Using one of the most famous works in classical music—Beethoven’s Fifth Symphony—here is the perfect way to introduce a young child to the world of classical music.
My love of classical music came from my childhood piano teacher who insisted I only learn the classics. While I probably wasn’t as appreciative as I am now, learning about classical music and the orchestra became a passion of mine. One of the things on my ‘bucket list’ to do with my kids is take them to see a symphony orchestra and there are many opportunities right here in Austin – even ones that are made just for kids. But first, I’m so glad I discovered a cool interactive book called Welcome to the Symphony that not only teaches you about classical music, it teaches kids about the entire experience of going to the symphony.
Welcome to the Symphony: A Musical Exploration of the Orchestra Using Beethoven’s Symphony No. 5 is a children’s interactive picture book that has 19 (NINETEEN!) sound buttons that creates an entire experience of a reader taking a journey of a symphony. Learn and hear about the first moment when the musicians begin tuning up to the end of the first movement (attention newcomers: don’t clap yet!). Children will learn about the basics of classical music and the orchestra. What is a conductor? What is a symphony? Who was Beethoven? They learn it all in Welcome to the Symphony! My personal favorite part of the book is that it teaches the different aspects of music: melody, harmony, tempo, and theme as well as the families of instruments; strings, woodwinds, brass, and percussion. And – drum roll please – it makes it all fun and engaging to learn about melodies and harmonies. It’s AWESOME.
The illustrations in the book are amazing and allow the reader to become immersed in the gorgeous sound of an orchestra. Of course, my girls loved the sound panels so that they could hear the different parts of the symphony and voices of the music— from the famous beginning of the Fifth to hearing the difference between a violin and a viola. You can even try to match your own voice to an A note (which is how the orchestra tunes it’s instruments) and sing along to famous da-da-da-daah of Beethoven’s Symphony No. 5! If I could give this book six stars, I would. It’s a definite must read for any family who loves music or wants to learn more about the orchestra. Next up for us – the Austin Symphony!
About the Author: Carolyn Sloan is a music educator at the Berkeley Carroll School in Brooklyn, New York, and the author of Finding Your Voice: A Practical and Spiritual Approach to Singing and Living. A songwriter and musician, she has been writing music for theater, television, and children for the past 20 years. She lives with her family in Brooklyn, New York.
List Price: $24.95 (Currently on sale for $17.52 through Amazon Prime)