This term my preschooler started taking an online music class which is guided by the Suzuki approach. It's completely different to the music classes I've taken with my children before. The classes have dramatically improved my child's musical vocabulary. Towards the end of the class, the teachers read or sing a couple of books to the children. The classes have inspired me to start a small collection of music-related books to read at home. Initially, I selected books about the Orchestra!
First Book About the Orchestra by Sally Taplin. This is relatively short at ten pages but it has nine buttons to press that make a sound. The book starts with the Orchestra warming up then going through to the different instruments in the Orchestra. The sounds you can hear include the Orchestra tuning up, each group of instruments separately and at the end the Orchestra playing together.
Welcome to the Symphony by Carolyn Sloan has been a huge hit. It is about Beethoven's Symphony No. 5. From a Montessori perspective be aware the story is based on the narration of three mice who listen to the Orchestra. It has nineteen press buttons on the right-side panel which are self-explanatory. During the story, there are points where you are prompted to press the relevant number button.
This is a longer story at 31 pages. I love the definitions of Symphony, Pitch, Note, Dynamics, Tempo, Theme, Melody and Harmony. The definitions and the language used are fabulous for building vocabulary!
It takes the reader through each area of instruments such as the Strings, Woodwinds, Bass Section and Percussion. Here the child can learn the connection between the name of the instrument and its sound. It is also a lovely introduction to with work and life of Beethoven.
There is this lovely section at the back about children and music! ❤️ 🎶🎶🎶🎶
We are also loving The Philharmonic Gets Dressed by Karla Kuskin. This isn't so much about music but more about the Philharmonic Orchestra getting ready. It's fun and perhaps a little silly look at what happens behind the scenes as members of the orchestra get washed, dressed and get ready to play. The Philharmonic Gets Dressed was first published in 1982, it feels like a classic book about the Orchestra.
The Flying Orchestra (AU) by Clare McFadden is a whimsical and beautiful book. It is abstract and can leave the child thinking more deeply about music. The Flying Orchestra discusses the idea that music is all around us, telling the story of our lives.
The Flying Orchestra is set in Australia so the scenery may look familiar. It also has a good section at the back with suggestions of music to listen to.
Last week our music teacher also read Zin! Zin! Zin! A Violin by Lloyd Moss which is fun and engaging. 🎻
Please tell me if you have any good children's book recommendations about the Orchestra.
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