The Best Children’s Literature for the Music Classroom

Elementary music lessons based on books.
Elementary music lessons based on books.

A growing compilation of great books and musical connections that work with them!

Books Reviewed + music connection ideas

The Mitten

This Ukrainian folk tale has been rewritten by many authors. The most obvious music connection I found is the addition of animals to the mitten which just screams CUMULATIVE form. This resource has a single song with cumulative form OR the form could be the skeleton of an entire program where each animal is a section of the concert.

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The Secret of the Plátano

Set in the Dominican Republic, this gorgeous book is about the love between abuela and her grandson, and the magic of dancing and nature.

The Year We Learned to Fly

“Fly Away” is a companion resource to “The Year We Learned to Fly.”

Change Sings

“The Change Is You” and “Change the World With Kindness” are companion resources to “Change Sings” by Amanda Gorman.

Ohana Means Family

A great book about Hawaiian culture to use with multiple grade levels! K-2 can use movement and un-pitched percussion and grades 3-5 can use movement and barred instruments!

A song that would complement the learning in the book.

This old chant was set to music by Winona Beamer. The kahuli (tree snails) or pūpū kanioe (land shells) are the singing snails of legend.  Winona Beamer was a champion of authentic and ancient Hawaiian culture, publishing many books, musical scores, as well as audio and video recordings on the subject.

In My Heart

Sun Wishes

Just Help by Sonia Sotomayor

Next books to be added:

  • Wutaryoo
  • The Earth Gives More
  • Holi Hai

Each new book addition will be announced in the Oodles Newsletter

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If you have a book you’d like for me to include, please comment below.

Amanda Gorman Music Resources and Ideas

Music Resources & Ideas for the works of Amanda Gorman.

Change Sings

With her poetry of words, Amanda Gorman’s “Change Sings” uses a story full of music vocabulary to invite children to be the change in the world with acts of kindness. Here are songs that fit into that theme.

The Change Is You

Amanda Gorman’s book, “Change Sings”, inspired this new 3-part round song that uses an African proverb to begin the journey of a call to action to be the change in the world.

Change the World, With Kindness

Written for younger singers, this song reinforces the act of kindness themes in Amanda Gorman’s book, “Change Sings.” With lots of repetition and sequencing, this easy-to-learn song is a perfect concert selection. The resource includes suggested movements and opportunities to create your own movement.

I Dream A World by Andre Thomas

This gorgeous melody set to Langston Hughes’ words is in 2-parts which could easily be adapted to a single melody line. In “Change Sings” Gorman writes, “I scream with the skies of red and blue streamers. I dream with the cries of tried-and-true dreamers.” Hughes writes, “”I dream a world where man, no other man will scorn. Where love will bless the earth and peace its paths adorn.”

I’ll Make the Difference by Moses Hogan

The Dream Keeper by Rollo Dilworth