Friday, March 20, 2009

Music Curriculum

Our son playing the thumb piano and singing Obwisana

Our son's favourite class is Music Together. He loves our teacher, his classmates, the music, the singers, the instruments and the actions we do in class with the music. And we as parents prefer Music Together music to any other music for young children as it doesn't seem to 'dumb down' at all and is quite complex. These days, our son loves to sing and play his sticks and drums to "Don Alfredo Baila". Here's another kid's version. He loves playing his egg shakers and thumb piano to "Obwisana". And he loves waiting to hear for Grandma Yvette's and Uncle Gerry's voices.

Needless to say, we want to offer him other opportunities to learn more about music. Here are recent favourites (we plan to keep adding to this page, so stay tuned):

Favourite Books (we borrow from the local library):

A House Is A House For Me
by Mary Ann Hoberman - how a story with rhyme can also teach about 'science', i.e. concept of house/home
A-Hunting We Will Go by Steven Kellogg - what better way to motivate your child to go to bed with a read and a song with this book!
Barn Dance! by Bill Martin Jr. and John Archambault - a scarecrow playing a fiddle and wonderful rhythm and rhyme... need we say more?
Ben's Trumpet by Rachel Isadora - with cassette, a great introduction to jazz and instruments
Clap Your Hands by Lorinda Bryan Cauley - fantastic book for copying gestures and movement to rhyme
Drummer Hoff by Barbara and Ed Emberly - book with tape, didn't think this would be popular, but it was! must be the drumming and the repetition
Frog Went A-Courtin' by John Langstaff - fun illustrations and a great introduction to poetry
Geraldine, the Music Mouse by Leo Lionni - helps explain how music makes you feel
Go by Daniel Kirk with CD - songs about cars, planes, firetrucks, police cars... GREAT for music and automobile lovers
Gobble It Up by Jim Arnosky - yes! a fun song about eating!
I Know a Shy Fellow Who Swallowed A Cello by Barbara S. Garriel - a fun book to intorduce to instruments and a change from There Was An Old Lady Who Swallowed A Fly
Jamberry by Bruce Degen - a wonderful book with play of words and rhyme
Let's make music: an interactive trip around the world - comes with book (how to make instruments and what books to read to the music) and CD full of songs
Old Black Fly by Jim Aylesworth - our son enjoyed partaking by saying 'Shoo Fly, Shoo Fly, SHOO!'
Orchestranimals by Vlasta van Kampen and Irene C. Eugen - a great introduction to orchestra instruments
Over In The Meadow illustrated by Ezra Jack Keats - lovely illustrations and a wonderful book to sing to the song
Puff the Magic Dragon with CD
Rondo in C by Paul Fleishman - our son loved learning that music affects people in different ways
South by Patrick McDonnell - a great introduction to music notes
The Itsy Bitsy Spider by Iza Trapani - this can come with a CD, story by changing words to the song (The itsy bitsy spider climbed up the kitchen wall...), fun to read/sing
The Star-Spangled Banner by Peter Spier - book to read/sing on 4th of July
The Story of the Orchestra by Robert Levine - when our son is older, this is what we're getting our hands on. It comes with a CD and you can listen to specific songs while reading specific pages... FANTASTIC!
This Jazz Man by Karen Ehrhardt - a play on This Old Man
Tingalayo by Raffi - if you know the song, this is fun for the kids
Too Much Noise by Ann McGovern - How to explain volume or noise in a story?? This can! And does it well! It's also fun to read.
Twelve Days of Christmas by Hilary Knight - great read and sing (or vice versa) along during Xmas time
Wheels on the Bus Pop-Up book by Paul Zelinsky with CD
Who Took Th Cookies From The Cookie Jar? by Bonnie Lass and Philemon Sturges
Who's in Rabbit's House? by Verna Aardema - a great introduction to actors in a play and to sound effects in a story, our son was mesmerized
Stephen Kellogg's Yankee Doodle by Edward Bangs - book to read/sing on 4th of July
Zin Zin Zin A Violin by Lloyd Moss - an eye catching book

Favourite Music (we borrow these too!):

Baby Loves Jazz
- our son found this interesting... talked about the animals playing the instruments, and requested "I Use Potty"while drumming away on his "own-made" instruments!!
Beethoven Wig Series - these are FANTASTIC! It makes learning classical music fun and each song in Wig 3 is instrument specific.
Classical Zoo - we didn't think this would be a hit, but it was! Our son played with his toy animals and drew pictures and requested Rossini's La Gazza Ladra Overture and Saint-Saens' Cuckoo again and again.
Ella Jenkins - she teaches children about music from games, instruments, rhythm
Music Together CDs
Putamayo - a fantastic array of world music for kids and adults!!! We love all of them but our son is fascinated particularly with the Sesame Street Playground
Suzuki Violin 1 - our son loves listening to the violin!
The Wiggles (especially Wiggly Safari) - he even has acquired the Australian accent saying 'snike, snike, snike' for 'snake, snake, snake'!


Music Events at the local Library - these are fun and very child friendly!
Music Events at the local Museum
Senior Recitals at the University - he has learned how to attend recitals (be quiet) and how to give them (he role plays)

Articles about Music:

Boston Conservatory Welcome Address
El Sistema - Venezuela's music programme for kids, this is an amazing segment from 60 minutes
Linda Ronstandt Arts Advocacy Day Testimony - why music is so important to children and their education
Music Education Can Help Children Improve Reading Skills

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