I would like to say congratulations to Paloma Piano member Sherry Miller on the publication of her new book “Fireworks in the Night”. This is a great book that introduces children to music history in a fun and exciting way. I am so honored that she asked me to review her book and thrilled that she wrote this guest post for The Paloma Piano community.
Without further ado Here’s Sherry’s post:
Fireworks in the Night.
Randy the Raccoon and His Musical Friends series was birthed out of need for more quality books to educated preschool children on the subject of music. Over the past 6 years I have sent teachers to local daycare centers to teach music and movement classes. After purchasing every book I could find for that age group, I decided to write my own books. I live on a farm and all the animals in my book are based on animals on my farm, including Randy, the Raccoon. The funny antics of Randy and the quirky personalities of the horses and cats gave me plenty of material to work with. My farm is also a busy music studio with over 100 students coming and going throughout the week. Watching how much the kids loved the animals gave me the idea for the story.
Book description: An unlikely cast of characters will take you on an adventure into the world and music of George Frideric Handel. Rock a Note Farm, on Harmony Lane, will never be the same now that Randy the Raccoon is there to stay. His stories about the magical woods that surround the farm piqued the animals’ interest to explore. After Farmer Heather tucks everyone in each night the adventures start. Randy leads his new friends through the magical woods that border the farm, back in time to England, where George Frederic Handel lived. Randy didn’t realize how dangerous it would be for him to go back in time. Fireworks and a mistaken identity are all part of the suspense in this Randy the Raccoon and His Musical Friends book.
Book 2 in the series is scheduled for fall of 2016. An American adventure, “Rodeo” will feature the composers Charles Ives, Stephan Foster and Aaron Copland and of course our farm friends in another exciting adventure. Each book in the series has a free audio download that brings the music and character voices to life. By going to
www.kidzjumpjamlive you can access the audio along with free lesson plans, a craft idea and the bios of the animals in the series.
I am currently working on an elementary level piano study and Master class/party for children ages 6-12 to go along with the book. The piano study will cover finger warm-ups, theory, simple songs in the style of the era being studied and more fun information about the composer. The study will be written as a cartoon dialogue between Handel (the teacher) and Randy the Raccoon (the student). Teachers can use the piano study with their students a month before the scheduled Master class/party, where the students will play games, do a craft, hear “Fireworks in the Night” and perform for each other. I have been holding monthly Master class/parties at my studio this past year and found that the kids love them!! They have learned so much about music history and have also become more comfortable performing in front of each other. As a teacher you could offer these as extra group classes for missed lessons or to generate additional income for your studio.
If you are interested in more information on the piano study and Master class lesson plans please email me at www.smusicstudio.com. To purchase the first book in the Randy the Raccoon and His Musical Friends series go to www.kidzjumpjamnjive.com.
Thanks a million Sherry! And thank you to all of you for reading. If you like this post please share it so that more people can learn about these fantastic music history based stories for children.