ERIC Number: EJ709206
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2005-Jan-1
Reference Count: N/A
Children's Literature in the Music Classroom: Finding the Music Within
Gauthier, Delores R.
Music Educators Journal, v91 n3 p51 Jan 2005
Classroom teachers have numerous reasons to read to students. Reading to students aids in the understanding of story structure, broadens familiarity with different styles of books, and helps to increase vocabulary. Book language is often different from spoken language, and reading allows students to hear different ways of expressing thoughts. Perhaps not least of all, teachers read to their students with the hope that students will develop a lifelong love for reading. Incorporating children's literature into the music class also creates the opportunity for you to collaborate with the classroom teacher on the use of books. Classroom teachers already have an interest in reading to their students, so working in partnership can benefit you both. By working together, both teachers may be able to find books that are relevant to both classes. Both teachers may also become more interested in each other's curriculum, which would be beneficial for all, especially the students. A visit to the children's literature section of any bookstore will reveal that there are lots of children's storybooks to choose from, so many that finding books appropriate for teaching music may seem like an overwhelming task. The following ideas might be helpful in narrowing the search for just the right books: (1) Even though most children's books are not specifically written to help children understand musical concepts, it is possible to find books that are rhythmic in nature or can easily be set to a melody; (2) be open to all kinds of books. Although many books are based on the text of a song, such as "She'll Be Comin' Round the Mountain," remember not to be too literal in looking for the music within a book; don't just look for books that are illustrations of a song. Be open to the possibilities other books have to offer; and (3) Third, a book intended for a specific age level may be used with children at other levels. For example, a picture book intended for preschoolers may be used appropriately with third or fourth graders. This article then goes on to offer a long list of suggested books, and related classroom activites to get teachers started in using this particular technique to enhance both reading and music skills.
Descriptors: Musicians, Musical Instruments, Story Grammar, Oral Language, Music, Music Teachers, Childrens Literature
MENC Subscription Office, P.O. Box 1584, Birmingham, AL 35201. Web site: http://www.menc.org.
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Elementary Education
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: United Kingdom (Reading)