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Can You Hear It? Hardcover – November 1, 2006

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Product Details

  • Age Range: 4 - 10 years
  • Grade Level: Preschool - 5
  • Hardcover: 40 pages
  • Publisher: Harry N. Abrams; Rei/Com edition (November 1, 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0810957213
  • ISBN-13: 978-0810957213
  • Product Dimensions: 10.5 x 0.5 x 10.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.3 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (42 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #22,792 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

Grade 2–6—This visual and aural feast invites parents, educators, and young listeners to "listen and look" at 13 examples of pictorial music and visual masterpieces. The introduction prepares readers with an explanation of the connections between composers' notes and art images. A woodblock print by Utagawa Hiroshige, the pointillism of Seurat, and landscapes by Jacob van Ruisdael and Thomas Cole are among those included in the presentation. The paired examples invite listeners to identify solo instruments or orchestral themes that characterize an image found in the visual art, e.g., "Can you hear the gun battles?" in a pairing of a Remington painting with Aaron Copeland's Billy the Kid: Gun Battle. Although seven of the musical pieces are by either Vivaldi or Saint-Saëns, the recordings of works by Gershwin, Tchaikovsky, Rimsky-Korsakov, and Copland reflect a broad range of artists and orchestral styles from America and Europe. This treasure completes a larger unit of study or simply gives pleasure with a presentation of inspired works in dual media for children's appreciation.—Mary Elam, Forman Elementary School, Plano, TX
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

From Booklist

"Classical music is filled with unforgettable images," writes Lach, a senior editor at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. In this title, he pairs reproductions of the museum's masterpieces with selections of classical music, included on an accompanying CD, that correspond with themes and images in the artworks. A spread featuring Utagawa Hiroshige's Chrysanthemums, which pictures a bee hovering over a flower, is matched with Nikolay Rimsky-Korsakov's Flight of the Bumblebee, for example. For each pairing, Lach suggests what to find in the art and what to listen to in the music, making strong connections between the sounds of instruments and the mental images that they may evoke. The easily misplaced CD may pose a problem for libraries, and a reassuring note about the subjective nature of arts interpretation would have been welcome. Still, this beautifully produced volume fills a gap in arts titles for youth. Additional sections about musical instruments, the artists, and the composers round out this creative, useful title. Gillian Engberg
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved

Customer Reviews

I teach first and second grade music.
C. L. Mangiamele
A wonderful book that uses many senses and is great for introducing children to not only classical music but also to fine art in a very fun way!
My three year old son loves doing this book with me.
C. Ogan

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

83 of 84 people found the following review helpful By Delirium on November 22, 2006
Format: Hardcover
This book has a collection of 26 paintings and a CD. Each artwork comes with a question, an item to locate on a page. After the item is found you play the CD and try to hear particular thing displayed on a page (like fish swimming in a lake, or bubbles rising to the surface of the water, etc). There are also clues to which instrument will play a particular musical effect that you will be looking for, so you can find it. At the end of the book, there is a short description of each artwork and each music piece that comes with it.

We have enjoyed the book very much, and would recommend it to families with young children who are ready for introduction of art and music. The music pieces are all classics such as Vivaldi, Saint-Saens, Rimsky-Korsakov, Tchaikovsky, etc. My kids are 8 and 9.
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47 of 47 people found the following review helpful By N. Kaye on January 9, 2007
Format: Hardcover
What inspires an artist? a composer? Why does music "speak" to so many different people? This little publication is a painless introduction to fine art and symphonic music. This is I Spy with a twist. You are asked to gaze at beautiful and interesting artwork while playing different orchestral tracks on the enclosed CD. "Can you hear the marching knights?" "Can you hear the mountain stream?" "Can you hear the rattling skeletons dancing?" The book and CD open with a lovely "meet the instruments" section, which, in itself, is worth the price. I think this book is best enjoyed with a parent and a non-personal CD player but a ten year-old with head phones could zip through all thirteen pieces independently. You might challenge that child to create her own artwork to a piece of her choosing. Or you could plunk a three year-old on your lap and look at just one or two masterpieces at a time. My eight year-old uber athlete loves it and now insists on doing his drawing to music. This book can be enjoyed in many ways, on many levels. It will add spice to a gallery or symphony outing (or even a sibling's band concert!) and with such a wealth of material out there, I sincerely hope a sequel is in the works.
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31 of 31 people found the following review helpful By Amy Gaspard on August 26, 2008
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I absolutely adore this book. As a preschool music teacher, I search for ways to make classical music interesting and fun for young children, and I think this book has done it. With colorful, beautiful artwork and fun musical selections, children love listening closely to "find" the items that are "described" in the music. For young children like mine, I pull out this book occasionally to work on critical listening skills by putting on one or two of the pieces at a time. The only thing I would have liked better is a little more variety in the musical pieces. Vivaldi's Four Seasons and Carnival of the Animals are both used 2-3 times.
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34 of 37 people found the following review helpful By Laura Clare on May 27, 2010
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This book is a great idea, but in practice I didn't find it to be very good. My daughter and I do a lot of listening to classical music and imagining what we think is happening, etc., so I was excited about the concept, but in the end I prefer doing just that with our imaginations rather than trying to juggle a book of art and a cd player. I found it "awkward" to change the song for each page, and my daughter, three, listened for a few seconds, declared "yes I hear the bees" and then, ok let's move onto the next song. (I recommend getting a basic kids classical cd that organizes songs by themes like animals, some even have introductory poems to help the kids imagine the composer's intent-- then they can dance and pretend away!) Integrating artwork was a great idea but in practice it seems "forced"-- Maybe for those who like a more "flashcard" approach just for exposing their child to art wouldn't mind it. I didn't care for some of the selections of "scarier" scenes, such as the art featuring skeletons paired with the fossil composition, or another with sort of odd looking knights going into battle (I'm no pacifist, just sensitive to my three year old daughter's sensibilities- my daughter didn't say she was scared, but I saw the facial expression and read between the lines when she said she liked it but liked to listen to this one "with YOU"). I gave it three stars because it might work for some, and because I did like having a sort of guide to interpreting the music. There is a much more detailed introduction than I expected, with descriptions of various instruments. You might try it-- other people seemed to indicate that their children liked it...I just found it a bit awkward.
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15 of 16 people found the following review helpful By C. L. Mangiamele on January 18, 2009
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I teach first and second grade music. I bought this book so that I would having something extra to do in the case that we had some left over time in class, or if I needed a sub who was not knowledgeable about music.

The book includes recordings from "Carnival of the Animals" as well as "An American in Paris," "Flight of the Bumble Bee," "Dance of the Sugarplum Fairies," and many other programmatic favorites.

The kids love listening and acting out along with the music. My students love this book and ask to read it all the time. AND it's simple enough to use that you do not need to know anything about music to teach with it - so it's a great recommendation if you have a substitute teacher, or if you have parents who want to encourage their children in the area of music.

I've already asked our school librarian to get a few copies for our library.

Its a great book for any music teacher or parents who wants to encourage their children's active listening skills!
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