Mole Music

by David McPhail (Henry Holt and Co New York 1999)

peace with ourselves-peace with each other

recommended but available in CD only - maybe a hard copy in your local library


This very magical and uplifting story invites us all to believe we all have a special gift worth sharing. But Mole's gift of music, when it was shared with others, transformed the world. This story is for all ages to enjoy and share together contains many peace-building elements:

  • happy endings

  • everyone winning

  •     nonviolent resolution

  • imaginative and creative

  •     challenges existing stereotyping

  • faith and hope

  •     peace with the environment

  • finding personal peace

  •     Ö element that supports the idea that peace is possible

Quietly and peacefully, in his underground tunnel, Mole tirelessly practised and perfected his violin playing. Unbeknown to him, as his notes drifted into the evening air, these transformative and magical notes changed the people in the world living above Mole's tunnel.

"He even imagined that his music could reach into people's hearts

and melt away their anger and sadness.

Why, maybe his music could even change the world!"

Maria Montessori, inspiring early twentieth century educationist, believed all children are born with a special gift to share with the world. She believed educational environments should be structured in a way that should nurture and help children's individual gifts grow and mature in order for them to benefit the world. Maria Montessori was also one of the world's greatest peacemakers.

In the book, The Forest People by Colin Turnbull (Pimlico Great Britain 1993), Turnbill refers to the healing music that was sung and played by the forest pygmies. It was called molimo. The healing music healed the forest which then in turn healed its inhabitants. Peace-building storytelling is always molimo.

At the end of 'Mole Music' our hero finds his own personal peace...and dreams beautiful peaceful dreams.

Critical questions to explore with children

  • What did Mole believe?
  • What did he decide to do?
  • Did Mole persevere with learning how to play the violin?
  • What did Mole imagine himself doing?
  • Does the story have a happy win-win ending?

Creative questions to explore with children

  • What do you enjoy doing the most?
  • Is there anything you would like to learn how to do?
  • Would you like to live underground like a mole does?
  • What donít you enjoy doing?
  • What things do you have to do each day?
  • How else could the story have ended with win-win?

© Teaching and Learning for Peace Foundation February 2005

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