive:

  •  Pdf Downloads of the Lesson Plans 
  • Visuals for circle time 
  • Templates for children's shelf work
  • And,  mp3 Music Downloads for Movement Activities & Focused Listening excerpts to illustrate the instruments being featured. 

Watch my video to see this curriculum in action!

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Testimonials from my first eCourse

You can read some of the feedback from students in my first eCourse, "Musically Montessori: First 12 Weeks"

  • Thank you so much Carolyn for creating such an amazing e course. I have been really inspired and look forward to creating such detailed and beautiful music lessons and work for my students! If you are ever in the Phoenix AZ area, let me know!

    — Amina, eCourse participant and Montessori educator from Emanuh Montessori
  • “I am still a few weeks behind in presenting your amazing lessons. I have a young group so a slower pace is beneficial. I look forward to when the children are comfortable enough to explore these more complex activities. They do look forward to music each week and I thank you for that! Your peaceful, enthusiasm in your teaching was such a blessing to me. I cannot begin to thank you enough. You have helped a teacher with no music background, immensely! Each week my confidence grows more and more as I present what I have learned from you. You are amazing! Thank you, again! Also, yes, I would like a certificate of participation for this course. Thank you!”

    — Linda Kinson, eCourse participant and Montessori educator
  • "Miss Carolyn makes music fun for children aged 3 to 99. She always has a pleasant smile and a calming voice. Her patience is palpable in a class of 36 children. She is always kind and finds ways to manage a hard to handle situation. Miss Carolyn's music curriculum seamlessly blends in any program - Montessori or not. After all, music is universal."

    — Donna May, S.F. Bay Area Montessori educator and administrator

If you are looking for a BASIC MUSIC TRAINING COURSE, I recommend my eCourse: "Musically Montessori First Twelve Weeks"


"Instruments of the Orchestra" is chock-full of activities

This on-line eCourse Training, "Musically Montessori Instruments of the Orchestra" is filled with enchanting music, amazing visuals, and unique activities presented in more than 50 instructional videos. And, it can all be viewed in the convenience of your own home or on your laptop at your favorite coffee shop!

The twelve lessons have many extensions that can make this curriculum stretch over more than just 12 weeks. My groups ask for these activities over and over, even months (or years!) later.

Exclusive to you: "Classical Fun Singalongs" cd in MP3 music format to download

I have been very fortunate to be able to arrange with the Franki family, to offer 24 selections from their wonderful cd, "Classical Fun Singalongs" to my students in this eCourse. I've used this music for decades with my groups as a classroom head teacher as well as nowadays as a music specialist. With my 25+ Montessori music classes I teach around the SF Bay Area, I play these songs for Movement and Focused Listening and the children ask for them over and over! 

They are one-minute long...perfect for young children!

A Movement Activity is an important component of every Lesson!

Table of Contents

Bonus Lesson: Preparation...It's All in the Preparation!
Week One: "And Now, Presenting...The Orchestra!"
Week Two: "Let's Move to Orchestra Music"
Week Three: Introducing The Brass Family
Week Four: More from the Brass Family
Week Five: Here Comes the Strings
Week Six: Lovely String Family
Week Seven: "Listen to the Flute"
Week Eight: More of the Woodwind Family
Week Nine: Finally...the Percussion Family
Week Ten: More and More and More Percussion
Week Eleven: Pitched Percussion
Week Twelve: Which Orchestra Family Is Your Favorite?

Preparing for the Course! Helpful hints, rhythm instruments, and props you will need in the course.

Check out the Bonus Lesson as soon as you enroll! 

Scroll down to the "Welcome" section to read about what to do to prepare for the course.

Props, like scarves, rainbow ribbons, and stick puppets add to the learning fun

Frequently Asked Questions

Is this course for Montessori educators only?

I have designed this course for Montessori Educators. However, if you are new to Montessori, you will also find it very helpful since the Montessori approach works really well in any early childhood setting. There will be links in the handouts to explanations of Montessori terminology. And, my instructional videos show you how to implement the classic techniques of the Montessori method in your teaching strategies.

Do I have to be a music teacher to benefit from this course?

No. This course is designed for all educators who want to develop their music curriculum in the early childhood setting. You don't need to have a background in music either. These lessons walk you through the content and the music downloads provide the tools for engaging the children.

How long do I have access to the course?

Once you've enrolled, you'll have access to the course material for a full year.

When can I start this course?

The BONUS LESSON is available to you anytime. This course opens officially on Sunday afternoon, February 25th, 2018. Lesson ONE will be published on that day. Each Sunday afternoon thereafter, a new lesson will be published in succession for the following 12 weeks. SCHEDULE: 2/25 Lesson One 3/4 Lesson Two 3/11 Lesson Three 3/18 Lesson Four 3/25 Lesson Five 4/1 Spring/ Easter Break 4/8 Lesson Six 4/15 Lesson Seven 4/22 Lesson Eight 4/29 Lesson Nine 5/6 Lesson Ten 5/13 Lesson Eleven 5/20 Lesson Twelve

What if I decide not to take this course, can I get my money back?

Yes! I sincerely hope that you really like my course, however, if you find it is not for you, then you can withdraw. You will be eligible for a full refund if you decide after your first lesson that you would like to withdraw. Just contact me and I will arrange the refund ASAP.

Are there materials I will need to use when implementing the Lessons?

Yes! There are rhythm instruments for the children that you will need to have on hand when offering the activities to your group. You will also need to have a cd or mp3 player for the recordings we will use in the movement activities and the focused listening activities in the lessons. You can read my list of necessary materials right now by scrolling down to the section on this page starting with "Welcome".

Can I receive professional development credits in this course?

I do offer a "Certificate of Attendance" that specifies 15 clock hours of attendance. Students obtain this certificate by answering the questions in each lesson. That is the way I verify on-line "attendance."

What's inside this 12 week eCourse Training


I would be delighted to have you join my eCourse and I look forward to getting to know you and what musical activities you already like doing with your group.

There is a BONUS LESSON for you to explore before you start the eCourse. There are videos and lists for you to see and gather your resources, prepare yourself, and prepare your environment.

1. If you haven't already joined the FaceBook page that is set up for dialoging with me and the others in the course, please do! I would love to have you join.

Here's that link:

Musically Montessori eCourse Facebook Group

2. This course, "Instrument Families of the Orchestra", is designed to present the 4 basic divisions of instruments of the Orchestra in a hands-on manner using Montessori principles of instruction.

I will be  covering the basics of:

Focused Listening: offering short excerpts from well-known classical music pieces for children to listen for particular instruments playing in the pieces.

Categorizing the divisions of instruments in a traditional orchestra including:

  • The Brass Family
  • The String Family
  • The Woodwind Family
  • The Percussion Family

Featuring famous composers of the music offered in each lesson

Introducing rhythm instruments to children without getting a headache!

Planning playful activities for hands-on experiences with the basic elements of music

Presenting the step-by-step process in each lesson as well as an appropriate, sequential music curriculum that builds skills

Having fun while learning, too! 

  • Circle Games
  • Exploring instruments
  • Movement, dance and drama activities 
  • Individualized shelf works 
  • Art projects 
  • Simple music performance ideas 

I have compiled a list of the materials you will need to get the most out of this course and to be able to continue offering wonderful music activities throughout the year, beyond these first 12 weeks!


  1. Music sound system (ex: cd player or iPod with speaker)
  2. These unpitched rhythm instruments for you and the children:

3.  A way to print off the visuals from the pdf file for each week's activity (and a laminating system as well)

4. At least one high quality pitched instrument (ex: Montessori brass bells, a true sounding Glockenspiel, etc.)  or a pitch pipe

5.  Time set aside each week to watch the 15 minute videos, review the lesson plans, prepare the materials you will need and to practice a little beforehand

6.  A way to download mp3 recordings from Amazon or iTunes AND/OR a way to purchase the the recorded music we will be using in the lessons (ex: Music from Mozart, recordings from Frank Leto, etc.)

This eCourse Includes the following music for you to download in Mp3 format:

~ "Classical Fun Sing-A-Longs" CD: Fortunately for you, 24 selections from this old stand-by of mine are included in the mp3 music downloads in this eCourse. These music selections are DIFFERENT from the ones included in my Musically Montessori eCourse, "First Twelve Weeks"

~ Music from various famous composers that I have compiled for you in Mp3 format from public domain recordings. 


  • Tambourines with heads: one for each child and teacher if your budget allows, otherwise rhythm sticks can be used instead. I use this brand: Rhode Island Novelty 5 in. mini tambourines Pack of 12. at Amazon
  • Chiquitas (small-sized maracas with a soft sound) At least one for each child and teacher, if your budget allows, otherwise rhythm sticks can be used instead. A pair for each person is ideal. I like these: Basic Beat Chiquitas at West Music
  • Sand blocks: a pair for each child and teacher if your budget allows, otherwise rhythm sticks can be used instead. I use these sand blocks from Kindermusik International: Green Sandblocks at $4.95 a pair.
  • "Baby's First: Instruments of the Orchestra" This wonderful cd is not available in mp3 format, but it is a very helpful and orderly introduction to the Instrument Families of the Orchestra. Unfortunately, it is also out of print, but it is possible to obtain from Amazon. I love this album. It has clear and lovely recordings of each instrument from each of the four families. 
  • "Rhythm Band Jam" (by Frank Leto) You can download the individual selections that we will use in some of the lessons, but I recommend just purchasing the whole album because there are so many activities you can use from this cd. If you go to Frank's website and purchase the cd, then you will get the little booklet that outlines the sequence of activities and how to do them. Otherwise, you can download the mp3 selections we will use from Amazon: HERE.

Got your music shelf set up?

You'll have lots of musical activities for your children to explore with each Lesson. So, you'll want to set up a music shelf! Each Lesson has a set of templates and/or Printables for you to create activities for the children to choose at work time. 

There are:  

  • traditional Montessori 3-Part Cards 
  • along with pre-reading matching activities 
  • small group and individualized materials for music games 
  • and always a lesson-related art project to reinforce the learning in a fun hands-on way   

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