Music explained for tweens

Hi everyone, as this week’s title suggests, you will get some technical and historical background to music in the post below. I’ve hand-picked for you a selection of books that can give you a guide to introduction to music and its main players…

I hope you enjoy this lovely brand new read I found in my library recently all about the history of music. 

bright orange background with group of musicians and kids on middle. Elvis singer, nun in black long dress, African saxophone player and a few kids. blue letters above them read A history of Music.
A fascinating read…

With the aptly named title: A History of Music for Children by Mary Richards and David Schweitzer, and illustrated by Rose Blake (Thames & Hudson Ltd; 2021), readers can take a musical journey around the world to meet composers, musicians and performers who are famous for making the music we love. Divided into seven distinct chapters we are taken into the nuts and bolts of music and through to the more chunkier aspects like Feeling and Seeing Music. Along with accompanying illustrations and diagrams, illustrator Rose Blake has created a couple of cute mascots as they take the reader on an entertaining journey through the significant events in history that helped the music of our world to change and adapt to its current state. This is the perfect read to introduce your tween to the wonders of music!!

Now, I know there are dozens of amazing reads out there all about the different instruments, composers, musicians, singers and musical artists. I will let you explore your local library to find these out for yourself. The trio of composers I’ve included in my list are the ones that have made an impact in my life.

image of man in red suit with puffy white wig playing at old-fashioned piano. gilted frame around him. red background around. dark letters at top of frame reads Handel.
An interesting story

Handel: Who knew what he liked by M.T. Anderson and illustrated by Kevin Hawkes (Candlewick Press; 2001) is my first title. This is the story of George Frideric Handel who always knew what he liked and was never afraid to do it. He learned to play at a young age and became one of the greatest composers in the world and even created operas which we enjoy to this day. With its almost life-like illustrations this book takes us into the fascinating life of this master composer. To be honest, I didn’t learn of Handel until I was a bit older but his music has a quality that is just beautiful. If anyone is interested, have a listen to at least a portion of Messiah, which is called an ‘oratorio’ meaning a sacred story in music. Handel wrote this in his darkest hour and literally poured his heart and soul into it!!

cover image of small boy in orange-brown outfit with white hair jumping from black and white keys of piano. musical notes around him on green background above. large white cursive letters read Young Mozart.
A delightful graphic novel

Young Mozart by William Augel and translated by Blase A. Provitola (Humanoids Inc.; 2017) is an adorable graphic novel. This read gives a tender and playful glimpse at the childhood of the world’s greatest musical genius: Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart. Known as ‘Wolferl’ in this adorable read, the young virtuoso looks and finds inspiration for his music in everything around him, even in the poop of his dog!! He takes lessons from the birds, crickets and frogs, intertwining every note into his great masterpieces. This delightful graphic novel re-imagines Mozart’s childhood in Austria where he lived with his family during the 18th century. Readers will find almost every panel hilarious and music lovers will find this a good one to get to know this great composer!!

cover image of man in brown coat playing piano with sheets in front of him. cream coloured background. black band at bottom. large red letters along it reads Beethoven.
An interesting read

Ludwig Van Beethoven by Yann Walcker and illustrated by Charlotte Voake (Moonlight Publishing Ltd: 1998) gives readers the life story of another great composer. Some facts you wouldn’t have known about Beethoven are answered in this delightful non-fiction read. He had an amazing gift where he could make up a tune to go with a favourite poem and sing it!! Despite going deaf in his early twenties, Beethoven became another great composer and has given the world some amazing masterpieces. What I enjoyed learning the most was that he was admired by a young Mozart!! The edition I read had an accompanying CD which gave it an additional element to discover his music from.

Well friends, now you have my selection of reads. I’d love to hear if anyone out there has similar interests in music like I do.

Stay safe and keep reading

Miss Mahee

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