Black History Month in the Music Studio

Welcome to February! The month where all things love, winter (snow seems to fall a bit extra in Cleveland), and Black History month converge! While I strive to incorporate Valentine’s Day and weather-related activities in with my student’s learning, February presents a unique opportunity to celebrate artists and music styles in a very specific and pointed way.

Although my students play and listen to music by African-American musicians, I also want them to have a picture of who theses musicians were/are as people too.

And that’s where learning through literacy comes in!

Below I’ve shared a huge list of books that will open your students up to learning about the lives of the people behind the music. You will find that whether in group settings or individual lessons, students will enjoy this colorful, artistic, and creative approach to learning something new. And reading together is a fantastic way to build relationships with your students and keep them actively engaged in the learning process 🙂 A win – win all the way around!

This year as we celebrate Black History Month, let’s commit to giving our students a well-rounded experience as they play and perform, listen to, and read about the music of these incredible musicians!

Amazon.com: King of Ragtime: The Story of Scott Joplin: 9781534410367:  Costanza, Stephen, Costanza, Stephen: Books

The Story of Scott Joplin
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Amazon.com: She Raised Her Voice!: 50 Black Women Who Sang Their Way Into  Music History: 9780762475162: Elizabeth, Jordannah, Dengoue, Briana: Books

Black Female Musicians

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Amazon.com: The Story of Rap: 9781684125081: Editors of Caterpillar Books,  Sagar, Lindsey: Books

History of Rap

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Aretha Franklin (Little People, BIG DREAMS, 44): 9780711246867: Sanchez  Vegara, Maria Isabel, Blackwell, Amy: Books - Amazon.com

Aretha Franklin
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Who Was Bob Marley?: Ellison, Katie, Who HQ, Copeland, Gregory:  9780448489193: Amazon.com: Books

Bob Marley
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Amazon.com: Trombone Shorty: 9781419714658: Andrews, Troy, Collier, Bryan:  Books

The story of trombonist Troy Andrews
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Amazon.com: Stevie Wonder (Volume 56) (Little People, BIG DREAMS, 56):  9780711257757: Sanchez Vegara, Maria Isabel, Johnson, Melissa Lee: Books

Stevie Wonder

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Change Sings by Amanda Gorman: 9780593203224 | PenguinRandomHouse.com: Books

A Children’s Anthem
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Amazon.com: Welcome to Jazz: A Swing-Along Celebration of America's Music,  Featuring “When the Saints Go Marching In”: 9781523506880: Sloan, Carolyn,  Gibson, Jessica: Books

A brilliant break down of how jazz works
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Amazon.com: I Got the Rhythm: 9781619631786: Schofield-Morrison, Connie,  Morrison, Frank, Schofield-Morrison, Connie: Books

Capturing the beat of the street

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Who Was Duke Ellington? by M. D. Payne, Who HQ: 9780399539626 |  PenguinRandomHouse.com: Books

Duke Ellington
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Jazz for Lunch! | Book by Jarrett Dapier, Eugenia Mello | Official  Publisher Page | Simon & Schuster

A celebration of music, food, and family
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A Jimi Hendrix Children's Book | All Of It | WNYC

Guitar Legend Jimi Hendrix
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Little People Big Dreams Ella Fitzgerald /anglais: Sanchez Vegara, Maria  Isabel: 9781786030863: Amazon.com: Books

Ella Fitzgerald
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Double Bass Blues: Loney, Andrea J., Gutierrez, Rudy: 9781524718527:  Amazon.com: Books

Dedication, music, and family can overcome our obstacles
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Amazon.com: Who Was Louis Armstrong?: 9780448433684: McDonough, Yona  Zeldis, Who HQ, O'Brien, John: Books

Louis Armstrong
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Little Melba and Her Big Trombone: Katheryn Russell-Brown, Frank Morrison:  9781600608988: Amazon.com: Books

The story of a trailblazing musician and unsung hero of jazz
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15 Great Children's Books About African-American Musicians and Dancers |  WOSU News

The inspiring story of Florence Mills
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6 exquisite children's books about women African American singers

Ella’s story
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Black History Month (musicians) 🎶🎺🎷🎸🎻🥁🎤🎼 Children's Book Collection  | Discover Epic Children's Books, Audiobooks, Videos & More

The man who introduced the world to jazz
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Who Was Aretha Franklin?: Medina, Nico, Who HQ, Copeland, Gregory:  9780451532398: Amazon.com: Books

Aretha Franklin
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Who is Florence Price? These NYC kids have an answer : NPR

The first black woman to be recognized as a symphonic composer
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19 Books for African American Music Appreciation Month | Black Children's  Books and Authors

An A to Z Collection of Jazz Portraits
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Muddy: The Story of Blues Legend Muddy Waters: Mahin, Michael, Turk, Evan:  9781481443494: Amazon.com: Books

Blues Legend Muddy waters
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6 exquisite children's books about women African American singers

Marian Anderson: Drawing massive mixed crowds in the pre-civil rights era.
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Children's Books by Black Authors & Illustrators to Buy Now – SheKnows

Nina Simone
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Amazon.com: Duke Ellington's Nutcracker Suite (Once Upon a Masterpiece):  9781570917011: Celenza, Anna Harwell, Tate, Don: Books

A jazzy nutcracker rendition
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Amazon.com: Charlie Parker Played Be Bop: 9780531070956: Raschka, Chris,  Raschka, Chris: Books

A Charlie Parker board book
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Amazon.com: Born to Swing: Lil Hardin Armstrong's Life in Jazz:  9781629795553: Rockliff, Mara, Wood, Michele: Books

Hardin Armstrong: legendary jazz pianist, composer and bandleader
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Amazon.com: Ray Charles (First Discovery Music): 9781851034444: Ollivier,  Stéphane, Courgeon, Remi: Books

The Story of Ray Charles’ life
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By and By | Book by Carole Boston Weatherford, Bryan Collier | Official  Publisher Page | Simon & Schuster

The Father of Gospel Music
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Amazon.com: Before John Was a Jazz Giant: A Song of John Coltrane:  9780805079944: Weatherford, Carole Boston, Qualls, Sean: Books

The childhood of John Coltrane
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Swing Sisters: The Story of the International Sweethearts of Rhythm: Deans,  Karen, Cepeda, Joe: 9780823419708: Amazon.com: Books

A band in the early 1900s that began at school and ended traveling the world performing and chipping away at racial barriers.
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Amazon.com: Birth of the Cool: How Jazz Great Miles Davis Found His Sound:  9781624146909: Berman, Kathleen Cornell, Brown, Keith Henry: Books

The childhood and early career of Miles Davis
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Amazon.com: Who Is Stevie Wonder? (Who Was?): 9780448488585: Gigliotti,  Jim, Who HQ, Marchesi, Stephen: Books

Stevie Wonder
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6 exquisite children's books about women African American singers

The story of a song that paved the way for the Civil Rights Movement.
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RESPECT: Aretha Franklin, the Queen of Soul: Weatherford, Carole Boston,  Morrison, Frank: 9781534452282: Amazon.com: Books

Aretha Franklin’s inspiring story
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Amazon.com: Black Music Greats: 40 inspiring icons: 9781786034717: Cachin,  Olivier, Masi, Jérôme: Books

40 inspiring black musicians
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Ella Fitzgerald: The Tale of a Vocal Virtuosa: Pinkney, Andrea Davis,  Pinkney, J. Brian, Monroe, Scat Cat: 9781439591604: Amazon.com: Books

Ella Fitzgerald
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Amazon.com: Max Found Two Sticks (Reading Rainbow Book): 9780689815935:  Pinkney, Brian, Pinkney, Brian: Books

Hearing rhythm in everyday life
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Amazon.com: Sonny Rollins Plays the Bridge: 9781984813664: Golio, Gary,  Ransome, James: Books

Sonny Rollins and his inspired practice spot
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The Roots of Rap | Book by Carole Boston Weatherford, Frank Morrison |  Official Publisher Page | Simon & Schuster

History of Rap Music
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Libba: The Magnificent Musical Life of Elizabeth Cotten (Early Elementary  Story Books, Children's Music Books, Biography Books for Kids): Veirs,  Laura, Fazlalizadeh, Tatyana: 9781452148571: Amazon.com: Books

One of the most celebrated American Folk Musicians of All Time
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Leontyne Price: Voice of a Century: Weatherford, Carole Boston, Colón,  Raul: 9780375856068: Amazon.com: Books

African – American Opera Star Leontyne Price
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Amazon.com: Dizzy: 9780439507370: Jonah Winter, Sean Qualls: Books

The Story of Dizzy Gillespie
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Amazon.com: Squeak, Rumble, Whomp! Whomp! Whomp!: A Sonic Adventure:  0884314658092: Marsalis, Wynton, Rogers, Paul: Books

Learning to experience sound all around us
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Amazon.com: A Voice Named Aretha: 9781681198507: Russell-Brown, Katheryn,  Freeman, Laura: Books

Aretha Franklin
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Children's Books to Celebrate Black History… | PBS KIDS for Parents

Celebrating the Black National Anthem
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Amazon.com: Nina: Jazz Legend and Civil-Rights Activist Nina Simone:  9781580898270: Brière-Haquet, Alice, Liance, Bruno: Books

Nina Simone
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Making Their Voices Heard: The Inspiring Friendship of Ella Fitzgerald and Marilyn  Monroe: Kirkfield, Vivian, Harris, Alleanna: 9781499809152: Amazon.com:  Books

Ella Fitzgerald’s Friendship With Marilyn Monroe
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