It is important for children to have the opportunity to actively participate, explore, observe, test and create during activities already in the kindergarten for they gain different experiences and knowledge doing that. One of these activities is presented in my thesis entitled Familiarization with materials in the first and second age group with percussion instruments.
The purpose of the thesis is to determine how much knowledge about materials, their characteristics and properties, which was gained through didactic instruments, was assimilated by the children of the first and second age group, as well as to place didactic (percussion) instruments as a suitable means of acquiring new knowledge through active and experiential learning.
The central part of the thesis refers to the technique, the significance of a child’s integration in the kindergarten, and then I focus on the importance of a child's observation of the world around him or her. I present the theoretical basis of various authors on active and experiential learning as well as the influence of the senses and music education on a child’s development. At the end of the theoretical part, I describe the materials and percussion instruments on a more detailed level.
In the empirical part I present didactic musical instruments made from three different materials (wood, metal, artificial material) which are described in detail and presented with pictures. Didactic musical instruments were tested by 20 children from the first and 20 children from the second age group in the kindergarten. The observation of the children was individual. In the field of music-technical activity, the children got to know the materials, their properties and characteristics through researching, observing, creating, testing and comparing didactic instruments, that is through experiential and active learning. In addition, they developed fine motor skills, hand-eye coordination, as well as tactile, auditory and visual perception. The process of active and experiential learning was evaluated. Quantitative data was collected by means of a self-designed observation sheet, two pre-tests and two post-tests. The results showed that through their senses the children acquired new insights, knowledge and experiences by being active on their own.
The extent to which different materials and instruments are used in kindergarten was determined by a questionnaire. It was completed by 47 professionals from the Central and Dolenjska regions. We have discovered that educators provide a variety of materials, fields and methods of work. When it comes to musical instruments, self-made rhythmic instruments are used in majority (mostly rattles filled with natural material).
The thesis focuses on didactic instruments, since the results show that they are a suitable means for familiarization with different materials and acquiring new knowledge at both age groups in the kindergarten. They arouse the children’s curiosity which is realized by observing, exploring, comparing, testing and sensing. This will give educators an insight into a different approach and method of learning about materials.