Read about music and musicians


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Describes an assignment for a middle school music history class.

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Read about music and musicians

  1. 1. Read about Music and Musicians<br />Picture books that feature music or musicians as their topic <br />
  2. 2. Composers are people: people with a special talent. Performers are people who devote much time to understanding the composers so they can perform their works properly. <br />Many writers make music with their words. When you read their books aloud, you are performing their works, much like a musician performing a solo or a symphony. <br />Consider the following books. You will need to chose one for the assignment. <br />
  3. 3. Zin! Zin! Zin! a Violin <br />This short and colorful book illustrates the talents of a violinist with drawings and with language. Each page adds a performer to create a new ensemble and uses more figurative language in the form of onomatopoeia. The illustrator won the Caldecott Honor award. Enjoy the Zin, Zin, Zin of the violin and the mournful moan of the trombone as you read this clever story. <br />
  4. 4. The Maestro Plays<br />Remember Chicka, Chicka, Boom Boomand Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What do you See? Both books are by gifted author Bill Martin, Jr. Bill Martin, Jr., also worked with Vladimir Radunsky to create The Maestro Plays. The Maestro in this book plays in different ways. Look for the adverbs on each page; Martin uses words you might not always connect with music, showing that a maestro can be one who uses language well, too. <br />
  5. 5. Charlie Parker played Bebop<br />I challenge anyone to read this without be-bopping, jamming, or dancing. Author and illlustrator Chris Raschka captures the feeling of jazz saxophonist Charlie Parker and his new form of jazz, BeBop, in a rhythmic and musical text. <br />
  6. 6. Beethoven Lives Upstairs and Mr. Bach Comes to Call<br />Written from the perspective of a young boy, this story describes Ludwig von Beethoven as a person and neighbor. <br />Mr. Bach Comes to Call in a different manner. He arrives as a ghost advising a pianist. <br />Also available in this series, the Classical Kids collection, are Vivaldi’s Ring of Mystery and Mozart’s Magic Fantasy. Vivaldi and Mozart are orchestral performances that include a narrator reading the stories. (Available on CD)<br />
  7. 7. The Philharmonic Gets Dressed <br />The Philharmonic gets Dressed shows a different kind of art: the costumes of a symphony orchestra. Known as concert black to those who perform, this story follows musicians as they prepare for a concert by getting dressed in their tuxes and tails, their gowns and glitter. <br />
  8. 8. Your assignment is this: <br />Read one of the books. Write a review of the book. The review needs to include three paragraphs: <br />Title and author of book and a brief Summary <br />Your reaction to the book – how did you like it? Why? <br />Describe the music of the book:<br />a. If it features a composer or musician, what did you learn about the composer as a person?<br />If it is a shorter picture book, how did the illustrator and author make the book musical? <br />If you have another book in mind that will fit the assignment well, please call or email me. Tell me the title and author and why you think it works. <br />
  9. 9. Images: all book covers from<br />Clip art courtesy of Google Images, all in public domain <br />