Beautiful books that tell the stories of some of the greatest musicians of all time? Yes please. We want our children to engage with these musicians’ stories as they listen to music and as they begin to write their own life-stories. We try to find a good range of artists from different points in time & from different areas & various cultures. Just like with our art history books, we really want our kids to see the diversity in music history, learning from people who look, talk, and paint different from them, and also to find artists with whom they can relate culturally. Here are some of the books we use to help us come together and appreciate one another through art– all while learning history & learning to look at artist’s contexts and not just their artworks.
Drum Dream Girl: How One Girl’s Courage Changed Music
Written by Margarita Engle
Illustrated by Rafael Lopez
Inspired by the story of Millo Castro Zaldarriaga, a Chinese-African-Cuban female drummer whose music transcended and shaped traditional gender expectations and made a way for more female percussionists.
When Louis Armstrong Taught Me Scat by Muriel Harris Weinstein
Illustrated by R. Gregory Christie
An interesting way to teach about Louis Armstrong’s classic and revolutionary music form ‘scat’, here a child comes to Louis Armstrong in her dreams to be transported in playful-lyrical text through scat-dream-worlds. A total delight to read, especially if you let yourself go all in <3