Spring is in the air, and Easter is just around the corner! And whether or not you view Easter as a big holiday with gifts, music, and celebration, this holiday is an opportunity waiting to be taken hold of when it comes to encouraging a musical home environment 🙂
Easter baskets and chocolate bunnies are currently lining the shelves in all the local stores, and although I love a good chocolate bunny or egg, the idea of giving the gift of something that will last is even more appealing. And books would be the perfect addition to the basket this year!
Because I am big on creating a musical home environment AND on encouraging children to learn through literacy, books become the obvious choice for exciting Easter basket fillers that will last well beyond the sugar-saturated week after Easter.
So whether you’re filling your own basket ( 😉 ), your children’s, or suggesting to your studio families ways they can add music learning into their Easter traditions, click on the Book Nook image below and see my growing list of favorites to incorporate into lessons or your student communication.
For this month’s book recommendations, I’m keenly aware that this is the season where budding musicians get to test and choose their instruments for the fall. There are many reasons a student chooses a specific instrument – sound, look, peer pressure, fascination, etc. It’s important to make sure up-and- coming fifth graders are able to make educated decisions 🙂 All three books below will allow your child to enter the world of band and orchestra instruments aware of their options. Click on the images below to order.
Adults – you have not been forgotten! Learning about music through literature is just as important for us as it is for the young ones. For this month’s book recommendation, I want to introduce you to an oldie-but-goodie 🙂 The Piano Shop on the Left Bank: Discovering a Forgotten Passion in a Paris Atelier is Thad Carhart’s personal story of returning to the piano as an American adult living in Paris. This retelling of his experience weaves in and out to give the reader a view of French culture, musical friendships, the history of the piano and character each unique instrument holds, and the inner thoughts of an adult returning to music.
As a piano teacher, I appreciated hearing his thoughts on returning to music years after childhood. Although each of my students have different history, there is a poignancy to his story that reminds me where many of my adults are coming from and encourages me to be a lifelong learner as well.
As a pianist, I can now say that I understand and relate to the instrument completely different than before reading this. College taught me more about the piano and individuality of each brand and instrument than I had been exposed to earlier in my life. But Carhart’s passionate, reflective, and thorough learning of how two pianos can be vastly different from each other taught me more about pianos themselves than I thought possible through words on a page. Pianos have history, personality, and expression that can be easily missed if we do not look for it.
As an adult student, it is always precious to realize that there is someone else who can relate to your feelings, struggles, and triumphs. Carhart shows us the depth of his passion and reminds us that we are never too old to rekindle a lost love.
You can order his book here 🙂