There are thousands of reasons to use children’s literature books in your music classroom. Here are just a few:
• Children just love books. They look at pictures, read the words, and escape into the pages of an adventure.
• All students enjoy having a story read out loud to them regardless of their age.
• Every element in music can easily be taught using books as a catalyst.
• Students can be composers with literature as a base. They can create a “B” section using words from the pages of a book; add verses to an existing story; establish mood of a story using different modalities; improvise melodies to represent characters in the story.
• Sound effects are a must with books. Who doesn’t want to make the sound of a “Crash”, “Boom”, “Splash” or “Plunk”?!
• Standards in our music curriculum include accompanying a musical work, performing in front of others, critiquing others’ performances. Children’s literature inspires these activities in the music classroom.
• Common Core Curriculum is all around us. Mainstreaming children’s literature and music is a natural connection.
Sandy and Gretchen are authors of Drum It Up and Creative Bits With Children's Lit.