Outside the Orchestra: Children’s Books all About Music

We all know how critically important it is to read to our children. Fortunately, there is no shortage of children’s books out there, covering nearly every topic you can imagine. We’ve put together a list of some of the best children’s books about our favorite topic-music!

Many of these titles can be found at your local library, or purchased inexpensively online. There are also many resources available nationwide to find affordable or free children’s books near you.

I See a Song by Eric Carle

I See a Song tells the story of a musician whose world is illustrated by the beautiful music he makes with his violin. From the author who brought you The Very Hungry Caterpillar, this book teaches children about how music can invoke vivid images in our minds and hearts.

The Story of the Orchestra: Listen While You Learn about the Instruments, the Music, and the Composers who Wrote The Music by Robert Levine

This book comes with an accompanying 70-minute CD that makes this “an exciting and educational introduction to the world of classical music”. The illustrations are lovely and effectively introduce each instrument, teach kids about composers, and more.

Zin! Zin! Zin!: A Violin by Lloyd Moss

This Caldecott Honor book utilizes rhyme and vivid illustrations to teach children about the sounds of various instruments and introduces the concept of musical language. The text also reinforces counting and that, as the book says, “is a great delight”.

The Music in George’s Head: George Gershwin Creates Rhapsody in Blue by Suzanne Slade

This picture book biography details the life and composition style of renowned composer George Gershwin. With rhythmic swirls of words and pictures the book beautifully reveals how brilliantly Gershwin combined various types of music to create his masterpiece, Rhapsody in Blue.

When Marian Sang: The True Recital of Marian Anderson by Pam Munoz Ryan

“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 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.”

Becoming Bach by Tom Leonard

This beautiful book tells the story of a young Johann Sebastian Bach. The story also goes into interesting detail about his uniquely musical family history. The illustrations are lovely and the story is told from the perspective of young Bach himself.

Are there other children’s books about music that your kids love? Let us know! You can find more titles on our Pinterest page.

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