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Have you ever noticed how music changes the entire atmosphere of a room? Music can be a powerful force in people’s lives – especially kids. Kids books about music can introduce them to this wonderful musical world.
Most kids love music, which means there’s no better time to introduce them to books about music! They’re excited to learn the names of different instruments and about musical terms such as dynamics and rhythm.
That’s why we use Greatest Works Tour with our kids. It’s a music and art appreciation curriculum that needs no prep work and you can do it in 10 minutes a day!
The curriculum is 30 weeks and includes a teacher’s guide, student guide, and a student activity book. Our favorite part is the teacher’s guide is completely digital and has over 200 links to musical performances and artwork, so it can always be at your fingertips!
You can download a free sample lesson and learn more about Greatest Works Tour here. We’ve loved seeing our kids experience the greatest works in history!
Now, onto 20 kids books about music! Note: This list doesn’t include biographical books about classical composers – stay tuned for a post with those books in the future. 🙂
As with any online recommendation, please use your own judgement to determine what’s best for your family. Read parental reviews such as Common Sense Media, read book reviews on Amazon, or pre-read the books to determine appropriateness for your children.
88 Instruments by Chris Barton
A boy goes to a music store with his parents to choose an instrument. But, there are so many great options! After trying several instruments, how can he choose the right one?
Animal Orchestra by Ilo Orleans
I remember having this classic Little Golden Book when I was a child! Imagine a hippo conductor leading an orchestra of animals. This book also rhymes, making it a great read aloud option.
Before John Was a Jazz Giant by Carol Boston Weatherford
This book is based on the childhood of jazz legend John Coltrane. We watch John hear the music all around him in unexpected ways. After reading this book, kids can discover the music to be found in our daily lives.
Charlie Parker Played Be Bop by Christopher Raschka
This book is lightly introduces kids to jazz and improvisation. This is another great read aloud filled with alliterations and a rhythm that sounds like music itself!
Do Re Mi: If You Can Read Music, Thank Guido D’Arezzo by Susan Roth
How do you write down the sounds of song? Imagine the first person to come up with a way to write music. This is a fictional story about a man who struggles and perseveres to develop a musical notation system.
I Know a Shy Fellow Who Swallowed a Cello by Barbara S. Garriel
Remember “There Was an Old Lady Who Swallowed a Fly”? This is a fresh new telling of that, only with instruments! You’ll giggle at the story and illustrations as more and more instruments are introduced.
M Is for Music by Kathleen Krull
We all love a good alphabet book, right? We have two of them on our list, and M is for Music is first. This book has one letter per page and several musical terms that start with each letter. It also includes a wide variety of music genres and musicians, from classical to contemporary.
M is for Melody by Kathy-jo Wargin
Our second alphabet book is M is for Melody. This book covers musical terms, instruments, styles and composers with rhymes worthy to be read aloud. Great illustrations, as well!
Marsh Music by Marianna Berkes
At nighttime, the marsh comes alive with music. Different kinds of frogs each sing their song to form the music of the marsh. Complete with accurate frog species, this rhythmic story makes for another great read aloud.
Meet the Orchestra by Ann Hayes
Animal musicians gather for an orchestra performance. Each musician and instrument is introduced with lovely illustrations, and kids are introduced to the idea of a symphony orchestra.
Moses Goes to a Concert by Isaac Millman
Moses and his classmates, who are deaf, are preparing to go to a concert. Throughout the book, you can read in English and also see images describing key words in American Sign Language. This is a great book for any child about to go to a concert, or is interested in ASL.
Music over Manhattan by Mark Karlins
Cousin Herbert has always been the big deal compared to Bernie. Bernie didn’t have a special talent until he was given a trumpet. Then, his gift couldn’t be ignored.
Never Play Music Right Next to the Zoo by John Lithgow
A concert goes awry in this lively book. Zoo animals storm the stage and take over as the musicians! This silly book comes with a CD of John Lithgow singing this song with an orchestra.
Passing the Music Down by Sarah Sullivan
This is a heartwarming tale of a boy in Appalachia who is befriended by an old fiddler. We watch their relationship grow along with the boy’s musical talent. This book is inspired by two real fiddlers, Melvin Wine and Jake Krack.
The Remarkable Farkle McBride by John Lithgow
Another John Lithgow book for your family to enjoy! Farkle McBride is a talented musician who learns the instruments one by one. However, he feels something is missing in his life until he discovers his true musical passion.
Squeak, Rumble, Whomp! Whomp! Whomp! by Wynton Marsalis
What do a truck, a mouse, and a hungry stomach have in common? They make music! Take a rhythmic tour through the neighborhood and discover the sounds all around you.
Story of the Orchestra by Robert Levine
Join Orchestra Bob in this thorough introduction to the orchestra. This is the most informational book on our list, and covers instruments, composers, and musical styles — and comes with a CD to experience music for ourselves!
This Jazz Man by Karen Ehrhardt
A remake of the children’s song “This Old Man,” this book introduces 9 jazz greats. The text is so fun to sing aloud to the “This Old Man” tune and the illustrations are excellent. Kids will join in on the counting and may even get up and dance!
Tubby the Tuba by Paul Tripp
This classic story features a tuba who wants to play more than “oompah, oompah.” Read the book and also enjoy the CD of the story being read by a narrator accompanied by an orchestra.
Zin! Zin! Zin! A Violin by Lloyd Moss
One by one, and orchestra is formed on stage. This book introduces the instruments, reinforces counting skills with kids, and is another perfect, rhyming read aloud.
Are you ready for your kids to have more music appreciation? Get a FREE sample lesson from Greatest Works Tour – a comprehensive music & art appreciation curriculum – now!