Montessori educators and parents are pondering the kind of education our children need to become responsible and productive members of a global society. In order to create the kind of futuristic thinking necessary to cope with our ever-changing world, higher order thinking processes deserve attention now. An arts-rich curriculum can provide a vehicle for self-expression, self-understanding, self-confidence, creative problem solving and motivation (Pitman, 1998).
Researchers have found the arts (music most commonly) to have a positive impact on reading, math, writing, self-esteem, and brain development. The music-math connection in particular keeps coming up over and over again. Children who take music lessons score up to 35% higher on spatial tasks (Rauscher, Shaw, 1997). Attending a Montessori program from the approximate ages of three to eleven predicts significantly higher mathematics and science standardized test scores in high school (Gartner, A., Kerzner-Lipsky, D., 2002).If research indicates that learning through the arts can benefit the ‘whole’ child, and academic achievement scores are significantly higher for those students studying music, and if Montessori education produces a more academically accomplished child (Clifford & Takacs, 1991), then what is the potential for the child when Montessori includes an enriched music curriculum?