The music area is conceived as a place where children can
explore materials and produce sound. Children’s autonomy and
self-expression are highly valued. For this reason, select durable
materials, particularly during the beginning of the year. Because
experiencing musical sounds and thereby enhancing the apprecia-
tion of music is also a valued goal for children, choose quality
instruments rather than inexpensive toys. This does not necessari-
ly entail a huge expense; quality wood blocks, triangles, drums,
and finger cymbals are relatively inexpensive. Teach children
ground rules from the first day of school for handling these real
instruments. For example, the drums can be struck with several
types of mallets but not thrown. This grounding allows children
to independently explore the instruments for the rest of the year.
Children learn quickly to appreciate the instruments if the
teacher also values them.