About six months ago, I wrote a song for the book One Day In the Eucalyptus, Eucalyptus Tree. It's a charming story about a little boy who gets swallowed by a snake and how he cleverly escapes. It was such a hit with my students, that I decided to contact the author, Daniel Bernstrom. I told him how much my students LOVED his story and that it inspired me to write a song. I sent it to him and asked if it would be ok to share with other teachers. To my delight, he responded! He said he loved the song and was happy that his book inspired me and my students. He thanked me for "making his story come alive" and encouraged me to share it with others. Then, he challenged me to write a song for his new book, Gator, Gator, Gator!, about a young girl who goes on an adventure searching for a giant alligator. I bought the book, picked up my guitar, and it didn't take long before I heard the melody that matched Daniel's words. I sent him a short video of me playing and singing a verse and chorus to see what he thought, and he immediately wrote back giving me the thumbs up! He spoke about the music theory in his books with "syncopated rhythms" and "changing metrical feet within metrical lines," which explained why his books so easily translate into song. Once it was finished, I read the story to my students and played them the new song I wrote. I told them about my experience communicating with the author and they were thrilled. They loved the new story and song, Gator, Gator, Gator!, and I hope you do too!
I encourage you to buy both of Daniel Bernstrom's books to add to your library. I promise your students are going to LOVE them! To listen to the song I wrote for One Day In the Eucalyptus, Eucalyptus Tree (Click HERE). To purchase Daniel's books, click the button below.
Have you visited the Composer page? There's a different composer featured for every month of the year. This month's composer is Lin-Manuel Miranda! Since the TONY Awards are held every June, I decided to feature a musical theatre composer, and who better than Lin-Manuel? Best known for composing and starring in the smash hit broadway musical Hamilton, Miranda is currently one of America's leading composers of musical theatre, film and television. He is also a singer, actor and dancer who just had a starring role in Disney's Mary Poppins Returns. Click the button below to learn more about Lin-Manuel Miranda and watch clips from his musicals, including some rare video clips from his earlier work on the kids television show The Electric Company!
I found a really great book called "All Are Welcome" by Alexandra Penfold. It's about how a school is a community where "All Are Welcome", no matter your race, religion, age, gender, size, ability, etc. It promotes tolerance and acceptance, and its words and overall message are beautiful and necessary for children to hear, especially in the current climate. I was inspired to write a song using the words of the book and I'm planning on using this at the beginning of the school year with my classes as I welcome them to music.
Let me know what you think and if you have any ideas on how to use the song/story in a lesson!
Hi there! I'm Mr. Q, an elementary music teacher from Florida. I created this website to be a place where kids can come learn all about music, and teachers can find and share great lessons to use in their music classrooms. I'd love to hear from you! You can email me at: firstname.lastname@example.org or simply comment on any of the blog posts with your ideas!