I sometimes like to read books as a part of music time with early childhood kids.
My very favorite book to use is My Family Plays Music. I have examples of each kind of music on my device. And after a bit of practice, even two year olds can distinguish between strings and brass, classical and rock. They especially love to rock out to the electric guitar. I get them to show me how they play the violin, the organ, the drums, the trumpet, so that they get an idea of what kinds of body parts and movement are involved. With older ones, you can also explore tempo and dynamics. I love that this book is multicultural and shows families doing something they love together.
I love books that rhyme, feature instruments, and different kinds of sounds. It is important to make it interactive. Get the kids to show you how to play the instrument, let them repeat the rhyming sounds or offer their own versions, find ways for them to act out what is happening, sing what is happening, use their bodies to keep rhythm or make sounds. See if you can involve every sense as you go through the book.
Here are some more of my favorites:
I Know a Shy Fellow Who Swallowed a Cello Barbara Garriel
Mr. Brown Can Moo! Can You? Dr. Seuss
Sandra Boynton books are great for the preschool set. I especially love:
This one is great for using drums and finding a simple rhythm:
This one has a lot of movement:
This one teaches kids the well-known Carpenter’s “Sing a Song”. It also comes with a CD and has lyrics in Spanish:
This one has lots of movements and instruments – play marching band music while reading and then read back through while doing all the movements:
This one is very story-based so perhaps for older preschoolers and early elementary. Nice messages about working together and sharing our music. Would be wonderful to explore homemade instruments as well during art time:
That’s it for now. What do you like to use in your music and movement classes with the young ones?