"My Family Plays Music" by Judy Cox is a story of a little girl with a very musical family. Whatever the music, bluegrass, jazz, polka, string quartet, or rock-an-roll she finds a way to play along too.
Many parents - especially if they are not musical themselves - wonder how to teach music to their preschoolers. One great way is to teach music through performance. Finding venues that play lots of different kinds of music is a good start. Even orchestra can be fun for kids if you prepare them ahead of time with what to expect.
In the end, this book is about much more than different styles of music or teaching music to children. It is a book for children about family unity and togetherness, valuing diversity, and celebrating life.
Books for Children Ages: 2 years old and older
Recommended for Family Reading: This book is a great read-a-loud for older children to read to younger children, or even to read as an entire family. Even some adults may learn some new types of music or instruments that they were not familiar with before. The colorful and vibrant illustrations by Elbrite Brown help keep even young children engaged in the story.
Related Discussion Topics: Styles of music, musical performance, working together as a team, appreciating your family, diversity and cultural expression.
- Take a trip to a music store. See how many of the instruments from the book you can find and name. Ask the store owners which one are okay to touch. See what sounds they make. (Parents tip: if you call ahead, some music stores also offer lessons, and they may be willing to demonstrate the different instruments for you and your children if you set up a date and time to visit.)
- Go to a concert. Many cities have free outdoor concerts during the summer that may be a great opportunity to pack a picnic, enjoy some music, and have a little more freedom for children to move around than indoor concerts.
- Create your own family band. Use pots and pans for drums, make shakers by putting beans or rice in an empty container and taping it shut with colorful tape, or decorate a paper towel tube to be a trumpet or clarinet. Put on a recording of your favorite music, whether that be preschool songs, or any other type of music, and dance and play your instruments. If parents or older siblings play an instrument you they can play along, or skip the recording all together and make your own music from scratch.
Cultural Diversity: "My Family Plays Music" presents a wide range of cultures, ethnicities, and musical expression. This book can be a great starting point for talking to your children about all the places the different types of music came from.
Children's Book Review Rating: 5 Stars - Beautiful Book