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My First Classical Music Book Hardcover – February 1, 2009

4.7 out of 5 stars 31 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Review

An exuberant and fascinating introduction to instruments, melodies and composers alike - Handel, Brahms, Stravinsky, John Adams are all included - and comes with a CD, the carefully chosen tracks dovetailing nicely with the text. - Judith Woods, The Daily Telegraph 'For younger listeners, My First Classical Music Book by Genevieve Helsby combines a picture book and a 69-minute CD in a venture that gives the project of introducing children to proper music its biggest boost since Peter and the Woolf. Dotted among Jason Chapman's lively illustrations are some facts even grown-ups won't know...and there is even a game attempt to evoke the special quality of minimalist music: 'Listening to it is like staring at a fire, or at the sea; you find yourself stuck there, just watching, listening...'. Helsby does an excellent job of making classical msuic accessible and entertaining, with well-chosen CD tracks that kick off with the theme music from the Harry Potter films (by Carl Davis) and follow up with a rousing greatest-hits selection from Offenbach's Can-Can to Saint-Saens's animals, and just a small sample of the dread minimalism thrown in. A sticker on the cover recommends it for ages five to seven, though it would entertain anyone with a few gaps in their knowledge to plug and a few hours of summer leisure time to while away.' - Karen Robinson, The Sunday Times
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Product Details

  • Age Range: 5 and up
  • Grade Level: Kindergarten and up
  • Hardcover: 68 pages
  • Publisher: Naxos Book; Har/Com edition (February 1, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1843791188
  • ISBN-13: 978-1843791188
  • Product Dimensions: 0.5 x 10 x 10.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (31 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #37,820 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Y. McManaman on November 20, 2009
Format: Hardcover
This book was an instant hit with my soon to be 3-year old son. He fell in love with the beautiful pictures. The text about the instruments and composers was easy for him to follow. He kept asking me to read the book over and over again and he named the instruments. Surprisingly, he was very interested in the composers. Needless to say, the CD that's included with the book is an instant hit with him. After a couple of days my son asked for a pencil and paper to "write down music" and announced that he was writing "loud organ music, like Bach". We do something related to this book almost every day - listen to the CD, read a page or two, dance, and talk about and pretend-play different instruments. So far so good!
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Format: Hardcover
My First Classical Music Book is large hardcover book written by Genevieve Helsby and illustrated by Jason Chapman. The book begins by discussing what music is and where you can find it in our everyday lives. One place we see music utilized is in TV and movies. The book uses legendary American composer John Williams as their example. Though, I know Williams primarily from Star Wars, the book uses his work from the Harry Potter film as their example. The book then instructs your children to other places they hear music including dance, weddings, theatres and concert halls.

Next, in the book they will learn about famous composer through the ages. Such composers they will learn about include Bach, Mozart, Beethoven, Brahms, Tchaikovsky, Stravinsky, and the recent John Adams. You will notice that this isn't every possible composer, because my favorite, Handel, was not listed. Nevertheless, it is a good introductory list. Each composer receives two pages of facts, illustrations, and a brief description of their music. For example, Tchaikovsky's music is categorized as ballet music. The final section is dedicated to instruments. The author takes us through each family of instruments (strings, woodwinds, brass, percussion, and keyboard) and gives us about a paragraph of detail (either description of the instrument or who played the instrument really well or both) related to each individual instrument. This is a great section as it introduces your child to instruments they might never have heard of before, and might pique their interest in learning their first instrument or an additional instrument.

There are a lot of things to love about this book. The illustrations are cartoon in style, which will appeal to the younger reader.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I teach a preschool music class, and for our instruments of the orchestra unit this book is perfect! It comes with recordings of the musical examples discussed in the text. For my preschoolers I break it into several days worth of discussion on instruments and types of music. We have lots of fun moving and dancing to the musical examples. Older kids would learn a lot from this book as well, and a more in-depth discussion can be had regarding the music, composers, instruments and recordings involved.
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I started using this book as a guide to teaching 2-4 year old children to listen and enjoy music. It is a good basis for lessons and with some creativity has led to excellent lessons. I'm very excited . My hope is that ultimately they will appreciate and enjoy classical music as I do.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Absolutely LOVE this book! Using this as a homeschool curriculum for my 5 year old. This book is easy to understand and laid out nicely. Could be used as a music curriclum for grades PreK-2 with little additional supplementation. Every page includes a different topic and a track to listen to on the CD. Sometimes we get library go-along books to learn more. Book is a nice hard cover with thick pages and colorful pictures. Surely worth the $12 I paid.
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I introduced my nearly 3yo to Peter and the Wolf a few months ago, and he loved it. It became the only thing we listened to in the car, and after a few months I was ready for a change. We have both really enjoyed this book! The song selection is varied and excellent, and it buys us a full 70 minutes of peace on long car trips, which makes it worth much more than I paid for it :) He has even identified his favorite songs and requests them by name.

If you have a child ages 3-9 with an interest in classical music, this is a great introductory book. I also recommend a CD with Peter and the Wolf and Britten's Young Person's Guide to the Orchestra. For older children there are other books that go into more detail about the composers and instruments.
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We added this to supplement our home school curriculum. This book is so wonderful. My kids ages 3 and 5 adore music day. We have explored different types of music, the different instruments and now we are learning about the composers. Kids are capable of learning way more than you think! The accompanying music CD is essential. My kids have gotten so good at picking out different instruments in a piece...and as a bonus have developed a real love of classical music! What more can I ask for? Nothing! A+++
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I bought this as a gift for my nephew's third birthday. He absolutely loves music and instruments. It's definitely over his head for now - it has a lot of text. But, he loves to look at it, talk about the pictures, and read short sections at a time. He's learned all of the instruments in it, and even corrected me when I called the glockenspiel a piano! Too funny. I think this will be a keeper if he continues to be so interested in classical music.
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