Make a Story about Music Interactive During Your music class and lessons!

Make a Story about Music Interactive During Your music class and lessons!

There are a variety of children books out there that deal with music. What better to incorporate these stories on music then into your piano lesson! This is a great way of applying reading into the piano class. You could read the story to your student or  possibly have your student read part of the story.

To make these stories more interesting then just reading a good book at the end of class, I will make the story come to life by bringing the piano involved. One way of doing this is as the teacher play background music to the story. This will help the students sparks and creativity fly and make the story pop right out of the pages. 

Another way that is even more involved is by saying certain words that are in the story and when your student hears those certain words they have to play a particular note or rhythm on the piano. This makes sure that your student is truly listening to the story in great depth and they become involved in the story.

Below are some great books that these ideas and activities can be applied to!


Tuba Lessons
The tuba is about as big as the boy, who's warned not to ``dillydally'' in the woods, or he'll be late. He trots along a road of five lines, which looks suspiciously like a music staff; one line curves up to become a tree, which he first climbs and then naps under. A squirrel in the tree creates a giant musical note by fooling with the tuba; a host of critters poke their noses out of hiding places in the lines of the road. Soon there's a rollicking concert in the woods, interrupted by a ticked-off bear, who eventually succumbs to the music. There's a genial conspiracy between readers and the book's characters in the delight of dawdling, and a variety of events cleverly pace the book. Felix's illustrations are drawn on oatmeal-colored paper, which shows through the lines and smudges of pastel. Whimsical animals and ingenious compositions provide more fun, but this is serious art: Felix plays maestro to Bartlett's utterly childlike notions.


This Jazz Man
SNAP! BOMP! BEEDLE-DI-BOP! In this toe-tapping jazz tribute, the traditional "This Old Man" gets a swinging makeover, and some of the era's best musicians take center stage. The tuneful text and vibrant illustrations bop, slide, and shimmy across the page as Satchmo plays one, Bojangles plays two . . . right on down the line to Charles Mingus, who plays nine, plucking strings that sound "divine."


I Know a Shy Fellow Who Swallowed a Cello
This shy fellow, a wallflower, swallows a cello, followed by many more musical instruments, until at last he burps, belches, and bellows. Imagine how the instruments make music this way. Using her love of words and music, Barbara S. Garriel has created a zany and wild new look at an old favorite, There Was an Old Lady Who Swallowed a Fly, and added a surprise ending. John O'Brien's wacky and imaginative illustrations bring the read-aloud book to life.


Meet the Orchestra
This lyrical romp through the orchestra begins with animal musicians slowly gathering for the evening performance. Poetic descriptions suggest the sounds of the instruments, and lively watercolor illustrations capture the playful essence of each musician and musical instrument. “It’s a smashing introduction to classical music, and a must prior to a first visit to the symphony.


Music Over Manhattan
Parents and children alike will love this irresistible story about finding one's own special talent.

Bernie has lived his entire life in the shadow of his cousin Herbert.  But after Bernie's eccentric Uncle Louis teaches him to play the trumpet, he no longer has to play second fiddle to his cousin.  All of a sudden, "Background Bernie" is a big hit!  And when he plays his favorite song, "Moonlight Over Manhattan," at a family wedding, Bernie's magic can't be ignored.

Punk Farm
Farmer Joe heads to bed, Cow, Goat, Pig, Sheep, and Chicken pull out their instruments and electronic equipment, don their shades, and transform themselves into the rock band Punk Farm. Animals line up outside the barn to buy tickets, then settle in for a rousing show featuring a way-out version of "Old MacDonald Had a Farm," with each musician doing a solo. At sunrise, a none-the-wiser Farmer Joe finds his sound-asleep livestock not quite ready for "a big day of work.

M is For Music
Music and the alphabet have always gone together. Don't kids learn their letters by singing the ABCs? But you've never seen--or heard--a musical alphabet like this one. Beloved tunes. Unusual instruments. Legendary virtuosos. From anthems to zydeco, the language of music and the music of language harmonize in one superb symphony. It's a funky fusion for songsters of all ages! Includes endnotes.


Mole Music

A spiritual story about the far-reaching effects of private actions.

Mole has always led a simple life, but lately he feels something is missing. When he first hears someone playing a violin, Mole realizes that he longs to make beautiful music, too.

Through practice and patience, Mole learns to play. And even though he plays alone, in the privacy of his underground home, his music has an effect on others that is more magical than Mole will ever know.


Zin! Zin! Zin! a Violin

Then a trumpet joins in to become a duet; add a French horn and voila! you have a trio -- and on it goes until an entire orchestra is assembled on stage. Lloyd Moss's iresistible rhymes and Marjorie Pricemans's energetic illustrations make beautiful music together -- a masterpiece that is the perfect introduction to musical instruments and musical groups, and a counting book that redefines the genre.

Max has two sticks

Max doesn't much feel like talking, so he lets his drumsticks (two twigs, actually) respond to questions and imitate the sounds of his city neighborhood--pigeons startled into flight, rain tapping against a window, a train thundering down the elevated track. By linking Max's "drums" to activities from each previous page (for example, his grandfather is seen washing windows on one page, and in the next, Max is drumming on the cleaning bucket), Pinkney unobtrusively tugs the story forward. The fluid lines of his distinctive scratchboard illustrations fairly swirl with energy, visually translating Max's joy in creating rhythm and sound (Pinkney is well suited to the task, having been a drummer since the age of eight). A serendipitous ending finds the drummer from a passing marching band tossing a spare set of real drumsticks to the delighted Max.



Do Re Mi

If you can read musical notes, you can sing any song or play any piece. But musical notes have not always been here. Long ago, songs were memorized. If songs were forgotten, they were lost forever.

Passing The Music Down

A young boy travels to the hills of Appalachia to meet the old-time fiddle player whose music he has admired, and so sparks a friendship that will forge a bond between generations. The boy develops under the man’s care and instruction, just as seedlings grow with spring rain and summer sun. From playing on the front porch to performing at folk festivals, the two carry on the tradition of passing the music down. This touching, lyrical story, inspired by the lives of renowned fiddlers Melvin Wine and Jake Krack, includes an author’s note and suggested resources for learning about the musicians and the music they love.

Marsh Music

At night, ten different species of frogs convene in a marsh. Fireflies light up the scene and Maestro bullfrog raises his baton. The music begins, softly at first, but builds to a crescendo as the night goes on. Just before dawn, the frogs depart--but the serenade is not over... Although the story is a fantasy, each of the different species of frogs has been carefully portrayed, and described by the author in an Afterword. The musical terms are defined in a glossary. Young naturalists who are fond of frogs as well as youngsters who enjoy music will have a wonderful time as part of the marsh's nocturnal audience.


Squeak, Rumble, Whomp! Whomp! Whomp!

What’s that sound? The back door squeeeaks open, sounding like a noisy mouse nearby — eeek, eeeek, eeeek! Big trucks on the highway rrrrrrrumble, just as hunger makes a tummy grrrrumble. Ringing with exuberance and auditory delights, this second collaboration by world-renowned jazz musician and composer Wynton Marsalis and acclaimed illustrator Paul Rogers takes readers (and listeners) on a rollicking, clanging, clapping tour through the many sounds that fill a neighborhood.


Never Play Music Right Next to the Zoo.

Oh, children! Remember! Whatever you may do,
Never play music right next to the zoo.
They’ll burst from their cages, each beast and each bird,
Desperate to play all the music they’ve heard.

A concert gets out of hand when the animals at the neighboring zoo storm the stage and play the instruments themselves in this hilarious picture book based on one of John Lithgow’s best-loved tunes.

M is for Melody

From the oom pah pah of the brass section to the tickle and tease of the keyboard ivories, "M is for Melody" gives a music lesson in alphabet form. Instruments, composers, terms, and even musical styles are examined from A-Z in easy, read-aloud rhymes and expository, accompanied by colorful and engaging artwork. Based on MENC National Standards for Music Education, educators will find this a valuable addition to their classroom material.

For the Love of Music

By the time she was 12, she was considered one of the finest pianists in Europe, but today few people know her name. Maria Mozart, like her famous brother Wolfgang, was a musical prodigy. The talented siblings toured Europe, playing before kings and empresses, were showered with gifts and favors, and lived in a whirlwind life of music and travel. They were best friends, collaborators, and confidantes. As they grew older, Wolfgang was encouraged to pursue his musical ambitions, while Maria was told she must stop performing and, ultimately, marry. But she was determined to continue playing the piano every day, for the love of music . . . .

Jazz Baby

With a simple clap of hands, an itty-bitty beboppin' baby gets his whole family singing and dancing. Sister's hands snap. Granny sings scat. Uncle soft-shoes--and Baby keeps the groove. Things start to wind down when Mama and Daddy sing blues so sweet. Now a perfectly drowsy baby sleeps deep, deep, deep.

John was a Jazz Giant

Young John Coltrane was all ears. And there was a lot to hear growing up in the South in the 1930s: preachers praying, music on the radio, the bustling of the household. These vivid noises shaped John's own sound as a musician. Carole Boston Weatherford and Sean Qualls have composed an amazingly rich hymn to the childhood of jazz legend John Coltrane.

Skit Scat  Raggedy Cat

When Ella Fitzgerald danced the Lindy Hop on the streets of 1930s Yonkers, passersby said good-bye to their loose change. But for a girl who was orphaned and hungry, with raggedy clothes and often no place to spend the night, small change was not enough. One amateur night at Harlem’s Apollo Theater, Ella made a discovery: the dancing beat in her feet could travel up and out of her mouth in a powerful song —and the feeling of being listened to was like a salve to her heart. With lively prose, Roxane Orgill follows the gutsy Ella from school-girl days to a featured spot with Chick Webb’s band and all the way to her number-one radio hit "A-Tisket, A-Tasket." Jazzy mixed-media art by illustrator Sean Qualls brings the singer’s indomitable spirit to life.

Moose Music

Walking into the woods one day, Moose sees an old fiddle sticking out of the mud. With a dreadful, ear-splitting screech he begins to play. But Moose's music-making has a most disruptive effect on everyone he meets.



Peter and the Wolf

HERE IS NO better way to introduce children to classical music than with Prokofiev’s musical fairy tale of the little boy (played by all the strings of the orchestra) who, with the help of a bird (played by the flute), outsmarted the big, bad wolf (played by the French horns). And now with this book and CD package, children can look and listen all at the same time. A new retelling by Janet Schulman follows the basic story, but with a kinder ending for both the big bad wolf and the argumentative duck. Peter Malone’s paintings have the luminous quality of old Russian masters.

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