something fun for your waiting area

A piano studio should be warm and inviting, and conducive to teaching and to learning the joys of music. One fun idea I have had (which I will implement once I have the $$ to purchase these books....until then library books will have to do, since I usually have quite a large stack on hand) is to have a little area in the "waiting area" of your studio (which, in my studio, is my living room couch/coffee table) filled with fun music-related books for students or siblings/parents of students to read. There are some really amazing picture books out there all about music. Sometimes a wonderful book can convey the JOY of something, such as music, better than anything. I think these would be a wonderful asset to any piano studio. Here are some of my recommendations (these and other books can also be found in our store):

A Winter Concert by Yuko Takao

Janina and I actually found this wonderful book one day at the BYU Bookstore on a clearance rack, and each bought a copy (how could we not??). It is about a little mouse who goes to a concert on a snowy evening. The drawings are all in black and white, until the pianist comes out on stage and begins to play - and then beautiful colors start coming out of the grand piano and pave the little mouse's pathway home. It really is quite touching. I actually blogged about this book on my personal blog the other day, because my 2-year-old son just loves it. I noticed that you can get this book on for a buck forty-five - not a bad deal if you ask me! (Click on the link above to see it.)

The Composer Is Dead (Book & CD)The Composer Is Dead (Book & CD) by Lemony Snicket

Oh wow, this book is AWESOME. If you are a musician/music teacher and have not read this book, go find it now and read it. Or pop in the accompanying CD and follow along. You know when someone writes music, it's called "composing?" Well in this book you'll learn that when the composer is dead, it's called "decomposing." This is a musical "whodunnit" and is especially funny if you have ever played in an orchestra.

Gershwin's Rhapsody in Blue W /CDGershwin's Rhapsody in Blue W /CD by Anna Harwell Celenza

A wonderful picture book that tells the story of Gershwin and his famous Rhapsody in Blue. Gives some great background information, has lovely pictures and comes with a CD recording of the piece.

Bach's Goldberg VariationsBach's Goldberg Variations by Anna Harwell Celenza

I haven't checked this book out yet, but I imagine it is wonderful, as it is by the same author as the book above.

Pictures at an ExhibitionPictures at an Exhibition by Anna Harwell Celenza

Ditto to the above book. Wouldn't these be a wonderful way to teach music history/piano literature??

M Is for MusicM Is for Music by Kathleen Krull

This is a fun alphabet book featuring so many genres of music. I love that it mentions Elvis, The Beatles, Hildegard von Bingen, Prokofiev, yodeling and Louis Armstrong all in the same book - and it totally works.

This is such a creative overview of music, and would be a fun teaching tool. After going through the complete alphabet ("B is for Beatles," "G is for guitar," "P is for piano and practice, practice, practice," etc.), there is a glossary section called "Musical Notes from A to Z" which goes into greater detail on all the instruments, genres and composers listed in the book.

Lives of the Musicians: Good Times, Bad Times (and What the Neighbors Thought)
Lives of the Musicians: Good Times, Bad Times (and What the Neighbors Thought) by Kathleen Krull

I remember reading Kathleen Krull's books Lives of the Writers and Lives of the Artists in elementary school and just loving them. I am happy that she has now written one about musicians. This is a great book that tells about famous musicians in a fun and interesting way.

Zin! Zin! Zin! A Violin (Aladdin Picture Books)Zin! Zin! Zin! A Violin (Aladdin Picture Books) by Lloyd Moss

A fun book (with accompanying CD) that tells about the different instruments in an orchestra. Great for learning music appreciation!

What are some fun books you know that would be great "waiting room books" for a piano studio?

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