Sing Books with Emily, the Blog

Posts Tagged ‘Power of Music

My friend George told me once that singing is difficult for some because the act of singing is expressing emotion on pitch.  That might also be why long notes are often applauded, because it is not only a physical and musical achievement people marvel at, but also the emotional courage of honestly and brazenly bearing one’s soul.  Overwhelming emotional situations always make me WANT to sing.  This overflow of emotion is the stimulus to sing when people gather and a commonly known song breaks out.

These emotional days of big terrible events and tumultuous changes in society are causing examples to emerge of gathered people breaking out in song.  One of these has been around for a long time, but the other two, recent examples come from the same emotional need to sing and the uniting quality of song.

THE POWER OF SONG

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National Anthem Sung at Boston Bruins Game the Night after Boston Marathon Bomb Attack.

www.youtube.com/watch?v=lbHMRpdk3_4
I do so love the Boston accents so evident in this singing of the National Anthem!

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Gay Marriage Bill Is Passed in New Zealand

www.youtube.com/watch?v=ilMBLV3A6ug
The reading of the vote, cheering, then singing begin about 40 seconds into the video.

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The Who’s Sing Together in Whoville After the Grinch Failed to Steal Christmas

www.youtube.com/watch?v=hqOOUJFv1n0

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Related Posts

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INFO AND THINKING ABOUT SINGABLE PICTURE BOOKS
http://singbookswithemily.wordpress.com/resources-for-inspiration-and-information/

I had a terrible morning feeling very upset (troubled, distrustful, worried, disappointed, suspicious, angry…) about something that happened with one of my children and the way a teacher conducted himself.  I’ve come to worry about what this conduct implies and reveals about him and my child’s well being in that teacher’s class…

But then I sang in the room of a teacher who I like very much and something wonderful happened…at least for those 30 minutes, I felt much, much better.

From firsthand experience, I can attest that his is true:

Music has charms to sooth a savage breast,
To soften Rocks, or bend a knotted Oak.

First line of the play, THE MOURNING BRIDE (written in 1697 by William Congreve), spoken by Almeria in Act I, Scene 1.

The other day in Ms. Howard’s class, were were about to sing,

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The Hippopotamus Song
Words by Michael Flanders
Music by Donald Swann and Michael Flanders
Illustrated by Nadine Bernard Westcott
ISBN: 0-316-28557-9
This book features printed sheet music

Then, in a moment of lucidity (or pure torture for the kids since they were probably like, “Please just shut-up and sing!”), I suddenly felt the need to wax a little bit for the children of Ms. Howard’s class as to some great reasons why it is a good idea to spend time singing books.

I didn’t go on for too long (and less than what is below), but here’s a little of my thinking on the subject:

When we sing books, we are doing so much more that simply having a nice time singing a song.  Really, just the act of singing alone would certainly be reason enough to justify spending time on the activity.  But, when we sing songs, we are engaged in a community activity, building invisible – but real – bonds.  We are creating community understanding, knowledge, and references.  We are engaging great quantities of our brains, pulling together and exercising areas that involve language, music, memory, history (and so much more).  We are breathing deeply, laughing, sighing, and empathizing.  We are getting lost in a story, imagining and learning.

And there is more!  We visit distant lands (real or imaginary)!  These songs are windows to different worlds and words that are not necessarily part of our every day experience. The songs we sing are created in a particular place and time in history by people of that time and the songs they write reflect those histories (both of the world at that time and the personal histories of the songwriters).  In The Hippopotamus Song we talked about the British songwriting team of Flanders and Swann, hippos in Africa, and the Shalimar Gardens in Northern Pakistan and how those gardens, constructed in the Persian style, inspired by love, were an inspiration for this hippo love story.  And then there is the wonderful robust vocabulary of the book.  How often, in every day conversation, do we get to say words like “serenade,” “inamorata,” or “ignoramus?”  Or, “Shalimar” for that matter!  These are some fantastic words and when you sing this song, you get to USE these words!  Of course, it is important to know what they mean (click on the words above if you need a little help)!

I like to pause, occasionally, and reflect, validate and justify these activities.  As this artist sometimes needs to assuage anxieties that arise from questions like “What on earth am I doing?”  And I need to remind myself the reasons why.  It’s easy to consider singing songs a frivolous or disposable activity.  Singing is fun, yes.  Singing is engaging, yes.  But frivolous or disposable?  No!  The act of making music through song is joyous and enriching – and ESSENTIAL – and it is my passionate goal to make is part of our daily lives.

Two of my favorite picture books of all time are Robert McCloskey’s “Make Way for Ducklings” and “Blueberries for Sal.”  But I’d never read “Lentil” until I saw it on the library shelf the other day and noticed MUSICAL NOTES.  As I’m always on the look out for unknown Singable Picture Books, the appearance of Musical Notes on a cover is often a good sign.

Turns out the book is another wonderful story about musical’s magical power to bring people together and put the “Fest” in festivity.


Lentil
Written and Illustrated by Robert McCloskey

Lentil sculpture in Hamilton, OH:

More info, here:
http://www.cityofsculpture.org/Sculptures.aspx

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I just love how Lentil turns to the harmonica after he discovers he can’t make much music with his voice or by whistling.  I hate to admit it, but not everyone was meant to be a vocal soloist (although I will never give up the idea that pretty much most everybody can enjoy the the activity of singing), but music is nonetheless a powerful force no matter what instrument is making the sound.  Each person just needs to figure out what works best for him/herself and go with it!


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-mW4H68QrzI

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12/19/2011
“Lentil” reminds me of a boy in Ms. Anctil’s class who brought his harmonica to school last week so he could play along during the usual Kazoo solos.  Wow was he cute.  I hope he keeps up with his harmonica and entertains crowds like Lentil does.

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Related Articles

SING (by Joe Raposo), a Singable Picture Book!
http://singbookswithemily.wordpress.com/2010/05/15/sing-by-joe-raposo-a-singable-picture-book/

The Songs We Sang in Ms. Anctil’s Class on 12/15/2011
http://singbookswithemily.wordpress.com/2011/12/16/the-songs-we-sang-in-ms-anctils-class-on-12152011/

Music can bring the sun out in almost any day, calming nerves and inspiring joy…


(Artwork by Jack, Kindergarten 2010-2011)

My daughter Eloise and I were driving in the car the other day.  Eloise asked me if she could sing the song that was on the radio.  I said, “Of course!  I love it when you sing.”  She said, “Thanks.  Music helps me get my nerves out.”

There you go.  It’s the power of music.

Music is an incredibly important and enriching part of our lives.  Music transcends many of the boundaries which separate people and it speaks, in its way, to everyone.  Here are some books, though not necessarily singable, which capture the magical powers of music.  For my own purposes in this blog, I believe that any musical enrichment for children is going to enhance the enjoyment of singing with Singable Picture Books.

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Ah, Music!
Written and Illustrated by Aliki Brandenberg
This book isn’t  for singing, but it is all about MUSIC.  This book and wonderful illustrations teach about the components, music as art, the history of music, musical instruments, and much more.  Knowing more about music can only increase one’s enjoyment and awe for its magic.

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hadfiled guide to life on earth
An Astronaut’s Guide to Life on Earth
By Col. Chris Hadfield

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The Bat Boy & His Violin
Story by Gavin Curtis
Illustrated by E. B. Lewis

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Behold the Bold Unbrellaphant (and other poems)
Poems by Jack Prelutsky
Underscore Music by Lucas Richman
Illustrated by Carin Berger

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Behold the Bold Umbreallaphant (Poems by Jack Prelutsky, Music by Lucas Richman)
Carnival of the Animals (Poems by Jack Prelutsky, Music by Camille Saint-Saens)
Performed by the San Diego Symphony Orchestra
Click here to preview the tracks:
http://www.amazon.com/Behold-Bold-Umbrellaphant-Jack-Prelutsky/dp/B005ZOGCHG/ref=sr_1_1_digr?ie=UTF8&qid=1347301466&sr=8-1

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Blues Journey
Poems by Walter Dean Myers
Music by
Illustrated by Christopher Myers
I hightly suggest the wonderful Audio Book created to go with this picture book, which musically brings the often singable text to life!

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Carnival of the Animals
Music by Camille Saint-Saens
Poems by John Lithgow
Illustrated by Boris Kulikov
More info here:
http://singbookswithemily.wordpress.com/2012/04/23/the-singable-picture-books-of-john-lithgow/

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The Carnival of the Animals
Poems by Jack Prelutsky
Composed by Camille Saint-Saens
Illustrated by Mary GrandPre

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The Carnival of the Animals
Poems by Ogden Nash
Composed by Camille Saint-Saens
Illustrated by Mary GrandPre

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Celia Cruz, Queen of Salsa
Book by Veronica Chambers
Illustrated by Julie Maren
This book comes packaged with a CD.

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The Composer is Dead
Text by Lemony Snicket
Music by Nathaniel Stookey
Illustrated by Carson Ellis

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Days to Celebrate (A Full Year of Poetry, People, Holidays, History, Fascinating Facts, and More)
Poems Collected and Text Written by Lee Bennett Hopkins
Poems and Music by Various Artists
Illustrated by Stephen Alcorn

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The Django
Written and Illustrated by Levi Pinfold
(This book is not necessarily singable, but has the importance and love of music at its heart, inspired by the great banjo virtuoso Jean “Django” Reinhardt)

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Do Re Mi (If You Can Rad Music, Thank Guido d’Arezzo)
Book by Susan L. Roth (in association with Angelo Malfucci)

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Duke Ellington’s Nutcracker Suite
Book by Anna Harwell Celenza
Illustrated by Don Tate
This book comes packaged with a CD

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The Extraordinary Music of Mr. Ives (The True Story of a Famous American Composer)
Written by Joanne Stanbridge
Illustrated by Joanne Stanbridge

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Fireworks, Picnics, and Flags (The Story of the Fourth of July Symbols)
Words and Music by Various Artsits
Book by James Cross Giblin
Illustrated by Ursula Arndt
This book features a chapter (including lyrics, song history, and illustrations) called “Patriotic Music and Songs.”

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Frederick
Story and Pictures by Leo Lionni

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Grasshopper’s Song (an Aesop’s Fable Revisited)
Written by Nikki Giovanni
Illustrated by Chris Raschka

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I See a Song
Text by Eric Carl
Illustrated by Eric Carl

In this book, the violinist says,
“Ladies & Gentlemen!  I see a song.  I paint music.  I hear color.  I touch the rainbow, and the deep spring in the ground.  My music talks.  My colors dance.  Come, listen, and let your imagination see your own song.”

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Jazz
Poems by Walter Dean Myers
Music by Rob Mathes Music
Illustrated by Christopher Myers
CD Performed by James “D-Train” Williams and Vaneese Thomas and Various Artists
ISBN-13: 978-0823421732

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Jazz ABZ (an A-Z Collection of Jazz Portraits)
Written by Wynton Marsalis
Illustrated by Paul Rogers

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Jazz on a Saturday Night
Words by Leo & Diane Dillon
Music by Ira Ingber
Illustrated by  Leo & Diane Dillon
What a wonderful book this is!  So much information in it, packed with facts, jazz greats, terrific art, and evocative music.  Don’t let anyone tell you that one can’t great great things from picture books!  The CD has 2 tracks, one a spoken essay about jazz and the second music for singing the rhyming text of the book!  Rich and Fabulous!!

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Lean to Speak Music (a Guide to Creating, Performing, & Promoting Your Songs)
Book by John Crossingham
Design & Illustration by Jeff Kulak


Lentil
Written and Illustrated by Robert McCloskey

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Light the Candles!  Beat the Drums! (a book of holidays)
Text by Jane Sarnoff
Illustrated by Reynold Ruffins

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Listen to Learn (Using American music to understand language arts and social studies, grades 5-8)
By Terri Tibbett
Words and Music by Various Artists
Includes:
“Lincoln Portrait” (by Aaron Copland)

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man with the violin 2
The Man with the Violin
Story by Kathy Stinson
Illustrations by Dusan Petricic
Postscript by Joshua Bell

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Marvin Makes Music
Written by Marvin Hamlisch
Illustrated by Jim Madsen

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Miss Rumphius
Story and Pictures by Barbara Cooney

“Do something to make the world more beautiful…”  Miss Rumphius finds a wonderful way to do this…Emily thinks that when you sing to a child, you make the world more beautiful.

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Muiscophilia
By Oliver Sacks
Website dedicated to this book:
http://www.oliversacks.com/books/musicophilia/

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Passing the Music Down
Written by Sarah Sullivan
Illustrated by Bary Root

When you sing to or with a child, YOU are participating in this same process of Passing the Music Down.

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ruby sings the blues
Ruby Sings the Blues
Story and Pictures by Niki Daly
This book is Not Necessarily Singable but it embraces the importance of music in our every day lives.

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Sing (Sing-A-Song Storybook)

Words and Music by Joe Raposo
Illustrated by Kenn Backhaus

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Singing Away the Dark
Written by Caroline Woodward
Illustrated by Julie Morstad

This story, in verse (that seems to cry out to be set to music) reminds me of the Henry Mancini song, “Whistling Away the Dark,”

www.youtube.com/watch?v=nEK4hsD_bNs

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Spirit Seeker (John Coltrane’s Musical Journey)
Written by Gary Golio
Illustrated by Rudy Gutierrez

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Squeak, Rumble, Whomp! Whomp! Whomp! (a sonic adventure)
Written by Wynton Marsalis
Illustrated by Paul Rogers

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Sweethearts of Rhythm
Text by Marilyn Nelson
Illustrated by Jerry Pinkney
This book is in the “Not Necessarily Singable” category, but this book is saturated with the power of music.

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Tabby McTat (The Musical Cat)
Written by Julia Donaldson
Illustrated by Axel Scheffler

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Tambourine Moon
Text by Joy Jones
Illustrated by Terry Widener
This book, though not necessarily singable, is filled with musical inspiration.

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This is Music for Kindergarten and Nursery School
Text by Adeline McCall
Illustrated by Jerry Pinkney
Published by Allyn & Bacon (1965)
I could find very little about this book…but music is in the title, so if I can’t get my hands on the real thing, I’ll keep looking for more info about its contents.

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Three Ladies Beside the Sea
Words by Rhoda Levine
Illustrated by Edward Gorey

This whimsical and enchanting book, written in verse, tells the story of three ladies for whom music is important…but for one of them, the memory of the song a passing bird, keeps her up a tree hoping to hear it again…

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The Trumpet of the Swan
Lyrics and Tunes by Various Artists
Book by E. B. White
Illustrated by Edward Frascino
ISBN: 0-439-83103-2

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What Charlie Heard
Written by Mordicai Gerstein
Illustrated by Mordicai Gerstein

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When Bob Met Woody (the Story of the Young Bob Dylan)
Writen by Gary Golio
Illustrated by Marc Burckhardt

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When Marian Sang
Words and Music by Various Artists
Text by Pam Munoz Ryan
Illustrated by Brian Selznick
This book is peppered throughout with songs that Marian Anderson sang throughout her wonderful life.
Songs include:
My Country ‘Tis of  Thee

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Willie Was Different (A Children’s Story)

Written and Illustrated by Norman Rockwell
Hear the song of a wood thrush here: http://www.songbird.org/birds/woodthrush.htm
or here: http://www.birdjam.com/birdsong.php?id=32&osCsid=17k5flg24plve0td1rohdpij52

Although this is not a Singable Picture Book, it is about a wood thrush who sings and it is the only picture book Norman Rockwell created for especially for children.  And, it is a real charmer about the JOY singing one’s own song can be to oneself and to others (and that is what I hope everyone will do with Singable Picture Books!).

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Words to My Life’s Song
Written by Ashley Bryan
Illustrated by Ashley Bryan

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Important Musical Works for Children Not all of Which are Illustrated 

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Leonard Bernstein’s narration of “Britten’s Young Person’s Guide to the Orchestra”

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Leonard Bernstein’s narration of “Prokofiev’s Peter & The Wolf”

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Leonard Berstein’s Narration of  “Saint-Saens’ Carnival of the Animals”

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Noye’s Fludde

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Langston Hughes’ narration of “The Story of Jazz”

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Note 3/9/2013

Since my start assembling this list, I discovered and began pinning to boards on Pinterest/SINGBOOKSWITHEMILY

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Visit here for a much more complete listing of:

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PINTEREST
NOT NECESSARILY SINGABLE, BUT MUSIC RELATED ON SING BOOKS WITH EMILY’S PINTEREST
Because of the ease of “Pinning” my PINTEREST list for Not Necessarily Singable but Music Inspired and Music Education Picture Books has overtime become more comprehensive than the list on my blog (please not, however that, though some have appeared in my blog, most are books I’ve discovered online)
http://pinterest.com/singbooksemily/music-inspired-and-music-education-picture-books/

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A terrific list of music education related picture books, here:
http://childrenspicturebooks.info/articles/introducing_music_education.htm

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Another terrific list here:
http://www.teachingbooks.net/tb.cgi?go=1&searchbox_level=0.04&keyword_type1=subject&boolean=AND&keywords1=music

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Related Posts

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BASEBALL SONGS
The Singable Picture Books of Baseball
http://singbookswithemily.wordpress.com/2012/08/30/the-singable-picture-books-of-baseball/

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Music Related Picture Books from New York Times Book Review Special Children’s Book Section on 11/11/2012
http://singbookswithemily.wordpress.com/2012/11/18/music-related-picture-books-from-new-york-times-book-review-special-childrens-book-section-on-11112012/

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Books Take Flight in Imagination and Song
http://singbookswithemily.wordpress.com/2012/02/26/books-take-flight-in-imagination-and-song/

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NOT NECESSARILY SINGABLE, BUT MUSIC RELATED ON SING BOOKS WITH EMILY, THE BLOG
This is a list of Picture Books that are not necessarily singable, but which have appeared in my blog as books which embrace music as an important and enriching part of our lives.  For a more comprehensive list (including books which have not yet made their way into the Sing Books blog) please see the Pinterest link just below this one:

http://singbookswithemily.wordpress.com/2011/07/24/picture-books-not-necessarily-singable-which-embrase-music-as-an-important-and-enriching-component-of-our-lives/

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NOT NECESSARILY SINGABLE, BUT MUSIC RELATED ON SING BOOKS WITH EMILY’S PINTEREST
Because of the ease of “Pinning” my PINTEREST list for Not Necessarily Singable but Music Inspired and Music Education Picture Books has overtime become more comprehensive than the list on my blog (please not, however that, though some have appeared in my blog, most are books I’ve discovered online)
http://pinterest.com/singbooksemily/music-inspired-and-music-education-picture-books/


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