Today, I'm blogging about my 10 favorite books to sing. There are so many out there, but these are the ones I've used year after year, both in my music classroom and as a parent!
These books are a great way to end a lesson, or to provide a calm environment after an exciting activity. Singing these books can also be a great way to teach students a new song, to improve students' listening skills, and for parents and children, can be a great bedtime routine! It can also be a great way to build their literacy and language skills, as you could ask them what happened in the story, what they think will happen, who the characters were, etc.
Please note that there are affiliate links within this post; I included links to most of the books on Amazon. Here goes!
#1: “Hush Little Baby” by Marla Frazee
I've had this one in my library for years; it's one of my favorites to introduce lullabies to students. The illustrations are beautiful, and the words are nice and big at the bottom of each page, so students can read or sing along.
When I first read it to students, we first discuss what good listening behavior looks like. This is a good way to introduce audience etiquette! Then, I simply sing the song.
Honestly, you can hear a pin drop when singing this book to them! Even those high-energy classes sit quietly and listen. Many parents sing this song to kids, so it has a really nice calming effect on them!
After I sing the book, I ask them if they know what kind of song this is, and many are able to define it as a lullaby. Then we discuss who lullabies are sung to, who sings lullabies (parents, grandparents, babysitters, etc.) and why (to get the baby to go to sleep, to calm them, etc.)
After introducing this book, in another lesson, I play the song on dulcimer and sing it. I simply finger pick a pattern (melody string, second string, third string, second string), with the strings tuned DDA, moving back and forth between mi and fa. Again, kids are transfixed and very quiet when listening! I love hearing their stories, like “My mom sings that to me every night!” It's so sweet!