Happy Music In Our Schools Month!
This is a great month to bring music to our students, building, school district and community. I love using children's literature in music class, especially as a way to start something new or important.
To help you kick-off Music In Our Schools Month, I'm sharing ten of my favorite music books to read to your elementary and middle school students.
- Ah, Music! by Aliki - This book is really dense with information. However, it divides it into sections the students can understand, such as Music is Sound, Conductor, Practice Makes Perfect, etc.
- M is for Melody: A Music Alphabet by Wargin & Larson - This book is part of a series that helped students learn about subjects and vocabulary words through the alphabet. It is also based on national music standards!
- Music Everywhere! by Ajmera, Derstine & Pon - If you're looking for an easy read with multicultural information, this is it! The pictures and descriptions are wonderful and represent how many cultures make music throughout the world.
- Music Class Today! by Weinstone & Vogel - I read this story to my Junior Kindergarteners at the beginning of the year, but it can be used at any time. It tells the story of music class, complete with instruments, scarves and one little boy who isn't sure if he wants to participate. The author has recorded the story into song, too. Love!
- Music Is... by Stosuy & Martin - This story introduces styles, sounds, instruments and more to little learners. The pictures are bright and vibrant featuring different ages and races throughout.
- Music is for Everyone by Barber & Smith - I cannot say enough awesome things about this book. I read it to the kids at the beginning and end of school, including once more in March. The rhyming text helps connect the many different genres and sounds of music. I also recommend using this at the beginning of a music appreciation class and having student share their favorite kind of music (yes, it includes rap and heavy metal!). So many uses!
- I Got the Rhythm by Schofield-Morrison & Morrison - I found this neat book at our school book fair last year. The girl in the story hears rhythms, beats and sound everywhere. She starts snapping, dancing and moving along. This is one of those stories that you can introduce and then come back to for scat, improvisation, rhythmic speech, etc.
- The Music in Me by Pinczuk - This sweet story is about a little boy and his love of music. Everyone around him is playing an instrument and he just can't get it right. He eventually learns the music is inside of him thanks to the Magic Music Man. Bobby McFerrin helped with the creation of the book and has some accompanying tunes.
- The Really Awful Musicians by John Manders - If you're looking for a book for older children, this one is always a favorite of my kids. The story and pictures are hilarious! The musicians of the kingdom are so bad that they are all captured and fed to the crocodiles (big selling point for older kids right there!). A few head for the border, meet up and try playing music together. It's terrible. Eventually, they learn to play together and write down the first musical notation. It's a goofy story, complete with sound affects all the way through. I also like using this with a beginning chorus or band because it teaches students to work together and listen to one another.
If you are only looking for one book this month, I highly recommend "Sing" by Raposo & Lichtenheld. This timeless song (from Sesame Street) has been given new life with this lovely picture book. The first few pages have no words, only the pictures of birds singing and flying away. One small bird doesn't have a song - yet. The CD is included and is great to leave for a substitute or just have fun and sing along. If you want to share a book with a wonderful message, make it "Sing."
I hope you have a wonderful month spreading the joy of music! Please let me know if you are unable to locate one of the books I've listed and I'll help you find it. Take care!