When people find out that I am a piano teacher, one of my favorite questions that they ask me is, “What age can kids start taking piano lessons?” My answer? My answer is a bit long winded because we have to factor in their motor skills, reading skills, and ability to sit still for at least 20 minutes… then I can stretch it to 30 minutes. But what I’m really thinking in my head is, “Now.” Doesn’t really matter if it is the piano or any other instrument. Teach music now. Listen to it, sing songs, clap with rhythms. Because what music does for our brain, is more than just what we hear. It helps our minds to work with others, to start and finish a project, helps our motor skills, our reading skills, the ability to do multiple things at one time, and stimulates parts of the brain that no other activity can reach.
Okay, there’s my abridged version. Now for what inspired this post. My son received the coolest book for his birthday. The Composer Is Dead by Lemony Snicket. How can you not be intrigued by the somewhat maniacal children’s book title? A captivating mystery which takes the reader on a journey interrogating all its subjects… the orchestra.
The illustrations by Carson Ellis are detailed and thoughtful with perfect artistic lettering. The very clever ending offers lots of wit and charisma with a tinge of deviousness. If you don’t know already, you will learn about the orchestra and all its parts. The music by Nathaniel Stookey is a must-have when reading this book. Ours came with the CD, so make sure yours does as well. I enjoyed the music very much, and can’t read this book without it!