15 Picture Books About Music

Children can learn just about anything from a beautiful picture book.

In our ongoing efforts to bring quality music to children, we're bringing you complimentary music lessons that go along with some of our favorite picture books. 

Following is a list of 15 of our favorite picture books that have music connections. There are SO MANY MORE, but these are 15 that have been used, well-loved, and requested time and again. They are also books that will naturally go along with many of our SQUILT self-directed music appreciation volumes and our SQUILT LIVE! lessons.

Let these suggestions provide a springboard for developing a love and appreciation of composers, instruments, and music in general! 

 

 15 Picture Books About Music

Picture Books About Performers

{The four books in this category spotlight Jazz musicians who have broken racial barriers to become legendary performers, composers, and musical pioneers.}

In our SQUILT LIVE! studies this year we will focus on African-Americans and Jazz in February, Black History Month. 

 

 

This Caldecott Honor book, written by Troy "Trombone Shorty" Andrews is the story of his childhood growing up in New Orleans and falling in love with the "musical gumbo" of the city.

The message of the book is very powerful - and it also inspires young children to become musicians.  Children can learn about Jazz, New Orleans, the trombone, and much more!

 

 
 When Marian Sang

When Marian Sang: The True Recital of Marian Anderson

 

 This book serves as a wonderful, approachable introduction to opera and also the struggles of an African-American opera singer in the United States.

~ "Marian knew about prejudice. She had seen the trolley drive past her family as they stood at the corner. She knew that her people were always the last to be helped in a store. But she could not understand how anyone who was surrounded by the spirit and beauty of music could be so narrow-minded."

Marian Anderson's (1897-1993) journey to a performance on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial was long and fraught with prejudice, presidential involvement, and the breaking down of walls that sometimes only music can accomplish. The gorgeous illustrations and text from so many famous songs will engage readers of all ages. 
 

 

Skit-Skat Raggedy Cat

This book - actually a short first chapter book - is the perfect introduction to Ella Fitzgerald and Scat Singing! 

To learn about an African American music pioneer - who was also a woman - is important for our children. And.... this is ELLA FITGERALD, whose music is fun and engaging for adults and children alike. 

Children will love learning a little more about Ella and listening to her radio hit from the 1930's, A Tisket A Tasket!

 

 

 

Duke Ellington: The Piano Prince and His Orchestra

The perfect companion to Ella Fitzgerald is Duke Ellington, one of the pioneers of Jazz.  (He can really fall into the composer category, too!)

The Duke Ellington Orchestra played at the Cotton Club in New York City for five years and brought the new sounds of Jazz to that city. 

Duke Ellington is now regarded as one of the most innovative performers, composers, and conductors in history. 

"Because of Duke's genius, his Orchestra now had a musical mix like no other. Now you've heard of the jazz-playin' man. The man with the cats who could swing with his band. King of the Kyes. Piano Prince. Edward Kennedy Ellington. The Duke."


Picture Books About Composers

Most people have heard of Bach, Mozart, Sousa, and Gershwin;  you may not, however, know about Cristofori or Ives.

The six books in this category cover composers from the Baroque to Modern Eras. 

(And, if you are familiar with our SQUILT Musical Eras series, being able to place a composer in a musical era and identify the era by the sound of the music is a skill children can get quite good at!)

 

Becoming Bach

JS Bach is one the composers all children should learn about. (He's even one of our SQUILT Spotlight composers!)

This GORGEOUS book - told from the perspective of Johann Sebastian Bach - features large two-page spreads that completely captivate the eye. Younger children, in particular, will gravitate towards this book because of its simplicity and vivid illustrations.

The story also provides a lot of information about the legendary Bach family tree and JS Bach's obsession with patterns in music. 

 

 

We don't often give much thought the invention of the piano - when it was invented, why it was invented, and WHO invented it. 

This book is perfect for your young piano players, as well as any reader who wants to learn about this instrument. 

We like the book because it also gives readers a lot of musical terms, which we strive to incorporate in all of our SQUILT lessons!

 

 

 

Mozart: Scenes from the Childhood of the Great Composer

This is one you'll just have to reserve from your library, because it is difficult to find it anywhere to purchase. 

Narrated by Mozart's sister, Nannerl, this book provides an insight into the childhood of Wolfi (Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart). It is interesting because it also provides a glimpse into the fact that his sister could have been every bit as famous as Mozart - if it weren't socially unacceptable for women to be professional musicians in the Classical Era. 

The book takes us on the travels of Nannerl and Wolfi - with their triumphs and tragedies. 

Mozart was quite a character as a youngster, and children can relate to him quite well. For this reason, Mozart is always a favorite when we learn about him in our SQUILT LIVE! classes!

 

 

Anything written by Patricia Polacco is wonderful, and her historical fiction picture book about the ducks at the Peabody Hotel in Memphis is no exception! 

Based on the actual ducks at the hotel, Polacco gives us John Philip Duck - one very special duck who is trained to perform to the music of the legendary John Philip Sousa - known as The March King. 

You might also enjoy our complimentary music lesson to go along with this book! 

(And we think a trip to the Peabody Hotel is definitely in order, too!)

 

 

The Music in George's Head

This story - which traces George Gershwin's life and what influenced him to write Rhapsody in Blue - helps children learn more about this American Modern Era great.

"It was on the train, with its steely rhythms, its rattle-ty-bang that is often so stimulating to a composer...And there I suddenly heard - and even saw on paper - the complete construction of the rhapsody, from beginning to end."

A reading of this story will naturally be followed by listening to Rhapsody in Blue, which is a piece all children be familiar with. 

 

 

 

What Charlie Heard

The illustrations in What Charlie Heard perfectly reflect the music of Charles Ives - unexpected, sometimes chaotic, and FUN! 

One of our SQUILT LIVE! composers for the summer of 2018, Charles Ives developed a unique AMERICAN sound. He gained inspiration from everyday things in his daily life in New England. 

After reading this book we might wonder where the future of music history (does that make sense?) is headed -- in 100 years what will children be studying that reflects our current day?


 

Other Picture Books About Music

 

The Story of the Incredible Orchestra

This book serves as the perfect general introduction to the instruments of the orchestra. Once children are able to identify instruments by sight and sound they are then able to speak quite articulately about a piece of music!
 

( Tip: Use our Meet The Instruments cards and curated videos to learn along as you read this book. )

 

 

A retelling of the classic Brothers Grimm story, The Bremen Town Musicians is just a FUN read for your children! It's one of those "must know" stories for childhood.

Younger children especially will enjoy making sounds to go along with each of the animals in their journey to Bremen Town - maybe even gathering some rhythm instruments and playing along to make it extra fun. 

 

 

 

This book - a Reading Rainbow selection - is a sweet story that encourages children to think about their elders in different ways.

Reading the book can spark discussions about the music our grandparents enjoyed, and how favorite music can vary from place to place. 

Such a SWEET book that your children will remember for a long time.

 

 

The Singing Snake

Teach your children about the DIGERIDOO with this beautifully illustrated book!  

We guarantee your children will ALWAYS remember the instrument and where we get the expression "snake in the grass". 

In a recent reading of this book to a group of children, you could have heard a PIN DROP because of the children's anticipation of what was going to happen to the main character in this story. It's truly a fun story that will have your children begging you to play the sound of the digeridoo when it is over!

 

My Country 'Tis of Thee: How One Song Reveals the History of Civil Rights

A large part of music is SONG, and this book teaches children about the history of Civil Rights through one song.

Tracing the song from Colonial days all the way until modern times, we learn the power of a song and its lyrics - and how those lyrics can inspire and empower generations of people. 

This is a song all children should know - and this book does a beautiful job of helping us teach it to them! 

 

 


Trombone ShortyWhen Marian Sang: The True Recital of Marian AndersonSkit-Scat Raggedy Cat: Candlewick Biographies: Ella FitzgeraldDuke Ellington: The Piano Prince and His OrchestraBecoming BachThe Music of Life: Bartolomeo Cristofori & the Invention of the PianoMozart: Scenes from the Childhood of the Great Composer (Windy Edge) (2005-04-30)John Philip DuckThe Music in George's Head: George Gershwin Creates Rhapsody in BlueWhat Charlie HeardThe Story of the Incredible Orchestra: An Introduction to Musical Instruments and the Symphony OrchestraBremen Town MusiciansGeorgia MusicThe Singing SnakeMy Country, 'Tis of Thee: How One Song Reveals the History of Civil Rights

 

Join us at any time for live music appreciation lessons - let your children do the learning while you take a break!

Posted on June 15, 2018 and filed under books.

John Philip Duck & The Washington Post March

Music and literature can be paired together beautifully.

As we teach our children to appreciate good music, we can engage them with quality literature as well. 

This post is the first in a series of music and book pairings.

These quick, easy (and 100% FREE) lessons will expose your children to a piece of music, a composer, and a story.

Of course, we're always here with music appreciation volumes and our SQUILT LIVE! program to help you give your children MORE, as well.

 

 Music and a Story: John Philip Duck & The Washington Post March

Read the Story - John Philip Duck

 

This is a delightful story that immediately makes you want to turn on that march music. What a perfect way to learn about The March King, John Philip Sousa.

"Edward loves his pet duck more than anything. He raised it from a baby, and now it follows him everywhere - even to the big fancy hotel in Memphis where he works with his father. Everyone at the Peabody loves to watch that little duck do tricks; why, it can even waddle up and down in time to a John Philip Sousa march, which is why Edward decides to name it John Philip.

But one day the hotel owner finds John Philip in his lobby fountain and he is NOT amused. Until Edward has an idea. What if he can train a bevy of ducks to march along behind him, swim in the fountain all day, and then march out every evening? If Edward can do that, the owner tells him, he and John Philip will have a permanent place at the Peabody. But can it really be done?"

(via Amazon)

 

Learn More About The Washington Post March

Watch the following video with your children - it uses the first section of the music to give some interesting facts about the march.

 

Watch this United States Air Force Band perform the entire march. 

Can you move around the room to the beat?

Maybe you have drums or other rhythm instruments to use to respond to the beat?

This isn't "sit still and listen" music - it's is MOVEMENT music!

 

Draw What You Hear

Give your children this Draw What You Hear Sheet. Have them listen to the music and draw whatever comes to their minds.

 

Learn More About John Philip Sousa

Use the following links to learn more about the composer, John Philip Sousa:

 


 

Learn EVEN MORE: Join SQUILT LIVE!

The Washington Post March will be one of pieces I teach about LIVE this summer in the SQUILT LIVE! membership.

We'll spend 45 minutes learning about the piece - the instrumentation, rhythm, mood, tempo, dynamics, and more!

It's going to be a wonderful summer of learning about patriotic music. Don't miss it!

Music Appreciation for Summer

Summer is the perfect time to give your children something different - something you might not have included during the regular school year.

The summer months are also the time when we celebrate our patriotic holidays - Memorial Day, July 4th, and Labor Day. 

A knowledge of American music is essential - the music of American composers reflects our history, values, emotions, and attitudes. Music allows us to celebrate, reflect, and truly see into the spirit of people.

Join us this summer as we explore American music - best of all, parents/teachers don't have to do a thing. Let ME teach your children in live music appreciation sessions each month!


Music Appreciation to Celebrate America 

Several broad categories of American music are included - March, Folk, Broadway, and Symphonic.  (We have already studied Ragtime and Scott Joplin in our SQUILT LIVE! lessons this past year.. download a video sample of that lesson for FREE! )

(In our LIVE! lessons we will celebrate the life of Leonard Bernstein. His 100th birthday would have been in August. The impact he had on American music is tremendous.)

Play these pieces for your children. Do a little research about each one. Learn about the composers. Draw pictures. Encourage your little ones to respond with movement.

A list of books to go along with this theme is also provided at the end of the post.

Six pieces are given here. If your children want more, simply look for other pieces by the same composer. You can always fall down a music rabbit hole quite easily! 

 

In our monthly SQUILT LIVE! lessons we will be exploring these pieces in greater depth, and learning more American music through our monthly listening calendars. PLUS, when you join SQUILT LIVE! you immediately receive access to over 200 hours of archived lessons and teaching materials. 

Join before June 1 and take advantage of our low introductory rates!

 

The Waltzing Cat by Leroy Anderson

 

Variations on America by Charles Ives

 

Washington Post March by John Philip Sousa

 

Oh, Susanna! (arranged for orchestra) by Stephen Foster

 

Overture to Candide by Leonard Bernstein

 

Mambo from West Side Story by Leonard Bernstein

 

 

Books to Enhance the Music

What Charlie HeardJohn Philip DuckMy Country, 'Tis of Thee: How One Song Reveals the History of Civil RightsAmerica My Country 'Tis of Thee: An American Song About Freedom (Patriotic Songs)Music Was IT: Young Leonard Bernstein88 InstrumentsM is for Melody: A Music Alphabet (Art and Culture)

 


Enjoy a summer of music appreciation with your children!

I'd love for your children to join us in SQUILT LIVE! this summer -- parents love the flexibility, convenience, and ease of use for MULTIPLE ages!

“We began using the SQUILT program last year and my daughter has enjoyed it but having the opportunity for her to learn directly from you is a blessing!”
— SQUILT LIVE! parent
“I am so pleased with what you put together. I am teaching 5 children in a co-op. Their ages and abilities vary. It’s so rewarding to see them learning this material, and being excited about it. “
— SQUILT LIVE co-op teacher
“You are such a blessing. We are thankful to have you and your love for music as part of our homeschool and part of our lives. Though we may only spend an hour “with” you during our Live sessions, your spirit and passion stay with us long after.

Thank you for making music magical.”
— SQUILT LIVE! parent
Posted on May 17, 2018 and filed under books, holidays, SQUILT LIVE!.

5 Reasons to Join SQUILT LIVE!

Children deserve a quality music education.

Music represents everything beautiful in the world. It gives us a window into the lives of composers in different eras. It puts us in touch with each other's humanity. It elicits feelings and emotions like nothing else can.

Music is a gift - one that is so very simple to give to our children.

Through Super Quiet UnInterrupted Listening Time, children learn the essential elements of music through listening to beautiful music. They practice the habit of attention. They develop a repertoire of pieces they enjoy and can keep in their memory bank forever.


Children have been using our SQUILT PDF music appreciation curriculum for years. 

Through our simple, effective lessons - that are 100% scripted for the parents/teachers - children's vocabulary of and appreciation for music can be broadened and nurtured. 

Now, we've made things even EASIER for parents and teachers. 

Enter SQUILT LIVE -- where a music appreciation expert (Mary) teaches live, online lessons to children.

 

Here are the top five reasons to join SQUILT LIVE!

 

SQUILT LIVE! Makes Music Fun!

Our students are engaged throughout their live lessons. 

Through listening maps, chants, hand motions, silliness with their teacher, and interactions with each other, SQUILT LIVE! lessons are something children anticipate with joy! 

Many times a composer's life will provide interesting tidbits for children to latch on to - such as the fact that Tchaikovsky was afraid his head was going to fall off while conducting, so he conducted with one hand while holding his head on with the other! (I'm pretty sure when children hear The Nutcracker from then on they will imagine Tchaikovsky holding his head on! )

In the weekly email sent out to SQUILT LIVE! parents each week there will be suggested resources, books, and other engaging materials to make the subject come alive for children.

Music is FUN! 

And guess what?  If our children associate learning about beautiful music with fun and happiness NOW, those feelings will translate throughout their life.

 

This student is moving according to which instrument family she hears during a lesson about The Chinese Dance - from The Nutcracker.

 

NO Work for the Parent

Wouldn't it be nice to not have to worry about this one thing?

A membership in SQUILT LIVE! assures you of this: all lesson preparation and teaching is DONE. Not only that, but it is done by a professional music teacher (Miss Mary) with over 25 years of experience in classrooms, churches, piano studios, co-ops, and homeschool. 

One of the hidden benefits of SQUILT LIVE!, however, is that parents are learning right along with their children. It's a great opportunity for YOU to reclaim your own music education!

These children are learning that the Modern Era of music can be SURPRISING!

 

SQUILT LIVE! Builds a Habit of Attention

Each live lesson includes an extended period of time to simply LISTEN. 

The children, however, aren't just letting their minds wander. They are listening for the specific elements in a piece of music - things like Rhythm, Tempo, Dynamics, Instrumentation, and Mood.
 

Even our youngest listeners (ages 3 and 4) are able to listen to 4-5 minutes of a piece of music and articulate their feelings about that piece, whether it is through verbal narration or drawing what they hear. 

How often in our world today do we require a child to sit for five minutes and just LISTEN to something without words?

(I would challenge many adults to do this without becoming restless.)

 

Children Learn the Vocabulary of Music

Our seasoned SQUILT LIVE! students know their Elements of Music well and can use them in a discussion about a piece of music.

This child is listening to Mozart's Variations on a French Nursery Theme (we now know it as Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star) and recording her impression about each one of the variations. 

Our Elements of Music posters can be quite helpful to children when learning to speak and write about music, too.

 

Children OF ALL AGES Gain a Lifelong LOVE of Beautiful Music

Children are sponges, and if we expose them to things of beauty consistently they will naturally crave them. 


We are building happy memories around music - creating a musical culture in the home. 

Just as an adult who loves reading was most likely exposed to books as a child, so an adult who loves music probably grew up in a home where music was valued and appreciated.

These children demonstrate how music from the Romantic Era can be happy AND sad.

Children ranging in age from 3-13 enjoy our live lessons. In fact, the lessons work particularly well with multiple ages sitting around the kitchen table learning together! We provide something for all ages to keep their hands busy and express themselves while listening.

It's a BEAUTIFUL thing.


Watch a SQUILT LIVE! Lesson and Decide for Yourself

 

Click below to gain exclusive access to a SQUILT LIVE! lesson about Scott Joplin's Maple Leaf Rag. This is a fun one! Children following a listening map to learn about one of the most famous Ragtime pieces ever written! 

 


What are you waiting for? 

Begin giving your children a quality music appreciation TODAY!

 

Posted on May 3, 2018 and filed under Free Lessons, SQUILT LIVE!.

Learn About Chopin's Minute Waltz

One of the most approachable and memorable piano works for children is the "Minute" Waltz, by Frederic Chopin.

As we seek to spread a feast of beautiful music before our children, we must not neglect the piano music of Chopin. 

Known as the Poet of the Piano, Chopin was one of the defining composers of the Romantic Era.

Learning about the Waltz in D flat minor, Opus 64, no. 1 (otherwise known as the "Minute" Waltz) is the perfect entry point. The piece is short, evokes a vivid mental image, and has quite the clever story to accompany it. 

The Minute Waltz is the perfect piece to add to your child's growing music appreciation repertoire.

 

 Learn About Chopin's Minute Waltz

The Minute Waltz

Written in 1847 by Frederic Chopin, this waltz was first known as The Waltz of the Little Dog, because Chopin watched a little dog - named Marquis - chasing its tail while he was composing the music! The dog was a friend of Chopin's and Chopin actually wrote about him in several of his letters.

 

Children can learn all about Frederic Chopin through reading the beautiful biographies,

Son of Poland (Early Years) and Son of Poland (Later Years). 

 

This piece is now commonly referred to as the "Minute" Waltz. (and yes - pronouncing it like the unit of time - one minute)

As your children listen to this piece, point out to them that the TEMPO (speed of the beat) is Molto Vivace, which is Italian for very lively.

But here's the thing...

The piece takes LONGER than one minute to play.

It is actually called the "Minute" Waltz because it is a small (miniature) waltz.   (How about a lesson in homonyms?)

If you listen carefully, you will hear that the waltz has two distinctly different sections - an A and a B section. The overall FORM of the waltz is ternary (3 parts) - or ABA.

 Chopin's Minute Waltz

 

Enjoy this video all about the Minute Waltz - including a challenge for your children at the end!


This piece is one of many we learn about in our live music appreciation lessons - SQUILT LIVE! To access our ENTIRE ARCHIVES of recorded lessons, lesson packets, teaching videos, and more, simply join our monthly music appreciation membership! 

Designed to make music appreciation easy, enjoyable, and approachable, the lessons are engaging and fun. If you cannot attend the live lessons, we make recordings available.

AND, a subscription to SQUILT LIVE! also comes with monthly listening calendars, product discounts, teaching tips, and a special members-only SQUILT volume - SQUILT Goes to the Movies.

Come learn about beautiful music today in SQUILT LIVE!

 


Posted on March 16, 2018 and filed under Composer Study, Homeschool Curriculum, music appreciation.

Classical Music Inspired by Birds

Nature is the inspiration for so many beautiful pieces of art and music.

With spring just around the corner, it's a good time to listen to classical music inspired by birds. 

Whether you share these pieces just for their intrinsic musical value or incorporate them into a study of birds in your home, school, or co-op, we think they're a charming addition to any child's music appreciation repertoire!

Included are a few teaching and listening suggestions and a free printable to make the most of this charming music with your children.

We hope you enjoy this music "for the birds"!

 Classical Music Inspired by Birds


Teaching This Music to Children

Each piece below has a few points for discussion. Children can also draw while they are listening, using this Draw What You Hear Sheet.

Children love this activity because it is creative, low-stress, and allows them to actively listen. Of course, we always encourage a first listening of the piece when everyone is SUPER QUIET - thus Super Quiet UnInterrupted Listening Time! Then, the second time they can respond verbally or by drawing.

 

There are pieces from each of the four major eras of music. To explore these even deeper you might be interested in our Musical Eras series

 


10 Pieces of Classical Music Inspired by the Birds

 

Vivaldi - Concerto in D Major ("The Goldfinch")

Listen for the flute in this concerto. Why is the flute a good instrument to imitate bird sounds?

 

 

Vivaldi - The Four Seasons, "Spring"

A very familiar piece, your children should easily hear the birds in this piece - can you hear the violins sounding like birds?

 

Handel - Concerto in F ("The Cuckoo & The Nightingale)

Listen for the pipe organ and how it imitates Cuckoo and Nightingale songs. Your children will also hear a Baroque orchestra and harpsichord. 

 

 

Beethoven - Pastoral Symphony

In this video from Fantasia it should be easy to picture the birds (although they are flying unicorns!) that Beethoven had in mind. If your children close their eyes can they picture a pastoral landscape that Beethoven was imagining when he wrote this symphony?

 

 

 

Saint-Saens - "The Swan" from The Carnival of the Animals

This Romantic era composer was a master at depicting animals! In this piece, from The Carnival of the Animals, Saint-Saens used the cello to imitate the graceful and peaceful movements of the swan. While not actually sounding like a bird call, this does sound like a swan, doesn't it?

 

 

Saint-Saens - "The Cuckoo in the Depths of the Woods" from The Carnival of the Animals

Here's another lovely piece by Saint-Saens - this time he uses a clarinet to depict the sound of the cuckoo. How many times do your children hear the cuckoo call?

 

 

Messiaen - The Blackbird

Messiaen was actually a master of musical ornithology. Listen to the play between the piano and the flute. What do you imagine is happening? Messiaen, a 20th century French composer, was known for meticulously depicting birdsong in his compositions.

 

 

Vaughn-Williams - The Lark Ascending

What does the word "ascending mean"? Can your children hear the violin music moving upwards? This music depicts the very free sounding song of the Skylark. This piece is a staple of classical music.

 

 

Rachmaninov - The Sea & The Gulls

In this musical painting, ask your children if they can hear the sea with the gulls swirling overhead? Can they use adjectives to describe the sounds? Remember, all answers are correct - you simply want to get your children listening critically.

 

 

 

Joplin - The Silver Swan

How about some Ragtime? Scott Joplin, the King of Ragtime, wrote this rag, "The Silver Swan". Why do you think it sounds like a swan?

 


Did you know we offer LIVE music appreciations online for children?  SQUILT LIVE! is a fun way to check music off of your list of the many things you have to do with your children - learn music from an EXPERT and fun doing it! 


Posted on February 28, 2018 and filed under Free Lessons, music appreciation.

Learn About Mozart - Free Listening Calendar

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart - perhaps the greatest composer who has ever lived.

(He is also one of our picks for the 5 Composers Children Will Enjoy.)

Children can relate to Mozart (affectionately nicknamed "Wolfie") because of his precocious nature and playful spirit. Children AND adults feel an immediate connection with Mozart because of his ordered, soothing, and quintessentially "Classical" music. 

Whether your children know a lot about music or just a little, learning about Mozart and HIS music is a gift they will retain for their entire lives.

 

 Mozart for Kids - How to Easily Teach Children About This Composer - includes a free listening calendar

Keep it Simple

When you teach children about a composer, keep it simple. Don't force it. Learning about a composer should be enjoyable and stress free.

Many times you can sneak music in the back door - include it in your Morning Time, listen in the car, listen throughout the day. Add a read aloud about the composer you are studying. Provide yummy snacks while doing Super Quiet UnInterrupted Listening Time.

Be creative! Music is just a part of our lives!

Three things are essential for a memorable study:

  • Provide quality books about composers.
  • Immerse children in the composer's music.
  • Dig deeper to teach about the music itself.

 

At SQUILT Music we believe in a lot of Super Quiet UnInterrupted Listening Time to train children how to LISTEN TO , ANALYZE, and APPRECIATE beautiful music. 

 

Listen to a piece of music one time being SUPER quiet - after that initial listening you can listen again and begin to discuss what you heard. You would be amazed at how effective just LISTENING can be. 


Books About Mozart

 Our favorite biographies about composers are by Opal Wheeler. If a biography for a composer exists by Opal Wheeler, we always start there. Mozart, the Wonder Boy is a beautiful book about Mozart as a child. It gives our children insight into his genius - and they can relate to his childhood shenanigans, too! 

Thomas Tapper wrote very sweet biographies about composers, too. Most often you can find these on Project Gutenburg free of charge. The books are printable and a great keepsake for your studies. The Child's Own Book of Great Musicians: Mozart is perfect!

More Mozart books:

Who Was Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart?World History Biographies: Mozart: The Boy Who Changed the World With His Music (National Geographic World History Biographies)Mozart (Famous Children Series)Musical Genius: A Story about Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart (Creative Minds Biography) (Creative Minds Biographies)Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart: Musical Genius (Famous Lives)Mozart : The Young MusicianMozart: 59 Fascinating Facts For Kids About Wolfgang Amadeus MozartWolfgang Amadeus Mozart (Famous Childhoods) by Turner, Barrie Carson (2003) Library BindingWolfgang Amadeus Mozart: World-Famous Composer (People of Importance)Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart (Famous People)Mozart Finds a MelodyYoung MozartMozart, The Wonder Boy (Great Musicians Series)Child's Own Book of Great Musicians: Mozart (Illustrated)Lives of the Musicians: Good Times, Bad Times (and What the Neighbors Thought) by Krull, Kathleen [Paperback(2011/9/13)]

 


 

A Month of Mozart

Immerse your children in the music of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart by providing one piece of his music each day for your children to enjoy.

By the end of the month your children will EASILY be able to recognize a piece by Mozart and talk to you about what makes Mozart's music uniquely MOZART! 

This listening calendar is provided free to you this month - SQUILT LIVE! members receive a calendar like this each month to complement our music appreciation studies. 

Included are 31 pieces (with 2 by Leopold Mozart, Wolfgang's father) - and a few directions to make the most of the calendar. This calendar will provide your children with a rich exposure to Mozart's music.

 


Mozart Composer Spotlight

Our Mozart Composer Spotlight is then the perfect way to dig deeper into the life and music of Mozart. It will be the perfect addition to the month of Mozart should you choose to extend your child's learning.

Included in the spotlight are teaching instructions for three of Mozart's most famous works, notebooking pages, listening links, and supplemental activities. 

We explore the music of Mozart in depth and teach your children how to critically listen for rhythm, tempo, dynamics, instrumentation, and mood. You can use the study exactly as directed, or you can pick and choose what you have time for and will enjoy.

SQUILT studies are good for ALL ages, and especially for multiple ages learning together!


Mozart LIVE! Lessons in January

In January, 2018 our SQUILT LIVE! lessons will focus on the works of Mozart. 

Basically, you receive two live lessons - which includes instruction from Mary, lesson packets, and supplemental activities. You also receive access to EVERY SINGLE lesson in our archives - and the recorded lessons that go with them. 

Let us do ALL THE WORK of teaching for you - simply login to the webinar and let your children enjoy themselves while learning. 

Simple. Easy. Affordable. DONE.

Find out everything you need to know HERE.


Learning about beautiful music should be enjoyable and memorable. We hope this equips you to teach your children about Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart!

 

 

 

Posted on December 29, 2017 and filed under SQUILT LIVE!, Spotlights, music appreciation.

Learn About The Nutcracker - with SQUILT LIVE!

The story of The Nutcracker provides an array of learning opportunities for children.

It is so much more than the childhood story of the Nutcracker fighting the Mouse King, or being able to recognize The Dance of The Sugarplum Fairy. 

The Nutcracker is a classic tale (actually first called "The Nutcracker and The Mouse King" by ETA Hoffman), commissioned as a ballet in 1891. The music, composed by Peter Ilyich Tchaikovksy, was almost an instant success, but it took over 100 years for the ballet as a whole to become a Christmas tradition.

Learning about Tchaikovsky's Nutcracker Suite is an enjoyable, meaningful, and worthy activity during the holiday season. Wouldn't it be wonderful to have your children become well versed in The Nutcracker - without you having to do a THING? 

 


Learn About the Nutcracker

One of our most popular products at SQUILT is The Nutcracker Unit Study, is a open-and-go curriculum piece that teaches children a little about the history of the story, ballet, and four prominent selections from the Nutcracker Suite.

This is a wonderful little introduction to a much LARGER and complicated work.

This year we are diving into the music of The Nutcracker in our SQUILT LIVE! music appreciation lessons.

 

SQUILT LIVE! is a new, membership-based option to make teaching your children about music appreciation EASY! 

It's been my heart's desire to teach children about beautiful music - my experience as a elementary music teacher as well as a homeschooling mom and curriculum developer - have uniquely equipped me for this exciting opportunity to work with children all over the world! 

Here's what people are saying about SQUILT LIVE!:

I am so pleased with what you put together. I am teaching 5 children in a co-op in Fridays. Their ages and abilities vary. It’s so rewarding to see them learning this material, and being excited about it.
— Lisa, homeschool mom
Mary’s vivacious spirit and love of the subject kept her attentive to the lesson. The music maps made following the music and learning easy and interesting. My daughter also enjoyed interacting with Mary and other learners by typing responses in the chat box.
— Cheri, homeschool mom

SQUILT LIVE! and The Nutcracker Suite

If you're looking for a fun study during December that is 100% done for you - with two live 45-minute music appreciation lessons, this is just the thing for you! 

What you receive:

  • A listening calendar for the month of December, featuring every piece from The Nutcracker Suite, as well as other popular Classical Christmas music.
  • TWO live lessons -- the week of December 4 and December 18 - focusing on The Chinese Dance and The Dance of The Reed Flutes.
  • TWO extensive lesson packets for each of the pieces, including listening maps, supplemental activities, and background on the ballet and Tchaikovsky.
  • Access to the ENTIRE SQUILT LIVE! archives - which includes 8 recorded lessons and all listening packets and calendars - this is a HUGE VALUE!
  • 20% discount on all SQUILT products as long as you are a member.
  • Extra surprise supplemental Nutcracker material available to members only! 

 

 

All of this is only $15 -- that's right, only $15!

I'd love for you to join us for a month of Nutcracker and fun! Let me be your private music appreciation consultant. 

And, of course, I hope you decide to join us for longer than that -- most of our students ask to stay for longer than just one month.

 

Until the end of 2017 if you join for one year you receive 2 months free!

 

 

Do your children know about The Nutcracker? Tell me about it in the comments below!

     

     

    Posted on November 15, 2017 and filed under holidays, SQUILT LIVE!.

    Free Advent SQUILT Lesson

    Advent is all about waiting, expectation, and preparation. 

    What better way to convey this to our children than through the beautiful music and words of traditional Advent hymns? 

    When we finally arrive at Christmas Day our hearts have been yearning for the birth of Jesus - yearning for that peace and hope that only He can provide.

    Super Quiet UnInterrupted Listening Time can be used with hymns as well as with instrumental music. We are teaching our children the habit of listening, analysis, and appreciation. We are teaching our children when they hear a hymn there is SO MUCH MORE to it than we would realize.

    In each of our SQUILT Christmas Carol volumes we explore five different carols - this free lesson gives you a great idea of what a typical SQUILT Christmas Carol lesson looks like.  Enjoy!

    Free Advent Hymn Study from SQUILT Music Appreciation

    This download includes all listening links, notebooking pages, and teacher instructions.

    Two versions of this traditional Advent hymn by Charles Welsey are included.  The history of the hymn, as well as particular music elements, are explored. 

    The goal of each SQUILT lesson is expose your child to beautiful music, and to train them to listen for the essential elements of music - and then articulate those thoughts. 

    If you are familiar with the SQUILT lesson format, then you know exactly what this lesson looks like. If you AREN'T familiar with how a SQUILT lesson works, this is a perfect way to try out a lesson for FREE!  

     

     

    Click here to download the free Advent SQUILT lesson.


    More Holiday Music

    Take ONE thing off your plate. Let us teach your children music appreciation.

    Sit back and enjoy a cup of coffee... Or learn with us. 

    JUST PRESS PLAY!

    Posted on October 28, 2017 .

    5 Fun Classical Pieces for Kids

    Raising musical kids can sometimes seem challenging. One of the easiest ways to instill musicality is through LISTENING to music, and one of the easiest ways to introduce your children to Classical music is through GREAT Classical music.

    These five pieces are guaranteed to have your children asking for MORE.  Not only are these pieces staples in the world of Classical music, they are also fabulous examples of how much FUN music can be.

    Classical music need not be lofty or daunting. We must make it approachable and enjoyable for our children, and that is exactly what we do through the SQUILT Music Appreciation curriculum.

    Enjoy these pieces with your budding music lovers!

     5 Fun Classical Pieces for Kids

    Zadok the Priest - Handel(Coronation Anthem)

    This piece, written for George II's coronation in 1727, has been used at the coronation of EVERY British monarch since that date!

    The entire piece uses only five lines of text:

    Zadok the Priest, and Nathan the Prophet anointed Solomon King.

    And all the people rejoiced, and said:

    God save the King! Long live the King!

    May the King live for ever,

    Amen, Allelujah.

    Ludwig van Beethoven considered  Handel the greatest composer, and once said of him: “I would bare my head and kneel at his grave.".

    We guarantee your children will fall in love with this gem of a piece!


    The Pizzicato Polka - Strauss

    Johann Strauss composed it with his brother Josef in 1869 for a trip to Russia. It was published in 1870. 

    This piece is a simple example of a piece in TERNARY FORM - which simply means there is an "A" section, then something different (the "B" section), and then the return of the A. It's a common form used in music and easily recognized by children.

    In a recent SQUILT LIVE! lesson we learned about the meaning of PIZZICATO -- the plucking of strings on a stringed instrument with one's finger. The Pizzicato Polka is a perfect illustration of the definition.

    This interpretation of the Pizzicato Polka is sure to drop some jaws.

    We love it! 


    Hungarian Dance #5 - Brahms

    Also completed in 1869 were a set of 21 Hungarian Dances by Johannes Brahms.  One of the most popular of this set is the fifth.

    This piece has so many changes in TEMPO (speed of the beat) and DYNAMICS (louds and softs) that it makes it very interesting for children.

    We especially love Charlie Chaplin's interpretation in the video below! 


    The Can Can (from Orpheus in the Underworld) - Offenbach

    Offenbach, a French Romantic composer, leaves us the legacy of The Can Can -- a piece that your children will surely know once they hear it! 

    The cancan first appeared in the working-class ballrooms of Montparnasse in Paris in around 1830. It comes from Offenbach's operetta 'Orpheus in the Underworld'.

    The word Can-Can in french originally meant "scandal," or edge, because the dancers performed on the edge of the stage.

    (We won't go into the complete history of The Can Can, because it was actually the beginning of some risque dancing in Paris in the 1800s -- we simply know it today as the high kicking dancers that amaze us with their flexibility and agility!)


    Flight of the Bumblebee - Rimsky-Korsakov

    Finally, this piece - coming in at just 1:20, is an example of a very fast TEMPO -- Presto, meaning fast and furious, is perfectly illustrated.

    You can find many different versions of this piece out there, but we love this particular one by The Canadian Brass, because it is SO difficult to play this piece on a brass instrument.

    Little did the composer of this piece (Rimsky-Korsakov) know that this incidental music - included in one of his operas - would turn out to be one of the most popular pieces in the entire world. 


    To learn more about great music, SQUILT Music has a series of volumes and a live lesson option to assist parents and music educators.

    Check out our offerings and see how we can help you today!  


    Do you have a fun piece of classical music you'd like to recommend?  Share it with us in the comments below. 

     

    Take ONE thing off your plate. Let us teach your children music appreciation.

    Sit back and enjoy a cup of coffee... Or learn with us. 

    JUST PRESS PLAY!

    Posted on September 30, 2017 and filed under music appreciation.