Music

Books & Media

Many excellent books, videos and games that deal with music are currently available for children. Classics for Kids® has compiled a list of some of these resources for you.

Nonfiction
A selection of excellent nonfiction books about music for grades K-12, plus selections for parents.

Fiction
Musical fiction for kids, from young readers through eighth grade.

Adult Fiction
Looking to relax with some musical fiction? Try these books for adults.

Videos
A wide array of classical music choices, ranging from full-length feature films to educational videos.

Video Games
A wide array of video games for kids, ranging from musical instruction to pure entertainment.

If you purchase any of these items from Amazon.com by following the link provided (where available) a portion of your purchase will go to support Classics for Kids®!


Mozart Finds His Melody

Written by: Costanza, Stephen
Published by: Henry Holt and Co.

Mozart is desperate. He has to compose a new piano concerto by Saturday and he's out of ideas. Then his pet starling chirps melody that he things is just perfect and a walk around the city of Vienna produces more ideas that he uses to create his Piano Concerto No. 17 in G Major.


The Orphan Singer

Written by: McCully, Emily
Published by: Scholastic Press

Everyone knew that the best place to get a music education in Venice was at the orphanage. The Dolcis were very sad to leave their baby daughter there, but knew it was the best thing for her. Over the years the training she receives allows her to become an important member of the chorus and a beautiful singer. The family still keeps in touch, however, and visit Catarina every week. NOTE: This story is based on fact. The Ospedale della Pieta, where Antonio Vivaldi was the music teacher for many years, was a wonderful music conservatory for orphaned and abandoned girls in 18th century Venice.


Nina's Waltz

Written by: Demas, Corinne
Published by: Orchard Books

Nina's father has written a fiddle tune and, with his daughter, goes to a fiddle competition to see if it can win a prize. When he is injured, Nina steps in and performs the piece instead. The piece is "a tune that would get inside you without you realizing it - the kind of tune you'd find yourself humming when you walked along a country road on a star-filled night."


A Band of Angels

Written by: Hopkinson, Deborah
Published by: Simon and Schuster

Based on a true story of the Jubilee Singers of Fisk University, this book tells of the formation of a school choir that goes on tour to raise enough funds to keep the college, which was founded in 1871 to educate Afro-American students, operating.


The Piano

Written by: Miller, William
Published by: Lee and Low Books, Inc.

Tia, a young Afro-American girl, is entranced by the music she hears coming from one of the big houses in town. She takes a job as a maid so she can hear more of it and winds up taking piano lessons from the elderly white woman who lives there. The mutual love of music that these two people share transcends race and age.


Mole Music

Written by: McPhail, David
Published by: Henry Holt and Co.

When Mole hears a man playing a violin, he knows that he wants to learn to make beautiful music too. He buys an instrument and patiently teaches himself to play it. Since he lives underground, he is unaware of the powerful effect his music has on others.


The Dog Who Sang Opera

Written by: West, Jim and Marshall Iven
Published by: Harry N. Abrams, Inc.

Pasha, who is an elegant Russian wolfhound, is delighted when she is selected to play a role in an opera scene at the famous New York Metropolitan Opera House. The singer with whom she shares the stage is not so pleased, however, when Pasha decides to sing along with her! This story is based on a true incident that occurred in 1997 when a dog really did sing along with Renée Fleming on the Met stage.


The Cello of Mr. O

Written by: Cutler, Jane
Published by: Dutton Chlildren's Books

In a war-torn city it is cold and there is little food. When a rocket destroys the relief truck that brought what few supplies it could, Mr. O, a famous musician, takes his cello into the middle of the square and plays. Through his music, we learn that courage can sustain the soul just as bread sustains the body.


The Remarkable Farkle McBride

Written by: Lithgow, John
Published by: Simon and Schuster

Young Farkle McBride is a musical prodigy who can't seem to find the right instrument to play - until he decides to play all of them at once!


Bach's Big Adventure

Written by: Ketcham, Sallie
Published by: Orchard Books

Young Johann Sebastian Bach thought he was the best organist in all of Germany and the world, but that we before he heard the famous Jan Adam Reincken play. This charming book describes Bach's journey to hear the master perform.


The Bat Boy and His Violin

Written by: Curtis, Gavin
Published by: Simon and Schuster

Reginald would rather practice his violin, but his father, the manager of a baseball team in the Negro National League, assigns him the job of batboy. (This book contains some interesting history about African-Americans and baseball) Reginald is terrible at this task, however, so Papa puts him on the bench where he finds himself playing classical music as the players come up to bat. His music so inspires the team that they nearly win the league's pennant.


The Cat Who Loved Mozart

Written by: Austin, Patricia
Published by: Holiday House

How can Jennifer earn the love of a stray cat she has befriended who is named Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart? By playing the piano for him! In turn, the cat inspires Jennifer, who is preparing for a music competition.


A Fiddle for Angus

Written by: Wilson, Budge
Published by: Tundra Books

Young Angus, who lives in a Cape Breton village near the sea, wants to learn how to play an instrument so he can join his family's small musical group. After considering many possibilities, he decides to learn the fiddle, and works very hard with a local teacher to master its intricacies. His goal is accomplished one evening in June when he joins the others in the family and plays with them in a concert on the beach. This is a good story. For youngsters who are just starting to study music.


Fiddlin' Sam

Written by: Dengler, Marianna
Published by: South Sea International Press

Everyone in the Ozark Mountains loved to hear Sam play his old lionhead fiddle as he wandered the back roads, stopping at farms and towns. Sam was getting old, however, and he was looking for someone to take over for him. As his Pa said, "This ain't a gift, Son. It's a loan. You gotta pass the music along." He finds his successor in a most unlikely way.


Gabriella's Song

Written by: Fleming, Candace
Published by: Athaneum Books for Young Readers

Gabriella loves to sing, and she makes up a wonderful tune that blended the sounds of her native city, Venice. One can hear "the slap-slap of drying laundry; the flap-flap of pigeon wings; the jing-aling-ling of lire; and the ting-aling-ling of church bells." Giuseppe Del Pietro, a famous composers, hears Gabriella's song and rejoices; it's just the theme he needs for his new symphony! When they hear this work performed in the great Piazza San Marco, music lovers from all over the city agree that this piece is his greatest composition.


A Mouse Called Wolf

Written by: King-Smith, Dick
Published by: Dell Yearling

Wolfgang Amadeus Mouse and his family live in the leg of a grand piano in the home of Mrs. Honeybee, who was once a concert pianist. As she plays daily, young "Wolf" listens intently and wishes mightily that he too could perform such wonderful music. One day, to his amazement, he finds that he can sing! When Mrs. Honeybee discovers this as well, the two become improbable friends as she teaches him new tunes and Wolf ultimately composes his very own work.


Music in the Family

Written by: Carter, Donna Renee
Published by: Lindsay Publishing, Inc.

Oliver is an African-American whose family loves music and has its own band. When the group decides to enter a families-only musical competition Oliver wants to join in, but he is told that he is not yet ready to do so. However, he works very hard with a teacher and learns the music anyway. He also learns what it means to play not just the notes but the music. Then, at the event itself his father is injured and Oliver steps in to fill the gap with great results; the family wins first prize!


Nate the Great and the Musical Note

Written by: Sharmat, Marjorie Weinman
Published by: Coward-McCann, Inc.

Nate's friend, Pip, has received a mysterious musical note from Rosamond, his piano teacher. What can it mean? Nate must sift through several musical clues for the answer - and find it by four o'clock!


Bach's Goldberg Variations

Written by: Celenza, Anna Harwell
Published by: Charlesbridge
Grades 3+

This charming book is based on the true story behind the naming of this famous piece of music. Included is a CD of the work.


Pictures at an Exhibition

Written by: Celenza, Anna Harwell
Published by: Charlesbridge

Modest Mussorgsky is devastated that his young artist friend, Victor Hartmann, has died. He decides to write a musical memorial to his life and works. Beautifully illustrated by JoAnn E. Kitchell. Included is a CD of the work.


Hallelujah Handel

Written by: Cowling, Douglas
Published by: Scholastic Press

Although George Frederick Handel was one of the brightest musical stars of 18th century London, he found time to help orphaned children who lived on the streets. This is a tale of one such young boy who cannot speak but can sing like an angel.


Gus and Grandpa and the Piano Lesson

Written by: Mills, Claudia
Published by: Farrar, Straus and Giroux

Gus has a hard time with his piano lessons until Grandpa shows him how to get the music into his fingers. After that, he doesn't want to stop playing.


Molly and the Sword

Written by: Shlasko, Robert
Published by: Jane & Street Publishers

When Molly was a very young girl she showed great courage in a time of war, which was recognized by the leader of the enemy forces. Later, she became a famous violinist. Imagine her surprise when, after she is invited to play in the most famous concert hall in the world, she meets this prince once again.


Making Music

Written by: Bonners, Susan
Published by: Farrar, Straus and Giroux

Annie has just moved to a new town with her mother and baby brother. She misses her favorite Uncle, Johnny, who taught her about music. However, in the evenings Annie can hear a piano being played in the neighborhood. She becomes friends with the elderly Mrs. Bergstrom, a retired piano teacher. Annie's mother can't afford lessons, but Mrs. Bergstrom finds a way and Annie learns about music after all.


Spider Storch's Music Mess

Written by: Willner-Pardo, Gina
Published by: Albert Whitman and Co

Spider is in third grade and has to choose an instrument to play in the Music for Beginners class. As he is one of the last to pick, he is forced to select the flute. When his classmates make fun of him for playing a "sissy" instrument, Spider is determined to find a way to be dismissed from the class. However, he discovers that playing "Home on the Range" gives him goosebumps, so he re-thinks his decision and is able to play in the Junior Band Concert after all.


The Violin Lesson and the Cross Street Band

Written by: Givens, Steven J.
Published by: New Canaan Publishing Co

Young Jonathan is tired of hearing his neighbors argue with each other. Everyone seems to be unhappy! Then his Great-Grandfather tells him a story of a magical violin that once broke through a wall of hatred. When Jonathan begins playing his instrument in the middle of Cross Street, he finds that music has the power to change people's lives.


Basket of Beethoven

Written by: Currie, Susan
Published by: Fitzhenry & Whiteside

Sam can make up sound patterns in his head, but it is not until he hears the new girl in school, Helen, play the piano that he understands what music is all about. Determined to learn to play himself but without money - he lives in the projects - Sam strikes a bargain with the haughty Helen; he will keep the local bullies away from her in exchange for piano lessons. Soon, Sam is practicing secretly but hard on the keyboard he has made from wood scraps. When the school talent show comes around, he finally makes his debut in front his mother as well as his schoolmates.


Cassie Loves Beethoven

Written by: Arkin, Alan
Published by: Hyperion Books for Children

This is an absolutely delightful story about a cow on Cape Breton Island. Cassie refuses to give milk. To encourage her, David and Hallie play classical music in her stall, in particular Beethoven's Pastoral Symphony. Suddenly, Cassie is talking and insisting on learning all about Beethoven. Her antics as she tries to attend a local concert are hilarious and her efforts to learn to play the piano touching. The reader will learn what it means to practice hard to achieve one's goal.


Fiddle Fever

Written by: Doucet, Sharon Arms
Published by: Clarion Books

Felix, a young Cajun boy who is 14 years old in 1914, wants more than anything else in the world to learn to play the fiddle like his 'Nonc Adolphe. His mother objects strongly, however, so Felix must make this happen all by himself. He builds an instrument out of a cigar box and carved pieces of wood, then sets about learning to play it. Despite some setbacks along the way, Felix finally achieves his dream.


The Mystery of the Stolen Music

Written by: Warner, Gertrude
Published by: Albert Whitman and Co.

The boxcar children now live with their grandfather and an orchestra is coming to town. The children are excited to hear the orchestra play, to meet the musicians and to learn how to make their own instruments. The orchestra is also displaying a very valuable old piece of music. When it mysteriously disappears, it is up to the boxcar children to find it.


Rose Faces the Music

Written by: Williams, L.E
Published by: Magic Attic Press

Rose takes part in a special adventure when she visits the magic attic in her neighbor's house. She becomes part of an all-girl jazz band that is on its way to play for the President of the United States at his inauguration. An officious press secretary tries to sideline its appearance when he sees how young the members of the group are, but Rose finds a way to save the day. When the President himself applauds her solo, she knows complete happiness. This book is part of the Magic Attic Club series.


The Violin Case Case

Written by: Warfel, Diantha
Published by: E. P. Dutton

Bax (short for Sebastian as he was named after Johann Sebastian Bach) is a violinist. Although school is over for the summer, he decides to audition for the local community orchestra. His aunt, visiting from abroad, insists that he use the violin she has just purchased in Germany. Something's afoot, however, as various characters try to get their hands on the instrument. Bax, with the help of his friends Kip and Susan, eventually solves the mystery of why this violin and its case are so important.


Yang the Eldest and His Odd Jobs

Written by: Namioka, Lensey
Published by: Little Brown and Company

Yang and his family, Chinese immigrants who live in Seattle, are all very musical (except for Fourth Brother!), but Yang is the most talented of all. When he finds his violin needs replacement, he spends the summer working hard to earn money to buy a new instrument. Unfortunately, in so doing he loses his way musically. His brothers and sisters help him to regain his passion. This book is part of a series that includes Yang the Youngest and His Terrible Ear, Yang the Second and her Secret Admirers and Yang the Third and Her Impossible Family. They are all excellent, relating stories of the Yang children's musical activities.


Yolanda's Genius

Written by: Fenner, Carol
Published by: Margaret K. McElderry Books

Yolanda, an 11-year-old African-American, has moved from Chicago to a suburb with her mother and her young brother, Andrew. Andrew has a special gift; he can make his harmonica imitate almost any sound or emotion. He plays the bacon sizzling, his sister's song, the sounds of the local boys who ride their skateboards. Yolanda is convinced that he is a genius, and finds a way to bring her brother's talent to the attention of the people who count at the famous blues festival in town. Her street smarts, intelligence and physical size stand her in good stead as she fights for recognition for Andrew, taking on all comers.


Barbie

Written by: Barne, Kitty
Published by: Little Brown and Company

This is a wonderful story set in England in the middle of the 20th century. Barbie, Laurel's cousin, comes to stay for a year while her mother recovers from an illness and her father travels. She is a true musician, and home and school are forced to adapt to her needs as Barbie struggles to keep up with her violin studies on her own. She is desperate to find a real teacher; though music lovers of all kinds befriend her, they are not what Barbie needs, and the great Vascoletti has refused to take her as a student. Then, when everyone else has failed, Laurel's young brother, Simon, saves the day.


Becoming Felix

Written by: Wilson, Nancy Hope
Published by: Farrar, Straus and Giroux

JJ lives on a dairy farm and is devoted to the animals he helps tend. However, he also loves to play the clarinet that belonged to his grandfather. As work at home and the demands of his school jazz band vie against one another, JJ must decide where music fits into his life. His relationship with his friend, Steven, who plays the drums as well as JJ does the clarinet, is also in jeopardy. It is a hard year all around, especially when the milk cows on the farm have to be sold to make ends meet. However, when Steven and JJ become the stars at a special band bash, it becomes apparent that music will always be part of JJ's life.


Beethoven in Paradise

Written by: O'Connor, Barbara
Published by: Farrar, Straus and Giroux

Twelve-year-old Martin has a rare talent for music, but his father thinks studying music is a waste of time and only for sissies. Nothing Martin ever has or does is good enough for his dad, who wants him to play baseball. He finds support for his music, however, in unlikely alliances with an elderly neighbor, Wylene, his grandmother, Hazeline and a new girl in town. When a local pawnshop displays a violin in its window, Martin doesn't rest until it becomes his. By teaching himself to play, he demonstrates his unusual musical abilities, but his father cruelly ends his study. The descriptions of the father's emotional abuse can make this book difficult to read, but the determination to follow his dream that Martin demonstrates is heart-warming and inspiring.


The Facts and Fictions of Minna Pratt

Written by: MacLachlan, Patricia
Published by: Harper and Row

This is a coming of age story about a young cellist, Minna, who needs to learn how to accept her eccentric family for what it is. Her brother, his friend Emily, and Minna's new friend, Lucas, help her to do this. Meanwhile, her string quartet is preparing for a special competition. Will Minna find her vibrato in time?


Mountain Solo

Written by: Ingold, Jeanette
Published by: Harcourt Books

Tess started playing the violin when she was three, thanks to a pushy mother. Identified as a wunderkind, she and her mother now live in New York so Tess can pursue her studies with the very best teachers. Now she's sixteen and has just failed in her first major concert appearance. Ashamed, embarrassed and confused, Tess flees New York for her native Missoula, Minnesota and her Dad. While there, she helps her stepmother hunt for a lost homestead of a pioneer who was himself a musician, finds out what music really means to her and makes the decisions necessary to allow her to resume her studies and yet remain true to herself.


The Mozart Season

Written by: Wolff, Virginia
Published by: Holt

This book tells the story of Allegra Shapiro, a 12-year-old violinist who finds that she has been chosen to participate in a musical competition. Allegra is the youngest competitor, and the story revolves about her efforts to prepare for this challenge. The book also deals with her relationship with her teacher, her parents (both of whom are professional musicians) and others in the community. Readers will also relate to her struggles for excellence and independence.


Play to the Angel

Written by: Dahlberg, Maureen
Published by: Farrar, Straus and Giroux

Set in Vienna in 1938, in the shadow of an increasingly dangerous Nazi Germany, 12-year-old Greta pursues her dream of becoming a concert pianist like her dead brother, Kurt, despite the fact that her mother doesn't want her to study music. She befriends an elderly gentleman in her apartment building who, as it turns out, knows all there is to know about teaching piano.


The Rising Star of Rusty Nail

Written by: Blume, Lesley M.M.
Published by: Knopf Books for Young Readers

Franny Hansen, a 10-year old piano prodigy, lives in small town Rusty Nail, Minnesota in 1953. She's progressed beyond the local music teacher and yearns for more musical challenge. It seems impossible until a mysterious Russian woman moves into Rusty Nail. Franny's neighbors are convinced the Russian woman is a communist. Is she a threat to Franny's American way of life or the answer to her musical dreams?


Dance Me a Story: Twelve Tales from the Classic Ballets

Written by: Rosenberg, Jane
Published by: Thames & Hudson
Rated G

Delightful retellings of the greatest ballets, including the romantic arabesques of Giselle and the classical attitudes of The Sleeping Beauty. The tales can be introductions to a ballet or help relive a production already seen.


Sing Me a Story: The Metropolitan Opera’s Book of Opera Stories for Children

Written by: Rosenberg, Jane
Published by: Thames & Hudson
Rated G

Delightful retellings of the greatest operas— enjoy the gaiety of The Barber of Seville or the lavish spectacle of Aïda for example. The tales can be introductions to an opera or help relive a production already seen.


Music

Books & Media

Many excellent books, videos and games that deal with music are currently available for children. Classics for Kids® has compiled a list of some of these resources for you.

Nonfiction
A selection of excellent nonfiction books about music for grades K-12, plus selections for parents.

Fiction
Musical fiction for kids, from young readers through eighth grade.

Adult Fiction
Looking to relax with some musical fiction? Try these books for adults.

Videos
A wide array of classical music choices, ranging from full-length feature films to educational videos.

Video Games
A wide array of video games for kids, ranging from musical instruction to pure entertainment.

If you purchase any of these items from Amazon.com by following the link provided (where available) a portion of your purchase will go to support Classics for Kids®!


Mozart Finds His Melody

Written by: Costanza, Stephen
Published by: Henry Holt and Co.

Mozart is desperate. He has to compose a new piano concerto by Saturday and he's out of ideas. Then his pet starling chirps melody that he things is just perfect and a walk around the city of Vienna produces more ideas that he uses to create his Piano Concerto No. 17 in G Major.


The Orphan Singer

Written by: McCully, Emily
Published by: Scholastic Press

Everyone knew that the best place to get a music education in Venice was at the orphanage. The Dolcis were very sad to leave their baby daughter there, but knew it was the best thing for her. Over the years the training she receives allows her to become an important member of the chorus and a beautiful singer. The family still keeps in touch, however, and visit Catarina every week. NOTE: This story is based on fact. The Ospedale della Pieta, where Antonio Vivaldi was the music teacher for many years, was a wonderful music conservatory for orphaned and abandoned girls in 18th century Venice.


Nina's Waltz

Written by: Demas, Corinne
Published by: Orchard Books

Nina's father has written a fiddle tune and, with his daughter, goes to a fiddle competition to see if it can win a prize. When he is injured, Nina steps in and performs the piece instead. The piece is "a tune that would get inside you without you realizing it - the kind of tune you'd find yourself humming when you walked along a country road on a star-filled night."


A Band of Angels

Written by: Hopkinson, Deborah
Published by: Simon and Schuster

Based on a true story of the Jubilee Singers of Fisk University, this book tells of the formation of a school choir that goes on tour to raise enough funds to keep the college, which was founded in 1871 to educate Afro-American students, operating.


The Piano

Written by: Miller, William
Published by: Lee and Low Books, Inc.

Tia, a young Afro-American girl, is entranced by the music she hears coming from one of the big houses in town. She takes a job as a maid so she can hear more of it and winds up taking piano lessons from the elderly white woman who lives there. The mutual love of music that these two people share transcends race and age.


Mole Music

Written by: McPhail, David
Published by: Henry Holt and Co.

When Mole hears a man playing a violin, he knows that he wants to learn to make beautiful music too. He buys an instrument and patiently teaches himself to play it. Since he lives underground, he is unaware of the powerful effect his music has on others.


The Dog Who Sang Opera

Written by: West, Jim and Marshall Iven
Published by: Harry N. Abrams, Inc.

Pasha, who is an elegant Russian wolfhound, is delighted when she is selected to play a role in an opera scene at the famous New York Metropolitan Opera House. The singer with whom she shares the stage is not so pleased, however, when Pasha decides to sing along with her! This story is based on a true incident that occurred in 1997 when a dog really did sing along with Renée Fleming on the Met stage.


The Cello of Mr. O

Written by: Cutler, Jane
Published by: Dutton Chlildren's Books

In a war-torn city it is cold and there is little food. When a rocket destroys the relief truck that brought what few supplies it could, Mr. O, a famous musician, takes his cello into the middle of the square and plays. Through his music, we learn that courage can sustain the soul just as bread sustains the body.


The Remarkable Farkle McBride

Written by: Lithgow, John
Published by: Simon and Schuster

Young Farkle McBride is a musical prodigy who can't seem to find the right instrument to play - until he decides to play all of them at once!


Bach's Big Adventure

Written by: Ketcham, Sallie
Published by: Orchard Books

Young Johann Sebastian Bach thought he was the best organist in all of Germany and the world, but that we before he heard the famous Jan Adam Reincken play. This charming book describes Bach's journey to hear the master perform.


The Bat Boy and His Violin

Written by: Curtis, Gavin
Published by: Simon and Schuster

Reginald would rather practice his violin, but his father, the manager of a baseball team in the Negro National League, assigns him the job of batboy. (This book contains some interesting history about African-Americans and baseball) Reginald is terrible at this task, however, so Papa puts him on the bench where he finds himself playing classical music as the players come up to bat. His music so inspires the team that they nearly win the league's pennant.


The Cat Who Loved Mozart

Written by: Austin, Patricia
Published by: Holiday House

How can Jennifer earn the love of a stray cat she has befriended who is named Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart? By playing the piano for him! In turn, the cat inspires Jennifer, who is preparing for a music competition.


A Fiddle for Angus

Written by: Wilson, Budge
Published by: Tundra Books

Young Angus, who lives in a Cape Breton village near the sea, wants to learn how to play an instrument so he can join his family's small musical group. After considering many possibilities, he decides to learn the fiddle, and works very hard with a local teacher to master its intricacies. His goal is accomplished one evening in June when he joins the others in the family and plays with them in a concert on the beach. This is a good story. For youngsters who are just starting to study music.


Fiddlin' Sam

Written by: Dengler, Marianna
Published by: South Sea International Press

Everyone in the Ozark Mountains loved to hear Sam play his old lionhead fiddle as he wandered the back roads, stopping at farms and towns. Sam was getting old, however, and he was looking for someone to take over for him. As his Pa said, "This ain't a gift, Son. It's a loan. You gotta pass the music along." He finds his successor in a most unlikely way.


Gabriella's Song

Written by: Fleming, Candace
Published by: Athaneum Books for Young Readers

Gabriella loves to sing, and she makes up a wonderful tune that blended the sounds of her native city, Venice. One can hear "the slap-slap of drying laundry; the flap-flap of pigeon wings; the jing-aling-ling of lire; and the ting-aling-ling of church bells." Giuseppe Del Pietro, a famous composers, hears Gabriella's song and rejoices; it's just the theme he needs for his new symphony! When they hear this work performed in the great Piazza San Marco, music lovers from all over the city agree that this piece is his greatest composition.


A Mouse Called Wolf

Written by: King-Smith, Dick
Published by: Dell Yearling

Wolfgang Amadeus Mouse and his family live in the leg of a grand piano in the home of Mrs. Honeybee, who was once a concert pianist. As she plays daily, young "Wolf" listens intently and wishes mightily that he too could perform such wonderful music. One day, to his amazement, he finds that he can sing! When Mrs. Honeybee discovers this as well, the two become improbable friends as she teaches him new tunes and Wolf ultimately composes his very own work.


Music in the Family

Written by: Carter, Donna Renee
Published by: Lindsay Publishing, Inc.

Oliver is an African-American whose family loves music and has its own band. When the group decides to enter a families-only musical competition Oliver wants to join in, but he is told that he is not yet ready to do so. However, he works very hard with a teacher and learns the music anyway. He also learns what it means to play not just the notes but the music. Then, at the event itself his father is injured and Oliver steps in to fill the gap with great results; the family wins first prize!


Nate the Great and the Musical Note

Written by: Sharmat, Marjorie Weinman
Published by: Coward-McCann, Inc.

Nate's friend, Pip, has received a mysterious musical note from Rosamond, his piano teacher. What can it mean? Nate must sift through several musical clues for the answer - and find it by four o'clock!


Bach's Goldberg Variations

Written by: Celenza, Anna Harwell
Published by: Charlesbridge
Grades 3+

This charming book is based on the true story behind the naming of this famous piece of music. Included is a CD of the work.


Pictures at an Exhibition

Written by: Celenza, Anna Harwell
Published by: Charlesbridge

Modest Mussorgsky is devastated that his young artist friend, Victor Hartmann, has died. He decides to write a musical memorial to his life and works. Beautifully illustrated by JoAnn E. Kitchell. Included is a CD of the work.


Hallelujah Handel

Written by: Cowling, Douglas
Published by: Scholastic Press

Although George Frederick Handel was one of the brightest musical stars of 18th century London, he found time to help orphaned children who lived on the streets. This is a tale of one such young boy who cannot speak but can sing like an angel.


Gus and Grandpa and the Piano Lesson

Written by: Mills, Claudia
Published by: Farrar, Straus and Giroux

Gus has a hard time with his piano lessons until Grandpa shows him how to get the music into his fingers. After that, he doesn't want to stop playing.


Molly and the Sword

Written by: Shlasko, Robert
Published by: Jane & Street Publishers

When Molly was a very young girl she showed great courage in a time of war, which was recognized by the leader of the enemy forces. Later, she became a famous violinist. Imagine her surprise when, after she is invited to play in the most famous concert hall in the world, she meets this prince once again.


Making Music

Written by: Bonners, Susan
Published by: Farrar, Straus and Giroux

Annie has just moved to a new town with her mother and baby brother. She misses her favorite Uncle, Johnny, who taught her about music. However, in the evenings Annie can hear a piano being played in the neighborhood. She becomes friends with the elderly Mrs. Bergstrom, a retired piano teacher. Annie's mother can't afford lessons, but Mrs. Bergstrom finds a way and Annie learns about music after all.


Spider Storch's Music Mess

Written by: Willner-Pardo, Gina
Published by: Albert Whitman and Co

Spider is in third grade and has to choose an instrument to play in the Music for Beginners class. As he is one of the last to pick, he is forced to select the flute. When his classmates make fun of him for playing a "sissy" instrument, Spider is determined to find a way to be dismissed from the class. However, he discovers that playing "Home on the Range" gives him goosebumps, so he re-thinks his decision and is able to play in the Junior Band Concert after all.


The Violin Lesson and the Cross Street Band

Written by: Givens, Steven J.
Published by: New Canaan Publishing Co

Young Jonathan is tired of hearing his neighbors argue with each other. Everyone seems to be unhappy! Then his Great-Grandfather tells him a story of a magical violin that once broke through a wall of hatred. When Jonathan begins playing his instrument in the middle of Cross Street, he finds that music has the power to change people's lives.


Basket of Beethoven

Written by: Currie, Susan
Published by: Fitzhenry & Whiteside

Sam can make up sound patterns in his head, but it is not until he hears the new girl in school, Helen, play the piano that he understands what music is all about. Determined to learn to play himself but without money - he lives in the projects - Sam strikes a bargain with the haughty Helen; he will keep the local bullies away from her in exchange for piano lessons. Soon, Sam is practicing secretly but hard on the keyboard he has made from wood scraps. When the school talent show comes around, he finally makes his debut in front his mother as well as his schoolmates.


Cassie Loves Beethoven

Written by: Arkin, Alan
Published by: Hyperion Books for Children

This is an absolutely delightful story about a cow on Cape Breton Island. Cassie refuses to give milk. To encourage her, David and Hallie play classical music in her stall, in particular Beethoven's Pastoral Symphony. Suddenly, Cassie is talking and insisting on learning all about Beethoven. Her antics as she tries to attend a local concert are hilarious and her efforts to learn to play the piano touching. The reader will learn what it means to practice hard to achieve one's goal.


Fiddle Fever

Written by: Doucet, Sharon Arms
Published by: Clarion Books

Felix, a young Cajun boy who is 14 years old in 1914, wants more than anything else in the world to learn to play the fiddle like his 'Nonc Adolphe. His mother objects strongly, however, so Felix must make this happen all by himself. He builds an instrument out of a cigar box and carved pieces of wood, then sets about learning to play it. Despite some setbacks along the way, Felix finally achieves his dream.


The Mystery of the Stolen Music

Written by: Warner, Gertrude
Published by: Albert Whitman and Co.

The boxcar children now live with their grandfather and an orchestra is coming to town. The children are excited to hear the orchestra play, to meet the musicians and to learn how to make their own instruments. The orchestra is also displaying a very valuable old piece of music. When it mysteriously disappears, it is up to the boxcar children to find it.


Rose Faces the Music

Written by: Williams, L.E
Published by: Magic Attic Press

Rose takes part in a special adventure when she visits the magic attic in her neighbor's house. She becomes part of an all-girl jazz band that is on its way to play for the President of the United States at his inauguration. An officious press secretary tries to sideline its appearance when he sees how young the members of the group are, but Rose finds a way to save the day. When the President himself applauds her solo, she knows complete happiness. This book is part of the Magic Attic Club series.


The Violin Case Case

Written by: Warfel, Diantha
Published by: E. P. Dutton

Bax (short for Sebastian as he was named after Johann Sebastian Bach) is a violinist. Although school is over for the summer, he decides to audition for the local community orchestra. His aunt, visiting from abroad, insists that he use the violin she has just purchased in Germany. Something's afoot, however, as various characters try to get their hands on the instrument. Bax, with the help of his friends Kip and Susan, eventually solves the mystery of why this violin and its case are so important.


Yang the Eldest and His Odd Jobs

Written by: Namioka, Lensey
Published by: Little Brown and Company

Yang and his family, Chinese immigrants who live in Seattle, are all very musical (except for Fourth Brother!), but Yang is the most talented of all. When he finds his violin needs replacement, he spends the summer working hard to earn money to buy a new instrument. Unfortunately, in so doing he loses his way musically. His brothers and sisters help him to regain his passion. This book is part of a series that includes Yang the Youngest and His Terrible Ear, Yang the Second and her Secret Admirers and Yang the Third and Her Impossible Family. They are all excellent, relating stories of the Yang children's musical activities.


Yolanda's Genius

Written by: Fenner, Carol
Published by: Margaret K. McElderry Books

Yolanda, an 11-year-old African-American, has moved from Chicago to a suburb with her mother and her young brother, Andrew. Andrew has a special gift; he can make his harmonica imitate almost any sound or emotion. He plays the bacon sizzling, his sister's song, the sounds of the local boys who ride their skateboards. Yolanda is convinced that he is a genius, and finds a way to bring her brother's talent to the attention of the people who count at the famous blues festival in town. Her street smarts, intelligence and physical size stand her in good stead as she fights for recognition for Andrew, taking on all comers.


Barbie

Written by: Barne, Kitty
Published by: Little Brown and Company

This is a wonderful story set in England in the middle of the 20th century. Barbie, Laurel's cousin, comes to stay for a year while her mother recovers from an illness and her father travels. She is a true musician, and home and school are forced to adapt to her needs as Barbie struggles to keep up with her violin studies on her own. She is desperate to find a real teacher; though music lovers of all kinds befriend her, they are not what Barbie needs, and the great Vascoletti has refused to take her as a student. Then, when everyone else has failed, Laurel's young brother, Simon, saves the day.


Becoming Felix

Written by: Wilson, Nancy Hope
Published by: Farrar, Straus and Giroux

JJ lives on a dairy farm and is devoted to the animals he helps tend. However, he also loves to play the clarinet that belonged to his grandfather. As work at home and the demands of his school jazz band vie against one another, JJ must decide where music fits into his life. His relationship with his friend, Steven, who plays the drums as well as JJ does the clarinet, is also in jeopardy. It is a hard year all around, especially when the milk cows on the farm have to be sold to make ends meet. However, when Steven and JJ become the stars at a special band bash, it becomes apparent that music will always be part of JJ's life.


Beethoven in Paradise

Written by: O'Connor, Barbara
Published by: Farrar, Straus and Giroux

Twelve-year-old Martin has a rare talent for music, but his father thinks studying music is a waste of time and only for sissies. Nothing Martin ever has or does is good enough for his dad, who wants him to play baseball. He finds support for his music, however, in unlikely alliances with an elderly neighbor, Wylene, his grandmother, Hazeline and a new girl in town. When a local pawnshop displays a violin in its window, Martin doesn't rest until it becomes his. By teaching himself to play, he demonstrates his unusual musical abilities, but his father cruelly ends his study. The descriptions of the father's emotional abuse can make this book difficult to read, but the determination to follow his dream that Martin demonstrates is heart-warming and inspiring.


The Facts and Fictions of Minna Pratt

Written by: MacLachlan, Patricia
Published by: Harper and Row

This is a coming of age story about a young cellist, Minna, who needs to learn how to accept her eccentric family for what it is. Her brother, his friend Emily, and Minna's new friend, Lucas, help her to do this. Meanwhile, her string quartet is preparing for a special competition. Will Minna find her vibrato in time?


Mountain Solo

Written by: Ingold, Jeanette
Published by: Harcourt Books

Tess started playing the violin when she was three, thanks to a pushy mother. Identified as a wunderkind, she and her mother now live in New York so Tess can pursue her studies with the very best teachers. Now she's sixteen and has just failed in her first major concert appearance. Ashamed, embarrassed and confused, Tess flees New York for her native Missoula, Minnesota and her Dad. While there, she helps her stepmother hunt for a lost homestead of a pioneer who was himself a musician, finds out what music really means to her and makes the decisions necessary to allow her to resume her studies and yet remain true to herself.


The Mozart Season

Written by: Wolff, Virginia
Published by: Holt

This book tells the story of Allegra Shapiro, a 12-year-old violinist who finds that she has been chosen to participate in a musical competition. Allegra is the youngest competitor, and the story revolves about her efforts to prepare for this challenge. The book also deals with her relationship with her teacher, her parents (both of whom are professional musicians) and others in the community. Readers will also relate to her struggles for excellence and independence.


Play to the Angel

Written by: Dahlberg, Maureen
Published by: Farrar, Straus and Giroux

Set in Vienna in 1938, in the shadow of an increasingly dangerous Nazi Germany, 12-year-old Greta pursues her dream of becoming a concert pianist like her dead brother, Kurt, despite the fact that her mother doesn't want her to study music. She befriends an elderly gentleman in her apartment building who, as it turns out, knows all there is to know about teaching piano.


The Rising Star of Rusty Nail

Written by: Blume, Lesley M.M.
Published by: Knopf Books for Young Readers

Franny Hansen, a 10-year old piano prodigy, lives in small town Rusty Nail, Minnesota in 1953. She's progressed beyond the local music teacher and yearns for more musical challenge. It seems impossible until a mysterious Russian woman moves into Rusty Nail. Franny's neighbors are convinced the Russian woman is a communist. Is she a threat to Franny's American way of life or the answer to her musical dreams?


Dance Me a Story: Twelve Tales from the Classic Ballets

Written by: Rosenberg, Jane
Published by: Thames & Hudson
Rated G

Delightful retellings of the greatest ballets, including the romantic arabesques of Giselle and the classical attitudes of The Sleeping Beauty. The tales can be introductions to a ballet or help relive a production already seen.


Sing Me a Story: The Metropolitan Opera’s Book of Opera Stories for Children

Written by: Rosenberg, Jane
Published by: Thames & Hudson
Rated G

Delightful retellings of the greatest operas— enjoy the gaiety of The Barber of Seville or the lavish spectacle of Aïda for example. The tales can be introductions to an opera or help relive a production already seen.


 

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