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These picture books about music will help you teach your students about music, composers, and everything in between. Great for kids of all ages!
With a big stash of music-themed books on hand, you and your students will have a hard time choosing which book to read first!
These books will be the perfect addition to your music-themed lesson plans and activities.
Picture Books About Music
Below, I’ve featured just a handful of picture books that will help your children celebrate and learn about music.
You should be able to find them at your local library or bookstore. If you can’t find them locally, you can click each image cover to purchase them on Amazon.
Zin! Zin! Zin! a Violin – When this book begins, the trombone is playing all by itself. But soon a trumpet makes a duet, a french horn a trio, and so on until the entire orchestra is assembled on stage.
Berlioz the Bear – What’s that strange buzz coming from the double bass? Berlioz has no time to investigate, because he and his bear orchestra are due at the gala ball in the village square at eight. But Berlioz is so worried about his buzzing bass that he steers the mule and his bandwagon full of magicians into a hole in the road and gets stuck.
Beethoven Lives Upstairs – Correspondence between a young boy and his music-student uncle chronicles the upheaval in Christoph’s household caused by the arrival of an eccentric, difficult, and deaf composer, Ludwig van Beethoven, the new upstairs tenant.
Meet the Orchestra – This lyrical romp through the orchestra begins with animal musicians slowly gathering for the evening performance. Poetic descriptions suggest the sounds of the instruments, and lively watercolor illustrations capture the playful essence of each musician and musical instrument.
Peter and the Wolf – THERE IS NO better way to introduce children to classical music than with Prokofiev’s musical fairy tale of the little boy (played by all the strings of the orchestra) who, with the help of a bird (played by the flute), outsmarted the big, bad wolf (played by the French horns).
M is for Music – Beloved tunes. Unusual instruments. Legendary virtuosos. From anthems to zydeco, the language of music and the music of language harmonize in one superb symphony. It’s a funky fusion for songsters of all ages!
M is for Melody: A Music Alphabet – From the oom pah pah of the brass section to the tickle and tease of the keyboard ivories, “M is for Melody” gives a music lesson in alphabet form. Instruments, composers, terms, and even musical styles are examined from A-Z in easy, read-aloud rhymes and expository, accompanied by colorful and engaging artwork
I Know a Shy Fellow Who Swallowed a Cello – This shy fellow, a wallflower, swallows a cello, followed by many more musical instruments, until at last he burps, belches, and bellows. Imagine how the instruments make music this way.
Animal Orchestra – This rhyming story about an animal orchestra and its hippo conductor is perfect for reading aloud. Children will have front-row seats as they imagine the rousing experience of a night at the orchestra!
The Philharmonic Gets Dressed – “It is almost Friday night. Outside, the dark is getting darker,” and here and there around the city ninety-two men and thirteen women are getting dressed to go to work. First they bathe and put on their underwear. Then they don special black-and-white apparel…
Jazz Fly – A fly, who speaks jazz, asks different critters which way to town. “Rrribit,” replies the frog. “Oink,” says the hog. Although baffled, the fly hears music in their words, and that evening he uses those sounds to set the insect dinner club a hoppin.’
Carnival of the Animals – The animals are having a carnival, and the guests are arriving. There’s the majestic lion, the braying mules, the dancing elephant, and the bouncy kangaroos. Even the fossils join in with a fast and rattly dance. Everyone is invited!
Duke Ellington: The Piano Prince and His Orchestra– A brief recounting of the career of this jazz musician and composer who, along with his orchestra, created music that was beyond category.
Jake the Philharmonic Dog – Like most dogs, Jake loves playing fetch. Unlike most dogs, Jake loves music even more. He loves to wag his tail to the beat of an ordinary day and “sing” with the birds. When his friend Richie, the principal stagehand at the Philharmonic, brings Jake to work one day, Jake is treated to a lesson in real music.
The Farewell Symphony – The blustering, bellowing prince entertained hundreds of guests at his rural retreat and demanded music for every occasion. As the months passed, Haydn was kept very busy writing and performing music for parties, balls, dinners, and even walks in the gardens. His orchestra members became homesick and missed their families. The anger, frustration, and longing of the musicians is expressed beautifully in the symphony born of the clever mind of Joseph Haydn who used it to convince Prince Nicholas that it was time to go home.
Lady Treble & the Seven Notes – When the seven notes lose their keys and are locked out of Treble Towers, they turn to Lady Treble for help.
My First Classical Music Book – My First Classical Music Book is a delightfully colorful introduction to classical music, designed to fire the imagination of children aged 5-7 years.
The Magic Flute – Prince Tamino must save Princess Pamina from her evil mother, the queen. To help him on his quest, three lovely ladies give him a magic flute that will charm both animals and humans. With the help of his flute and the companionship of his jovial friend, Papageno, Prince Tamino overcomes the trials of Silence, Patience and Courage and thereby wins the hand of Princess Pamina.
Round Out Your Unit with These Activities:
Some kids might get music better but struggle in math, whereas for some math is easy but music is alien. By mixing one with another and showing the underlying similarities, we can understand both better. This fraction strips of musical notes does exactly that. They highlight how fraction works using musical notes. They show how each note has a fractional value.
Who doesn’t like Memory Game?! Remember what was on each card and where it was. Watch and remember during the other player’s turn. The game is over when all the cards have been matched. This wooden music instruments memory game is perfect for kids of all ages!