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Introducing Music Education with Picture Books

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By Beverly S. Krueger

For those who couldn't carry a tune in a bucket or never learned to play a musical instrument or read music, the music education of their children seem to be a major challenge. Music lessons are one good solution, but learning to appreciate and understand music can begin even before you feel your child is ready to take on piano lessons.

As with most subjects, I like to introduce new ideas by reading my children excellent picture books. Music is no exception. There are picture books that cover all kinds of musical topics. Picture books are perfect introductions, because by nature they keep the text to a minimum. It's so easy to get overwhelmed by facts when your first starting out exploring a new body of knowledge. Picture books tend to give you the highlights, the juicy bits, the parts that make you want to find out more.

There are so many ways of approaching music. You can learn about the instruments that play music, the great performers, or the different styles of music. The great thing about music is that an orderly progression isn't required. You can start by looking at a famous singer like Ella Fitzgerald. From there you can explore scat, jazz and the blues. You can find out what else was happening in American music in the twentieth century. Your learning trail might take you to Leonard Bernstein's "Rodeo." Bernstein's "Appalachian Spring" leads you on to Vivaldi's "Four Seasons." You find yourself listening to music composed three centuries ago. Once started the journey never really ends.

The following are reviews of a number of excellent picture books about various aspects of music. You can choose one of these as a jumping off point into the world of music for yourself and your children. We also have an extensive selection of other picture book possibilities you can sift through. They are available for purchase. Most of these books should also be available through your public library. You may just want to head to the library's music section (Dewey Decimal 780) and find a book that appeals to you.

Music Picture Books Reviews

Music Picture Books

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